Romano Fenati is in no doubt that he and San Carlo Team Italia need to improve the set-up of his FTR Honda if he is to challenge the frontrunners in Qatar. The 17 year old voiced his concern in testing that his motorcycle would struggle to match the factory KTMs and Thursday practice appeared to prove him right with Romano down in seventeenth. With one more practice session before qualifying though, he is still hopeful of moving forward.
“We lose too much time, especially in the last sector, and we need to improve with the setup. I was slower than last year, but it’s just the beginning. We have until Sunday to get better, and hopefully we can play our cards during the race.”
Teammate Francesco Bagnaia was 27th on his first day as a Grand Prix rider and was relieved to find that the wrist injury suffered in testing wasn’t a problem.
“I did many laps and fortunately my arm is ok. The track is wonderful and very technical. We are working well even though the results are not showing, if we keep it up we can surely make big progress.”
Team Manager Roberto Locatelli agreed with Fenati that the lack of pace had been coming from testing but is refusing to rule out a competitive showing in qualifying.
“We struggled throughout the winter and we are still looking for a good base. Despite having data from last year and technical upgrades, we faced an uphill practice today. We have plenty of time to discuss the situation and brainstorm solutions before our next practice. Hopefully we will improve.”