Troy Bayliss says his Ducati Panigale R is starting to feel much more like a motorcycle he is used to after an encouraging first day in Thailand. The three-time champion was seventh quickest in practice at the new Chang International Circuit and hopes the feeling of familiarity will help him secure a lofty grid position tomorrow.
“We had a few little dramas this morning that meant that it took us a little while to get going. I was feeling ok but nothing really special in the first practice but I knew we’d be able to more this afternoon on the softer tyre and I was right, able to go immediately quicker. Then we made a change mid-session, a change that also used to help us in the past, and I was able to make some quick laps, with my fastest lap coming on a tyre that had done 13 laps. So I’m really happy now, when I got off the bike I felt like I did seven years ago…”
Teammate Chaz Davies maintained his impressive form from Phillip Island to go third fastest on Friday afternoon but the Welshman wasn’t particularly happy with his day, saying he is still struggling to get the best out of the Panigale R.
“I’m not particularly happy actually, as I feel I’m missing the right flow with the bike. It’s working well in some places but in certain areas, particularly concerning the front, I’d like more confidence, as I don’t really understand where the limit is at the front. It’s good to be near the front of course, but I’d rather be there with everything feeling right. I had a little crash this morning – I was late on the brakes, quite tight and I think it was a little dirty there on the track but anyway, I wasn’t hurt and the bike was more or less ok…”