Thomas Luthi admitted he had learned a lot after his first official test as a MotoGP rider with Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS at Sepang. The Swiss rider steps up the premier class after a decade in Moto2, where he finished as championship runner-up last year, but was forced to miss the Valencia test in November due to injury.
Now fully fit, Luthi has begun his preparations for the 2018 season and although he suffered a crash on Tuesday, the 31 year old took plenty of positives from the week.
“A good day again today, with another step made with the bike and tyres. The conditions were different today; normally it’s fast in the morning and then again in the afternoon when the temperature starts to drop, But today the grip level wasn’t there this afternoon, with no real fast times at the end. Today we worked mostly with old tyres, to understand better how to ride the bike towards the end of the race when the tyres start to slide. This was quite interesting and I think I learnt a lot today. I also got my first MotoGP crash out of the way, after losing the front at turn four. I almost saved it but then the rear went away and down I went. So now I know what that feels like too.”
Team-mate Franco Morbidelli is also making his MotoGP debut this season and, like Luthi, suffered a crash over the course of the Sepang test. The reigning Moto2 champion was seventeenth on the final day but pointed out that conditions weren’t conducive to fast times during the afternoon.
“When I rode the bike for the first this morning I had some pain in the fingers on my left hand as a result of the crash yesterday, but I was able to continue with some painkillers. This afternoon we made some work with the medium tyre and I was happy with the results. I was able to make a lot of laps and the time was around 2’01 low, which is not so bad with this tyre. Finally we wanted to try a time attack, but the conditions weren’t as good late in the session as they were this morning and I wasn’t able to improve my time. It was the first test of the year, we managed to get a lot of things done and I felt good working with my crew, so I leave here satisfied and looking forward to Thailand.”