Overall, it was quite a positive first day here at Mandalika.
The track conditions were very demanding, with high track temperatures of 35 degrees C in the morning and rising to 52 degrees in the afternoon.
There were mixed conditions in the morning due to the rain before FP1 and it was dry in the afternoon for FP2.
Rider feedback was that the new asphalt from Turn 17 to Turn 5 offered less grip than the old asphalt on the rest of the circuit.
The riders liked the ‘new’ rear casing, which was necessary to lower the temperatures encountered during the test days, and particularly for its stability, which is superior to the standard casing used during the test. The Soft rear was well received, as the level of grip is good and it works well on both the left and right sides, even if sometimes there is the tendency to overheat on the right – causing it to spin progressively. It’s now necessary to confirm if this option is able to cover the race distance. The Medium rear is more consistent with good grip on the left side, but the right side requires more time to warm-up and the grip level is lower than the Soft option. The teams have understood that due to the very harsh conditions that they need to work on the set-up of the bikes to limit heat generation, and therefore the spinning.
The feedback on the front options was very good. The Soft offered very good grip levels and feedback, and this was appreciated to start in FP1, but this option started to move around a little too much on heavy braking after a few laps. The Medium was more stable and worked well in FP2 with the higher track temperature. The two Hard front options gave good support and stability, and an acceptable level of grip.