KTM 250cc riders work hard at Valencia tests
Red Bull KTM factory riders and Julian Simon from the Repsol KTM all reported positive results at the just completed second season 250cc tests held over three days in Valencia Spain.
Mika Kallio, second fastest on day three came out on top of the overall timesheet for the tests with a lap time of 1:35.2 on day one. "Everything went very well, we improved the suspension. We didn’t have to make big changes and we could confirm that the bike is working well. I was able to put in good lap times," Kallio confirmed that the track surface was rather cold leading to some problems with grip. Mika was out on the circuit on day one for 51 laps, on day two for 52 laps and rode in two sessions on day three for 27 laps.
Up with the top riders
Looking forward Mika said the team now needs to improve on small details. He said he now had a much better knowledge of his KTM 250 cc bike than when he started in the class last season. "My riding has improved when you compare it to the beginning of 2007," he said. "We are now much closer to the top guys and we are at the top level. Last year there was a bigger gap."
Kallio’s teammate Hiroshi Aoyama was not so fortunate. After putting in solid work on the track on day one and two, he was then victim of a theft and had to return to his home base in Barcelona to arrange a replacement passport ahead of travel back to Japan on Friday. He said that despite the incident the team had still managed some solid work and he regretted losing a day’s testing.
"On day one we worked on the chassis and we were able to build on the information we collected at the first tests in Jerez. This was very positive," he said. "We planned to work on a better setup for the front and do some tyre testing but that was cut short." Hiroshi put in 58 laps on day one with a best time of 1:36.5 and 36 laps on day two clocking 1:35.9.
Good lap times for Simon
Spaniard Julian Simon, returning to ride a KTM 250 cc for the Repsol KTM Team also put in some excellent lap times to be second behind Kallio on day one, fourth on day two and third on day three. His best lap time came on day two with 1:35.753. An adjustment to the handlebar on the final day proved to be a quick solution that made him feel very comfortable on the bike. "We tried some different chassis settings and I am very happy with the progress we made." he said of the tests.