By Lisa Lewis
Australian rider Ant West revealed that during Sunday's Moto2 round at Mugello the reason he needed to enter the pits, eventually resulting in a 23rd place finish was that his seat had come away from the bike, resulting in him attempting to ride at speed on top of a slippery carbon fibre framework.
West said: “It came loose in a corner and I almost slid off the bike. I threw it off on the straight and kept going, but under this cushion is just carbon. You slide all over the place and you are also 20 millimetres lower without the cushion, which hurts the set-up. I thought I was able to continue and I rode on for two laps... the guys put a new seat on, but it was a different one and wasn't perfect. But once you stop, that's it anyway for the race.”
The former Kawasaki MotoGP rider went on to explain how he had been making good progress with his changed set-up before the unusual issue arose:
“It's a bit of a shame because before that happened, I felt good. I was strong and I passed heaps of people. We made a big change to the set-up from yesterday, and on the first laps, I was not very aggressive because I was still a bit unsure of the bike. But I still caught up with the group in front of me and I could definitely have taken world championship points!”
West echoed this enthusiasm to his Twitter followers and looked forward to beyond the Moto2 class summer break, posting: "I'm really happy with the new Speed Up bike and I can't wait to improve in the next races!"
Both Moto2 and Moto3 now have a break in their schedule while MotoGP visits Laguna Seca. The lightweight classes return to action in Indianapolis 17-19 August.