20 November 2014
Valencia Moto2 Test: Julian Simon settles in with Speed Up
"I need to find more speed and the bike has to transmit a better feeling for its limit, with a wider safety margin" - Julian Simon.
Julian Simon, one of a handful of riders to have raced in every Moto2 season, got his first taste of a Speed Up chassis on his debut for the QMMF team in testing at Valencia.
The 27-year-old Spaniard - 125cc world champion in 2009, then runner-up during the inaugural 2010 Moto2 season on a Suter - has spent the last two years on an Italtrans Kalex.
“Riding the Speed Up bike for the first time, I saw immediately that it has good potential and I am happy with that,” said Simon, just 17th in this year's championship. “There are some areas in which we are still struggling, but we worked very well at Valencia and managed to put a finger on our problems. In the end, I got better lap times, but we are still far away from the top, so we need to be patient.
“We will have another test before the end of the month either at Jerez or at Valencia again, in order to make more progress. I need to find more speed and the bike has to transmit a better feeling for its limit, with a wider safety margin. At the moment it is hard for me to make a comparison to the bike I rode last year, because we had some chattering, and when you have this problem, it is difficult to judge the advantages or disadvantages of the bike.
“But if you take the chattering factor away, it's easy to see that the Speed Up bike has a lot of potential and that you can go fast with it. My goal now is to find a good base set-up for this bike and to enjoy the new challenge.
“Moto2 is a difficult category on which you drop back to 20th or 25th within the blink of an eyelid. But the team and I will work hard to find the right set-up for this bike so we will arrive at the first race in Qatar well prepared and we can fight for positions within the top ten of riders in every race!”
Simon is believed to have set a similar pace to QMMF regular, and 2014 race winner, Anthony West at the test. However both were around one second from world champion Esteve Rabat. West at least lapped faster than in the grand prix, while awaiting new parts.
“We didn't test new parts on the bike, but we evaluated many different set-up options trying to see if we can further improve the bike,” the Australian said. “We went a little bit faster than during the race, not as much as I would have liked to, but enough to show that we are heading the right direction with the development of the bike.
“The direction we were going was better than before, but it was still not enough to be fully competitive. We've had issues to get the bike to turn in mid-corner and we also had a little bit of chatter, both in the front and the rear. The manufacturer is working hard to solve these issues with updated components that will be available when we resume testing in the new year, with a different swingarm as one of the main priorities.
“I am now going to Qatar to race in the Superbike championship, then I will have a holiday back in Australia, with the aim to return strong and fully motivated for the challenges of next season!”
Sam Lowes, riding for the factory team, will be the only other Speed Up rider during the 2015 Moto2 season.
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