Scott Redding was just one of several riders to express concerns at the rate at which the Sepang surface – new for this year's race – dries, stating the situation is “quite dangerous.”
Coming off a fine, hard-fought seventh place at Phillip Island, Redding was third fastest in the dry FP1 session, and the wet-then-drying FP2, leaving him content with his overall Friday performance.
Yet it was the numerous damp patches, that featured in particular through the fast turn three, and their refusal to quickly disappear, in spite of the sunny conditions and high temperatures, that led Redding to say this issue counteracts the lack of bumps.
“You think they would dry up but it doesn't,” he said of the track's condition in FP2. “Slowly through the session it started to dry but then you could see it less. It actually became a bit more dangerous should we say.
“The patches are not damp. They're wet. Especially in that session at the end when we had them slicks on, turn three was quite wet all the way around. It spins quite a lot.
“We're trying to work on something that helps me in the wet with the slicks for whatever the conditions are.
“The last turn is not too bad. I expected worse. The actual resurface is worse with the water staying there. That's the worst thing we could have. There are also some bumps through turns two and three, and five and six, which are quite big.
“It's smoother and a little less bumpy than before but what do you prefer, bumps or water in areas you don't expect? I think a lot of people had the same comment, that they're not to happy with this situation because it's quite dangerous.
“We'll see. When it's dry, dry is OK. But this morning we had quite a lot of sun, the temperature was high and it wasn't really going anywhere.”
Speaking of his performance on what was a positive first day of free practice, Redding continued, “It's not bad. This morning was pretty good. I just built up because the track was slippery, with some wet patches.
“In the beginning [of FP2], when it was wet, it felt quite OK, quite good with the bike. Then it started to dry out and I thought, 'Is it really worth it?' I've got to save the engine a little bit, there's no reason to keep putting miles on the engine.
“Then at the end we put the slick in again. I was a little bit timid at first. Then Jack passed me and I saw there was a lot more grip than I expected. It helped me a little bit in that session to see it.
“It's tricky out there. It's hot. It's muggy. There are a lot of wet patches. There is all sorts of sh*t going on. Tomorrow we have to see what the weather forecast is doing. So far I'm quite happy with the weekend.”