Under the blue skies of Le Mans, a superb FP3 saw DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team rider Jakub Kornfeil top the timesheets following a dominant performance throughout the forty minute practice session and teammate Adam Norrodin make significant progress to finish in 17th place.
Feeling in good form and ready to tackle Qualifying with force, the DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team duo were determined to continue their run of form.
Starting strong Jakub Kornfeil immediately set the pace amongst the Moto3 field. Continuing to push the 23-year-old was looking set for a front row finish when a small mistake saw the Czech rider thrown from his #84 machine. Despite crashing hard Kornfeil made his way back to the box where his mechanics worked rapidly to repair the damage to the Honda. With just four minutes remaining Kornfeil battled to make the most of his final two laps, concluding qualifying in an admirable 11th place.
Teammate Adam Norrodin equally had a difficult afternoon session after crashing out on only his first flying lap. With the #7 Honda badly damaged the Malay’s crew faced a difficult task at hand. Following an impressive job to repair the bike during the session, Norrodin grabbed his final opportunity to improve his position, but with time for only two laps, was unable to qualify higher than 31st place.
Le Mans, France – Saturday 7th May
Circuit: Circuit des “24 Heures du Mans
Circuit Length: 4.2 km
Bike #84 – Jakub Kornfeil
QP: P10; 1’43.214 – 10 laps
Bike #7 – Adam Norrodin
QP: P28; 1’45.207 – 4 laps
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“We’ve had a good weekend so far with Jakub. He started strong in practice yesterday and has been doing very consistent lap times throughout. In FP3 this morning he did incredibly well and looked in great form; he finished in P1 and posted a very good lap time. We were confident for qualifying but unfortunately things didn’t work out quite like we’d hoped for but that’s how it is. Jakub pushed hard and this is a credit to him. He was first for a while in the beginning but then unfortunately he had quite a big crash on his second outing on the medium tyres. The guys did a great job fixing the bike quickly and Jakub went out again to do two laps, which was good and important for him, but of course very difficult to better his lap time. I think Jakub can make a good race from P10 tomorrow.
For Adam it was also a good FP3; he made big progress and felt good on the bike. For qualifying we told him he had to push from the first lap, which he did but unfortunately he had a crash on his first flying lap. The bike was damaged badly. His team also did a great job repairing the bike and he was able to get back out, but again it was too late to make any real difference to times and position and he couldn’t go as quick as he was in the morning practice, plus he had no rear brake which made it very difficult for him. It will be hard for Adam to race tomorrow from that position but I know he will do his best and push hard.”
#84 Jakub Kornfeil
“Despite a crash today in qualifying, I feel very good. The bike has been perfect since the start here at Le Mans, but particularly in FP3 this morning and QP. We did very well in practice and finished the session in P1. I was trying to push as much as possible from the beginning of qualifying but when you are pushing over the limit, sometimes you make a mistake and that’s what I did; I opened too much throttle in corner number 10 and I crashed. My mechanics worked so hard to repair the bike and they did it very quickly, just ten minutes. I was able to get back out on track for two laps. On the first lap I was just trying to find my rhythm again because after a crash you need time to refresh your head. Unfortunately on my second and last lap of the session I got caught in traffic with some riders in front of me and they held me back a little. Still we finished in 11th place and I think under the circumstances we did a fantastic job. I have to say a big thanks to my mechanics Robin and Ben and Crew Chief Mark; who did a great job. I feel lucky that I didn’t hurt myself more in the crash and was able to go on in the qualifying and push again. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s race because I think we could have a good result here. It will be a beautiful race because everyone is so close.”
#7 Adam Norrodin
“We had a good start to the day in FP3. I felt really focussed and we had the pace; it was a good session. I was pushing a lot and did my best time on a medium tyre. We finished in 17th place, so I was looking forward to qualifying because I knew we could do better. On the first lap of QP, I don’t know what happened; we checked the data already and it was completely the same as before in turn four; I opened the gas a little but the race tyre was spinning and then I just high-sided. It was really bad because I hadn’t even completed the lap to get a decent time. The bike was completely destroyed, so my team had to fix everything and then in the end I had just two fast laps to make my time. We also didn’t have the rear brake so I just had to use the front and go with what I had. I tried to do my best but there wasn’t enough time. We are really disappointed because we should have been so much better. Tomorrow all I can do is push really hard to get a good start, go with a group and try to take back as many positions as possible.”