As the on-track action resumed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the DRIVE M7 SIC Racing Team reflected positively on the opening day of practice.
Starting strong an eager Zulfahmi Khairuddin looked in good form as the first free practice session got underway. After launching himself into eleventh position, the Malaysian rider worked hard to stay close to the leaders, but struggling with grip as the session progressed was unable to hold onto his place, reducing his position to 29th. Determined to improve his performance Khairuddin pushed harder in the afternoons session bettering his time by nearly two seconds and concluding the practice just 1.381s off provisional pole.
Jakub Kornfeil kicked off proceedings in a competitive manner as he battled within the top fifteen throughout morning practice. Feeling comfortable on board his #84 KTM machine the Czech rider felt positive for Free Practice Two. Despite being unable to conclude the day with a consecutive top fifteen finish, Kornfeil remains confident that with the help of his team he can pick up the pace and improve his position for tomorrow’s qualifying.
Indianapolis, United States – Friday 7th August
Circuit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Circuit Length: 4.2 km
Bike #63 – Zulfahmi Khairuddin
FP1: P29; 1’44.420 (DRY) – 16 laps
FP2: P22; 1’42.647 (DRY) –18 laps
Bike #84 – Jakub Kornfeil
FP1: P15; 1’43.295 (DRY) – 19 laps
FP2: P24; 1’42.830 (DRY) – 13 laps
#63 Zulfahmi Khairuddin
“Today we made some good improvement on the bike and I really enjoyed riding again. I started well on the medium tyre but then I started to struggle a little with grip, which is why I slipped down the timesheets. In the afternoons session we made some improvements with the set-up and the grip was also a lot better so I was able to push more. I cannot be happy with my overall position but the bike feels very good and we are not so far off from the leaders. I know I can improve my lap time again so I’m positive for tomorrow and I’m looking forward to achieving my best qualifying result of the year.”
#84 Jakub Kornfeil
“In the morning I felt very good on the bike and especially with the hard rear and soft front tyre. Towards the end of FP1 we put in two new medium tyres and these also worked well and I felt comfortable on the KTM. I was happy with our set up and we finished the first practice in an okay position. In the afternoon we started with the same tyres that we finished FP1 with and unfortunately they did not work as well. I made six flying laps but I was not so fast, so I decided to return to the box and have the set up changes we made for FP2 reversed. This helped and with a new tyre the bike started working well again. The problem now is that I feel so good on the bike but I am still not as fast as I should be. I can make every lap the same even if I am changing a lot of things on the track; like breaking later or changing my line. This is my frustration today and what we must look at for tomorrow. We have worked hard to find a good base setting and I’m happy with this. Now I must improve my position. My aim for tomorrow is minimum top fifteen because this is what we need in this moment and I know we are capable of achieving it.”