Sudden rain on the first lap mixed up cards at the first race at Catalonia today, and although Hannes chastised himself later for being too cautious he was 7th at the finishing line. “This year I pulled a nice fat rabbit out of the hat,” smiled the Kallio Racing driver. “We rose by one position and it could have been even better if the pit stop would have been successful. Any competitor would have been fair game if I had had faster access to pit stop and if we hadn’t changed bike settings while changing tires.”
Quite an admonition from a man whose injured leg still looks like a thick log in the evening and who nevertheless rode a wonderful race. “I am most put off by the fact that we changed bike settings when switching for rain tires, and after that the back of the bike would not behave as well as it did before.” The back wheel did a lot of “empties” and overheated as a result, and although competitors had trouble with their tires as well - the track dried out towards the end - Hannes had to deal with no grip much earlier.
What about Sunday? “We really need to put on our thinking caps,” Soomer admits. “So far we’ve been moving in the right direction with settings, and qualification round in the morning was pretty good. But settings for wet conditions seem to need more work. Hopefully it will be dry tomorrow, but we cannot just rely on that.”