MotoGP has officially landed in Finland. Monday saw the first track action in a two-day test at the new KymiRing completed by manufacturers' test riders, as well as two Press Conferences to mark the occasion for the gathered media to hear thoughts from officials and the riders.
The day was, unfortunately, wet and there was an immediate change to the program, with the timetable for the MotoGP runners changed to 12:00 to 18:00 local time (GMT +3). That meant it was the local heroes up first to try out the track, instead of at the end of the day.
That trend of home heroes first continued once the green light was on for the premier class test, with Mika Kallio out first on the KTM RC16 - with the latest chassis - to greet the fans who had flocked to the circuit to witness premier class motorcycle action in Finland for the first time since 1982. All six test riders eventually got a taste of the circuit though, despite conditions being far from ideal with rain falling throughout the day.
Aprilia’s Bradley Smith was the next out on track and the British rider was fastest at lunchtime with the first sub-two-minute lap. Ducati’s Michele Pirro and Honda’s Stefan Bradl were up next, with Bradl continuing development work on the carbon-reinforced chassis but also making some unwanted history by becoming the first rider to crash at the KymiRing as he went down at the final corner, rider OK. The German was also spotted as having a ‘salad box’ fitted to both bikes in his garage, which was last seen at the Sepang Official Test at the start of 2019.
Suzuki’s Sylvain Guintoli and Yamaha’s Jonas Folger were the last to try out the KymiRing later in the day, getting a taster before more action is expected tomorrow - as well as better conditions. Track time will be 11:00 to 18:00 local time, with young Finnish riders on track the hour before.