Niccolņ Antonelli rode without fear of the track or conditions as the first free practice sessions for the Spanish Grand Prix took place at Jerez today. Using the new FTR chassis for the first time the Italian teenager lapped thirteenth fastest in the dry this morning before adapting quickly to a wet set-up for the rainy afternoon conditions, when he finished sixth quickest.

Niccolo’ Antonelli (Free Practice 1 – 13th 1’ 51” 140 / Free Pratice 2 — 6th 2’ 00” 634)

“The first session went well this morning and the second session in the afternoon was even better so overall it has been a good day. I felt comfortable immediately with the new bike even though we have a long way still to go to find the perfect set-up. In any case I am satisfied, especially with my pace in the wet. Another dry session would have been useful but with the weather forecast predicting more rain for the rest of the weekend this afternoon’s session could prove to be very useful.”

Fausto Gresini

“We are happy and considering that this is the first time we’ve used this chassis we have to be more than satisfied with the result. The conditions weren’t easy, with a dry track this morning and then rain this afternoon, but Niccolņ felt comfortable with the new bike even though there is a long way to go. Overall things have been above our expectations so we are very happy.”