A technical issue with his KTM machine prevented Chinese teen Hunter Su from recording a respectable finish on his Moto3 debut at Albacete, Spain yesterday.
Su, who once again competes under the Team China banner in 2016, has made a big step this year after progressing from the Copa 250cc series and it has to be said is adapting well.
Several tests ahead of the opening round were useful and after bedding in a new engine during Free Practice Su was ready for qualifying. First qualifying saw Hunter within the qualifying limit but engine gremlins in final qualifying prevented any significant improvement; nevertheless he was in the race. Not bad considering his limited experience!
Race day dawned and after a switch to a spare engine Su was able to lap consistently and was in good spirits ahead of the race. A typical rocket start saw Hunter pass several people into turn one and things were looking good until lap 12 when the technical issue returned forcing an early retirement on lap 12.
Despite the non-finish Hunter and the entire Team China squad are pleased with the progress and with the way they worked and cannot wait to get back out on track for round 2.
Hunter Su – Team China: “My main goals for the free practice days were setting up a newly rebuilt engine and to get comfortable again on the moto3. The new engine felt different but I was able to get close to my best lap time after some suspension tweaks. The track condition was really perfect, warm and grippy for qualifying one and I stayed within the qualifying zone. We had a technical issue after just 3 fast laps in final qualifying but at least we were in the race. We couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the engine, so we decided to use the spare engine for the race. I was super happy to finally get some decent laps during the short 10 minutes warm up session, even though it was a little cold, but it was great to get some good feelings back! Started the race from the back of the grid and did what I’ve always been good at and passed about 5 riders at the first corner. I made some mistakes by pushing too hard and while I was chasing the guys in front down, the same engine issue happened again. I hate to be a quitter, but better safe than sorry – I retired to the pits on lap 12. Overall it was a perfect learning race weekend for me. I did my best, my team did the best and we can take the new information we learned to round 2. Different issues will always be there, but they will make me a stronger rider overall. I truly believe the results will come but right now I know we have a long way to go. We will keep working and I can’t wait for the next time out the Moto3.”