The San Carlo Gresini Honda team have called an early halt to their shakedown test of the FTR Honda CRT bike Michele Pirro will be contesting the MotoGP series with this season. On the second day of testing, Pirro ran into a problem with the belly of the fairing grounding at certain sections of the track, according to GPOne.com. After trying to address the problem via setup, it became clear that physical changes to the bike would be needed and the Gresini team decided to call it a day.
Such problems are normal for such a new bike, Fausto Gresini told GPOne.com. The very reason for holding a shakedown test is to find problems such as these, he said. Solving them in time for the Jerez test due to start on Friday will be difficult, however. British chassis builder FTR, who built and designed the chassis and bodywork for the bike, have just a few days to modify the bodywork to prevent it from grounding, and it is unclear whether they will be able to fix the problem by Friday.
Before the Gresini team called a halt to the test, Pirro had improved his time by a second, lapping Imola at 1'51. That is still three seconds off the pace of the World Superbike machines, though the WSBK riders have a lot more laps around the Italian track than the 50 Pirro added on Saturday to the 20 he posted on Friday. There is still a lot of work left to do for the Gresini team, however.