It was Peter Sebestyen who held the Honda honours on the opening day in Argentina finishing ninth on the combined timesheets.
Sebestyen was on the pace from the start of Free Practice One this morning and made a huge step up across the sessions to end the day in the top ten, just 0.665 seconds off provisional pole.
Sebestyen said: “I am really happy about today. We made a good change on the setup and that makes me feel much happier on the bike. I could ride easily and concentrate on my riding style. Because of this I found something on the track I could enjoy. This time came easily but I made a mistake at the end of the second session because I tried to push a little bit hard and the track is not clean there and I couldn’t improve but I am happy.”
Jules Danilo trailed his CIA Landlord Insurance Honda teammate by just a second with the Frenchman improving his lap time by over three seconds in the afternoon session to end the first day in twelfth position.
Danilo said: “It was a holiday on ice out there today. Zero grip and it’s a technical track so I was a bit slower this morning and this afternoon I just improved every run and the feeling was coming. The last hour I felt I could have done better but it was a bit scrappy out there with a few riders and I couldn’t put everything together but it’s alright for day one, we have to close the gap tomorrow and work on race pace.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “A huge step up for Peter, that puts us in with a proper chance to fight for the top six and that is what we are looking for. I think on that last run there he went out on the new tyre and just tried a bit too hard really and made a couple of mistakes. He should have jumped up a bit more and he would have stayed in the top six. Qualifying is going to be crucial tomorrow, we’ll look for a good session in FP3. It’s quite exciting for everyone because Peter has now made a huge step and is starting to realise his potential.”
“A huge step for Jules on his first time here. He also got caught out on the last run behind a couple of riders but it was a big improvement over the first session. He too will be looking for a good qualifying and realistically this is the best chance for the best result of the season. I’m happy for everybody, a great job by the whole team. Let’s see what we can do in qualifying and look to the race.”
Free Practices Combined Results after FP2
1 C. Perolari 1’46.246
2 F. Caricasulo +0.046
3 R. Krummenacher +0.205
4 A. Badovini +0.219
5 J. Cluzel +0.319
6 L. Mahias +0.320
7 R. De Rosa +0.341
8 K. Smith +0.633
9 P. Sebestyen CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +0.665
10 C. Stange +0.755
12 J. Danilo CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +1.701