The team’s new riders Jakub Kornfeil and Patrik Pulkkinen got a first taste of what they’ll face in next year’s championship during a two-day test at the Valencia circuit.
It was the first opportunity for Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT to welcome all new team members in their garage, starting preparations for the 2017 championship. But all eyes were set on Jakub Kornfeil and Patrik Pulkkinen who will ride the team’s Peugeot Moto3 machine next year.
Weather conditions during these testings’ in Valencia were mixed with dry conditions on Monday which allowed the riders and their crews respectively to get the first sensations. Czech rider Jakub Kornfeil, one of the most experienced riders in the highly competitive Moto3 class, showed his potential form the very first exit to get familiarized quickly with his new environment and also to new machine for him.
On the other side of the garage, young Patrik Pulkkinnen from Finland, made his first contact with World Championship riders on track during the last two day. Pulkinnen, a Red Bull Rookies Cup graduate and obviously overwhelmed about this fact riding at world level now, delivered a solid debut in the team and aboard a new bike with a lot of more horsepower to lap 93 times in total without making any mistakes around the 4 kilometres long tricky circuit.
After this encouraging begin of a new chapter to the team’s still young history, Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT heads into the winter break now to make their homework in order to be well prepared before pre-season testing’s continue in February.
Jakub KORNFEIL, 1´40.985 (65 Laps) / 1´52.644 (31 Laps):
"It was a successful first outing for us together with Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT team. The Peugeot Moto3 is a very nice bike. Yesterday morning, when I went out on the track for the first time I could feel it even if the seat position was completely different to the bike I used this year. For this we must change a little on the bike in this regard for the future. But in general I like the bike already a lot. The bike is small and easy to ride so it’s nice to play with it. For all this I know already from my first outing that I will like this bike. During the first day, we didn’t change so much to the settings but we were improving all the time which is very promising. In the afternoon, we put in a new tyre for the first time and I was able to set a 1´40.9. So, I’m happy for this even though we just made some basic setups and some other small things of course. The target for the first test was to adapt and learn this bike so we didn’t take notice too much about lap times. Also on the second day I felt really good with the bike in rainy conditions. We just did 19 laps and we could see immediately there is so much potential there. I didn’t push to the limit and risk anything, just riding around and try and get a feeling under these conditions. For sure I could have gone much faster but shortly before lunch time the red flag came out, otherwise I could have improved this lap by half of a second easily. So, this gives confidence too because I feel comfortable in the wet and also on a dry track. In general, I feel good with the chassis and we have a lot of grip even Valencia is a track without that much grip. About the team, I must say that I’m already settled well with my crew and all people in this team. They’re all very nice, I like them and I also like their way to work in the garage. These first two days proved out that we’re already a team. I feel very comfortable in this team.“
Patrik PULKKINEN, 1´42.402 (64 Laps) / 1´53.725 (29 Laps):
"I have to say that I’m really impressed to be a World Championship rider now. Again, I want to thank all people in Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT for giving me this awesome chance. A dream becomes true and I got a dream team, so everything is really perfect - not just almost. From the very first moment I felt great in the team when I arrived for our first test together here in Valencia. I liked the bike immediately because it’s so smooth and easy to ride, it doesn’t make any crazy things. I would say, it’s like almost made for me. In my opinion, this test went very well for us. I was improving all the time and I also had the feeling that I could improve even more. Of course, there are still some little things but as soon as I learned all this kind of things, I’m sure that I’ll make progress soon and get more speed. I’m surprised too how it went in the wet today. Much better than I expected because normally I’m not so fast in the rain but with this bike things changed obviously. It’s also in the wet very smooth to ride. Yeah, I like it a lot. I already look forward and can’t wait for our first test next year.”
Florian PRÜSTEL (Team principal):
"Our first test with Jakub and Patrik went well overall despite the weather wasn’t so good during the second day. But we’re pleased to welcome these ambitious riders in our team and to start with both of them our new challenge. Both Jakub and Patrik were impressed by our Peugeot Moto3 machine from the beginning and they felt comfortable with, just after a couple of laps already. They did a really good job with their crews respectively, in the dry as well under today’s rainy conditions. Beyond that, they showed spirit and eagerness to get familiarized quickly to their new environment. We’re happy how this first test for the new season worked out at all. But before we head into the winter break now, we want to thank the entire team for their great job done during the last season and the same we would like to express to our sponsors.“
Photo credit: ©  Peugeot MC SAXOPRINT