Halfway through his first weekend as a full-time Moto2 rider, American Racing’s Rory Skinner is set for 25th on the Portimao grid.
A 1’44.517 lap in Q1, two tenths adrift of his weekend’s best from final practice, leaves the Scotsman preparing for a ninth row start in Sunday’s 21 lap race. Skinner sits one position behind teammate Sean Dylan Kelly with plenty still to learn as his rookie season fires up in anger.
“The nerves coming in before the session were quite high,” Skinner admitted of his opening weekend. “There’s a lot for me to learn this season, I’m fully aware of that and each session I got out I’m learning something new about my riding and the bike.
“A couple of things clicked this morning in P3 of what I need to work on and it’s just a case of now just building. It’s going to be a long season, there’s a lot to learn and I’m ready to get stuck into it. It’s just gonna be a bit of time on the bike and it will all start to come together.”
While practice saw steady progress, Saturday afternoon brought added challenges for the 21-year-old as strong winds made their presence felt across the rollercoaster Algarve Circuit.
“I definitely noticed coming in through the last quarter, it was definitely picking up the front of the bike a little bit more,” Skinner explained. “It’s just the thing here, we noticed it in testing as well, when it gets later in the afternoon the wind does pick up. It was just unfortunate that the gusts stated coming in halfway through a session but it is what it is, it’s same for everybody so we’ll get stuck into it.
“I’m still learning so much with a bike,” he continued. “We’re changing things, little things here and there, so I’m still trying to figure out what’s the bike being changed? What’s the track? It’s just so fresh to me that all these little things I can’t quite feel yet. The track definitely felt like it was a bit hotter and a bit greasier but yeah, it’s all coming together.”