Interwetten Paddock’s Tom Luthi wrapped up his on track action for 2013 with the best time in Monday’s Moto2™ Valencia test, to end a challenging year with some added confidence for the forthcoming season.
At the Ricardo Tormo circuit, where he suffered an arm injury in preseason testing early in 2013, Luthi continued with the work he had commenced in two days of tests at Jerez last week, using the 2014 Suter machine to top the timesheet with a fastest lap of 1’34.970.
Going quicker than the likes of Nico Terol, Jordi Torres, Alex de Angelis, Anthony West and Moto2 newcomers Luis Salom and Maverick Viñales, Luthi is pleased with the way his package for 2014 is coming together. He was also fastest in the Jerez test last week.
“We had things to continue working on from Jerez, we had a good test there and it was important to visit a new track and test the 2014 bike again,” the Swiss rider told motogp.com. “The Valencia and Jerez tracks are pretty different but the setting on the bike we used was quite similar and that is positive. I was immediately fast and that is a crucial point.”
On the differences between his old and new machines he added, “It is a completely new bike, the frame is new. It is not different on just one or two points, like braking for example, it is a complete change. Now we have to find the best solution (setting) so we have been playing around with little things on the bike. It is not too far away from the old bike but it is a good step forward. It is a race bike and we want to keep developing it, to make it fully competitive for the first race of 2014 in Qatar.”
Luthi’s pre-season accident on 14th February of this year at Valencia, which left him with a badly fractured right elbow and three torn ligaments in the AC joint of his right shoulder, saw him undergo two operations before he could return to riding.
He subsequently missed the start of the 2013 season and could only finish sixth in the intermediate class standings, despite five podiums in the last eight races.
Now Luthi hopes that another operation and further full recovery will make him more competitive next year. He commented, “I need a small surgery to take out some screws. The big things, the plates on the inside stay in place, but on the outside we need to take out those small parts. Then I need to recover and start training as soon as possible. My right side is still not as strong as my left side from the accident, so there is a lot of work waiting for me in the winter.”