Rory Skinner continued his rookie Moto2 world championship campaign with a solid ride in Barcelona today, working through from a first lap incident to claim 23rd place in the Catalunyan Grand Prix.
Getting to grips with the Barcelona circuit on a Moto2 bike for the first time, the OnlyFans American Racing Team rider ended Friday running in 25th place, improving lap by lap in the soaring temperatures.
The cooler conditions on Saturday played to the Scot’s favour as he improved by 1.4s to finish final practice 23rd and less than a second from the second placed rider.
Unfortunately, his qualifying didn’t go to plan after both his first and last flying laps were cancelled due to track limit infringements, leaving him in 25th place. A grid penalty for Borja Gomez promoted Rory up one position to 24th ahead of the race.
As the race got underway, Rory was pushed wide early on before making contact with the stricken Forward machine of Alberto Surra at turn five. Luckily, the former British supersport champion was able to stay onboard but was dropped to the back of the pack.
Steadily making progress, Rory made his way into 25th position by the closing stages of the race before making his way past Filip Salac, Izan Guevara and Kohta Nozane to finish in 23rd.
Speaking after the race, Rory said: “It was a difficult weekend but there are obviously positives to take from some sessions. I’m constantly trying to update my riding style to suit the bike and make some changes.
“This track is difficult on the Moto2 bike and such small differences make a massive difference but there are positives as I’ve been closer to the front. I’m still disappointed with the race as I seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time – a bike that had broken down seemed to be right in front of me and I rear-ended it on the first lap which cost me a fair bit of time to the group ahead and I just ended up chasing my tail for the rest of the race.
“It’s not where I want to be but there is only so much I can do at the minute and it’s another race weekend without any crashes and just doing more and more laps and in that respect, it’s good.”
The next round of the 2023 Moto2 world championship takes place in seven days time, at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in Italy. Before then, Rory will remain in Barcelona to try out the 2024 Moto2 Pirelli tyres in a test session.