2013 Laguna Seca MotoGP Saturday Post-Qualifying Press Releases
Press releases from the MotoGP teams after qualifying for Sunday's US GP at Laguna Seca:
BRADL TAKES HISTORIC POLE POSITION AT LAGUNA SECA
Monterey, 20 July: LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl claimed a sensational first pole position at the roller-coaster Laguna Seca circuit today, and in doing so became the first German ever to achieve the feat in the premier class of MotoGP. The Moto2 World Champion will start from top spot on the grid for tomorrow’s 32-lap race after setting the fastest time in qualifying (1’21.176), and will share the front row with Marquez and Bautista.
“It’s an unbelievable sensation! My first pole position in the premier class at this spectacular circuit, and I am now the first German rider to do this in MotoGP history. I could not ask for more! We knew that we had a good pace all weekend, but this result is yet another step forward for me and the LCR Honda Team. I am really happy with the bike set-up just like in Germany, and I want to thank my team for the job they have done. We didn’t actually make any specific changes to the bike; we just adjusted some small things ahead of qualifying and my pace was immediately fast. We had a small problem when I had to come into the garage to change the tyre because we had lost half a second, but once I was back out again the track was clear in front of me and I could go for my perfect lap!”
Thrilling 2nd place for Marquez in all-Honda front row with Pedrosa in 7th
Despite a crash in the last minutes of Qualifying, Repsol Honda rookie Marc Marquez secured 2nd place for tomorrow's Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix with teammate Dani Pedrosa, still affected by his collar bone injury, on the third row in 7th.
Marc, who was fastest this morning in FP3, suffered a small crash in turn six on his final flying lap of Q2. He was unable to return to the box in time and with his time of 1'21.193 lost out on pole position by just 0.017s to Honda rider Stefan Bradl, with Alvaro Bautista in 3rd to complete a full Honda front row. Dani, who did not take part in the morning FP3 to avoid stressing his shoulder too much, progressed comfortably through Q1 into Q2 and put in a great lap of 1'21.728 to secure 7th spot on the grid.
Marc Marquez 2nd 1'21.193
"I am happy, because despite the crash we are going to be starting from second on the grid for my first US Grand Prix. Obviously we would have liked to have taken pole, but I made a mistake at Turn 6 when I went in too fast. I lost the front end and couldn't prevent the crash. I think that we've done a good job so far and have a strong pace, so we are confident that tomorrow we will be able to cap things off with a good race"
Dani Pedrosa 7th 1'21.728
"Today went a little better than yesterday. We were able to ride a little faster and I was able to make the cut for Q2. Getting seventh on the grid is very good and I'm happy with the placing, but the most important thing is that we had a good practice session and are in the mix to be able to have a good race tomorrow"
BAUTISTA ON FRONT ROW AT LAGUNA SECA
Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista more than met his objective at Laguna Seca today, clocking the third fastest time to qualify on the front row of the grid for tomorrow's USGP. Alvaro had done his homework in free practice, setting a strong race pace on used tyres and finding plenty of confidence with his RC213V machine before stepping up the pace in the warmer conditions this afternoon. Qualifying has been an achilles heel for Bautista since the start of the season but now the Spaniard can look forward to making a strong challenge at the front from the start of tomorrow's race. Bryan Staring found confidence with his CRT bike today but is still getting used to the unique demands of the Laguna Seca layout.
Alvaro Bautista (3rd 1’21.373) “We did some more work this morning on our race pace and I felt really confident on the bike. This afternoon we finally got the front row position that we have missed out on in recent races. Qualifying has been our weak point but I was on the pace from the start today and everything felt good. It means we have the opportunity to make a good start tomorrow and not lose time trying to pass riders over the early laps. I am happy, confident and thankful to the team for all the work they are putting in. Hopefully we can have a lot of tun tomorrow.”
Bryan Staring (22nd 1’24.756) “I am quite happy with our performance although we're still lacking a little something if we want to run with the guys ahead of us. We have made some steps forward but we need to improve further in the race tomorrow. I feel confident with the bike but need to get more comfortable with the track. It's not an easy task because Laguna Seca is a difficult track to learn but we'll try our best.”
Rossi and Lorenzo Score Second Row for Laguna Seca
Laguna Seca (USA), 20th July 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo battled through one of the most hectic qualifying sessions of the season today to take fourth and sixth respectively on the grid for tomorrow’s US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
The quick fire qualifying heat gathered pace as the clock wound down, with the top five positions constantly changing as the fast times came in. Rossi’s first flying lap put him initially in third before a burst of activity saw him drop several places. The Italian came in to pit for fresh rubber with eight minutes remaining then re-joined the time attack, climbing to second place with just over three minutes to go with a 1’21.418. The times then dropped a little more, leaving the nine-time champion on the second row in fourth, just 0.045 seconds from the front row and 0.242 from pole.
Lorenzo continued his careful approach to the weekend today, gradually building speed whilst focusing on minimising any risk of damage to his freshly broken collarbone. The world champion was one of the first riders out in qualifying, recording a 1’22.589 before dropping down the timesheets a little as the lap times tumbled. He dropped under the 1’22 mark with his second lap before returning to the pits for fresh rubber. He returned to the track with just over six minutes to go and joined the fight for the front row. He was able to improve again, recording a 1’21.453 to take sixth on the grid just 0.277 seconds from pole.
46 Valentino Rossi
4th / 1'21.418 / 9 laps
“I’m quite happy about my position on the grid because I did quite a good lap. Unfortunately I lost the first row but I’m fourth and not so far. We worked a lot on the bike, especially after some laps when the tyre starts to slide. We made some improvements but it’s not enough. I’m quite worried as we have to find a way tomorrow to be a bit stronger and a bit faster, especially after some laps. We have to work to improve, so we have something to do, but starting in the top four is good as starting in the front is important here.”
99 Jorge Lorenzo
6th / 1'21.453 / 9 laps
“I felt better physically in qualifying than in the last free practice so I pushed a lot and made some good laps. Maybe I could do one or two tenths faster with a perfect lap and be in the first row but the position is ok. When I saw my lap times I hoped to stay third or fourth but the other riders improved their lap times from the free practice. They are so close, if I could improve one tenth I could be on the front row and with two tenths I could be in pole position. The important thing is I didn't crash and maybe tomorrow will be even better. It's a very hard track, almost all the braking zones are not completely straight so I struggle on the shoulder. It's a very long race with 32 laps so maybe with some painkillers I can be better than at Assen."
“We are pleased with the result from today, second row was our target. It’s very tight, one tenth more and Jorge would have been on the first row. Tomorrow is a very long race. It was important to be on the second row to have a good start and be with the front guys in the beginning so there is no hassle in the first coupe of laps. He’s feeling better and better so let's see tomorrow if he can resist the pain for 32 laps.”
“I think overall we did a good job today, we were able to improve our package and the pace was not so bad. For me the time attack also went quite ok. This is not a circuit where it is easy to overtake so starting from the second row is good. For sure it's going to be a tough race, it’s long and physical so we will try to make something again for tomorrow to close the gap to our competitors, I’m expecting a good race for both riders. For sure for Vale it will be a bit easier because physically he is ok, for Jorge I’m expecting a really tough race. He will take some painkillers to try to have less pain but he will do his best to finish as high as possible.”
Crutchlow and Smith in top 10 in close Laguna Seca qualifying
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith will start inside the top 10 on the grid together for the third race in succession after a tense and exciting qualifying battle at the spectacular Laguna Seca track this afternoon.
An eventful afternoon for Crutchlow began when the on form British rider recovered from a heavy fall at Turn 3 to finish third quickest in FP4.
Confident he had the speed to secure a fourth consecutive front row start in the 15-minute QP2, the 27-year-old’s second YZR-M1 machine encountered a minor technical problem that prevented him from taking to the track with the rest of the field.
His Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew were able to rectify the issue and Crutchlow was quickly able to make up for lost time and put up a tremendous fight for a fifth front row start of the campaign.
He clocked a personal best lap of 1.21.420 that was only 0.047s away from the top three and tomorrow’s 32-lap race promises to be an epic battle with the top six split by just 0.277s in a closely contested qualifying session.
Smith’s seventh successive top 10 position in qualifying was a great reward for the hard work and effort his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew have been putting in to help him feel comfortable and confident on the tight and technically challenging California track.
Smith has made excellent progress throughout his first experience of the US Grand Prix and his best time of 1.22.075 was almost 0.7s faster than he’d managed earlier in the weekend.
He finished just 0.899s off pole position and he has been able to set an impressive pace in full race trim throughout the weekend, raising expectations for another positive result in tomorrow’s race.
Cal Crutchlow 5th 1.21.420 – 7 laps :Cal Crutchlow
“Today has been a tough day, so still to be on the second row of the grid is not too bad considering what has happened. I crashed on my first lap out of the pits in FP4 and we need to check the front tyre because I wasn’t even pushing. It was strange but we will sit down and analyse the data with Bridgestone to identify what happened. Unfortunately the bike couldn’t be repaired in time and we had a small technical problem with the second bike at the start of QP2. We are still checking to see what happened but it meant I only really got one flying lap in. I am fifth and very close to the front row but it is still my worst qualifying result of the season and it is a bit disappointing. But I am optimistic for the race. The times are incredibly close and as always the goal will be to fight for the podium.”
Bradley Smith Bradley Smith 9th 1.22.075 – 10 laps :Bradley Smith
“I am very happy with the improvement in my lap times all weekend. To do a 1.22.0 was a great step and I have to say a big thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew because they did a brilliant job in improving the bike. I felt we had been going round in circles with the set-up a little bit but the bike felt great in QP2 and we really made a big step. This is not an easy track and tomorrow’s race is going to be really tough over 32-laps. It is always crucial to get a good start but tomorrow it will be essential because I believe I can learn a lot in the race. If I can find another couple of tenths from myself then I can stay in a fight and gain a lot of experience and that’s what I need more than anything. I am happy with my race pace and I am looking forward to the race.”
Eighth and tenth in qualifying for Ducati Team at Laguna Seca
Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden didn't achieve the results they had hoped for on day two at the United States Grand Prix, and they'll start tomorrow's race on the third and fourth rows, respectively.
The Italian is convinced that the updated version of the Desmosedici GP13 frame is a step forward, although he recognized that making a charge up the field from eighth place will be difficult. Hayden hasn’t yet managed to find a solution to the understeer problem, but he’ll try some setup changes in the morning warm-up.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 8th (1:22.026)
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do a lap with all good splits, or I could’ve done a bit better and gone under 1:22. It’s been kind of a strange weekend in the sense that we’ve been faster than on other weekends and a bit closer to the others, but if we look at the pace of all the riders that are in front of us, they’re pretty far ahead and we don’t have much chance of gaining many positions. Anyway, the only thing to do is to concentrate on our rhythm and try to be consistent. The goal is to do the whole race at a pace under 1:23, which would be good for us. It’ll be hard tomorrow, but as always, we’ll do our best.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 10th (1:22.090)
“It hasn’t been an easy weekend for me so far. We went backward a bit in FP4, and my lap in qualifying wasn’t that great. I’ve been struggling all weekend, with a lack of grip and especially with the bike running wide over bumps. Really, my time wasn’t so bad, but we missed a little bit to maybe move up a couple of positions. It hasn’t been the weekend I hoped for so far, but it’s a long way from over, so we’ll see what we come up with for tomorrow.”
POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR PAIR TO START FROM FOURTH ROW AT LAGUNA
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Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet ready to battle after both progressing to Q2 and qualifying alongside each other in eleventh and twelfth position respectively
The second day of action at Laguna Seca saw mixed conditions once again as the third free practice session took place in cool and misty weather this morning before the sun came out to warm things up in the afternoon. If the change in temperature was predictable the front row of the MotoGP grid certainly wasn't, with German rider Stefan Bradl taking advantage of a crash for free practice pacesetter Marc Marquez to secure his maiden pole position. Alvaro Bautista completes the front row although none of the top three today were able to threaten Jorge Lorenzo's pole record of 1'20.554 set in 2012.
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider Aleix Espargaró has led the way all season in the CRT class and there were no surprises this afternoon as he set the best lap for the ninth time out of nine qualifying sessions so far. The Spaniard qualified directly for Q2, where he was joined by his team-mate Randy De Puniet, who graduated from Q1 but was unable to improve any further after crashing no sooner had the session started. It means the Frenchman will line up in twelfth place tomorrow, one place behind Aleix, on the fourth row of the grid.
11th Aleix Espargaró 1'22.099: “We had a great day yesterday with an almost perfect feeling for the bike and a lap time that was only half a second off the top. This morning we had a little more trouble getting the bike turned, maybe because of the conditions, but this afternoon I had my feeling back and I was able to set a lot of laps in the low 1'22s, which means that we are still competitive. I was hoping to be a little further forward on the grid but eleventh place is good, I'm happy with the job we've done. Tomorrow I will try to take off as quick as I can and see if I can stick with the Ducatis. Everything is very tight but we have a good pace so hopefully I can enjoy the race.”
12th Randy De Puniet 1.22.694: “Yesterday was a tough day for us but we have managed to turn things around today. We started off working in the right way this morning and I had a better feeling with the front end, which allowed me to get myself into Q2. My objective was just to get some more laps in and try to improve my feeling with the bike ahead of the race but as soon as I went out in Q2 I crashed, maybe because the tyres weren't up to temperature. I'm not sure exactly what happened but we will check the data to make sure we don't have something similar happen tomorrow. I am annoyed about the crash but I think we can still have a good race tomorrow. My feeling with the front end is still not perfect but we have improved and the fact we have made our tyre choice already is a bonus.”
Edwards and Corti on 15th and 17th place for the starting grid at Laguna
The qualifying for the 9th round for the MotoGP World Championship will have NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team riders Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti start from fifteenth and seventeenth place for tomorrow’s race at the Mazda raceway Laguna Seca circuit.
Edwards finds a good feeling with his FTR – Kawasaki bike after struggling yesterday with the setting choice. The American rider feels confident with both the setting of the bike and his tire choice for tomorrow’s race and hopes for a good start.
Corti will be starting at Laguna for the first time from seventeenth place after having a problem during qualifying while changing gears during what could have been his fastest lap of the weekend.
“During qualifying we were playing with two different setups. In the little warm up just before qualifying (FP4) I was still with another setting and then finally at the end of it we tried a different one, did the last few minutes with it and it turned out to be the right choice, which turns out to be the bike that I rode with this morning and felt pretty good. We were just trying to squeeze a little bit more out with the other setting but I think we have a decent setting. During qualifying the tires seemed to work pretty good, I was happy with the soft tires. We are ready to go racing, we just need a good start tomorrow.”
“On my last lap at the end of the qualifying session I went straight after having a problem while changing to third gear making me losing a lot of time. I could have improved my lap time and maybe even qualified in sixteenth place right behind Colin. It’s my first time here at Laguna and everyone says that it’s a very difficult track but so far I am enjoying riding here. The feeling is good, my lap times have been reasonably fast from the start and that is important for tomorrow’s race, maybe the only thing that we have missed today was a bit of luck. We will see what happens tomorrow. I start from seventeenth place, we will focus on doing a good race.”
“Fortunately today we were able to solve the problems we were having yesterday with Colin: we had two different settings that seemed to work well and he ended up choosing the one that he preferred. He has done a good qualifying session, he has improved his lap times considerably and he will start from fifteenth place on the grid. Claudio has had a very good first two days at Laguna but this afternoon during qualifying he had a problem while doing his last lap, while changing gears one of the gears skipped, had it not been for that he could have probably finished in sixteenth place. We will have to wait and see what happens tomorrow, both riders have a good race pace; we will see how it goes. Lets hope that the temperature will be a little higher than today, allowing us to have ideal race conditions.”
SIXTH AND EIGHTH ROW FOR CAME IODARACING RIDERS IN LAGUNA SECA
LAGUNA SECA, July 20, 2013 - Danilo Petrucci and Lukas Pesek, MotoGP Came Iodaracing riders, will start respectively from the sixth and eighth row of the grid for the Grand Prix of the United States. Danilo Petrucci in the Q1 session got the sixth time (sixteenth overall) in 1.23.323, putting himself behind Colin Edwards and in front of Claudio Corti. For the Italian rider of the CAME Iodaracing Team a little disappointment not being able to make a better position due to the Karel Abraham crash.
Lukas Pesek, however, has clocked the 13th fastest time in Q1 (23 th overall) in 1.24.809, significantly improving what has been done up to the official qualifying. Pesek is now sheltered by Bryan Staring and his pace has improved thanks to the hard rubber used in the official session, with which has increased the confidence with his Ioda Suter BMW.
DANILO PETRUCCI - MOTOGP RIDER - 1.23.323 - 16 ° - SIXTH ROW "It could have been better in the qualifying, but in the good lap I had to go around in the dust left by Abraham at turn 12, I have not seen anything and I went wide. I was pushing and I could definitely go down a few tenths. It's a shame because in 1.23.3 pace are three riders and then I would start a row ahead. For the race, however, we found a good setting. I still do not know if starting with a soft or hard rubber, although I feel better with the soft but I'm afraid that it could destroy a bit too fast, in the 32 laps race tomorrow. The goal for me is always the same, to get points. "
LUKAS PESEK - MOTOGP RIDER - 1.24.809 - 23 ° - EIGHTH ROW "In today's qualifying session we went much better than the free practice. We began to use the hard tire at the front of this morning and I feel really better. In fact we have now improved by a second and a half. For the qualification, with the hard and the soft front behind I gain another half a second. My goal for the race is to stay with the group and try to do something to gain positions. "
Abraham starts from 7th row after the crash
Karel Abraham will start from nine nineteenth position on the grid to the Grand Prix of USA at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The Czech rider crashed a few moments before the end of qualification practice, thus he missed to ride last two fast laps. The final position is a big disappointment for Karel, even though he is struggling with virus since the Sachsenring.
„Today is a big disappointment. The crash is useless to commentate. As to everyone else, I do like to ride laps behind someone rider, so I slowed to wait to Randy De Puniet which was closed to me. Though I slowed down only in one corner, bike slipped after rolling on the gas probably because tyres went cold. This could not happen even there is no hot weather here. I know I made a big problem for tomorrow. It´s very difficult to overtake at Laguna, because there are not any long straights. And that´s also the reason why the circuit is very exacting physically and after two weeks of fever I´m not feeling good. Tomorrow it won´t be impossible to collect few points with some luck. But definitely I have no reason to be in good mood.“
Marco Grana, chief mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
„The entire weekend did not start bad. On Friday morning we were in top fifteen. We had the problem with setting of the rear part of the bike and it was obvious that Karel is not feeling good and it´s hard for him to ride. In spite of that we were hoping to be around fifteenth position on Saturday. Today we were not able to continue with results of the previous day, we did not get faster and we had lot of problems. The race has 32 laps and it will be tough race for Karel because he is still struggling with flu. We will try to set up the bike to make easier work for Karel that it won´t be so physically exacting. I hope that after summer break we will be able to throw problems of first part of the season away and that Karel will be in back in shape. “
FP3 concludes at Laguna Seca circuit
On day 2 at the Laguna Seca circuit, Alex De Angelis concluded the FP3 session with his second bike after a slide on the second lap at the Corkscrew. He clocked a time of 1'23.616.
Alex De Angelis - Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“It’s a pity, I felt good and I was able to stay in the front group but I immediately lost a little bit of time when I went straight on at the Corkscrew. I got back on track fairly quickly but of course lost ground as well as a bit of feeling. In the next few sessions I’ll have to work hard to get closer, because I think that I can do it."
BAUTISTA MAINTAINS GOOD RACE PACE IN FP3
Alvaro Bautista confirmed his good feeling form yesterday with his bike and the Laguna Seca circuit in Saturday morning's third free practice. The Spaniard has set a good race pace on used tyres and with a few key set-up c hanges he was able to set the fourth fastest lap of the session, raising hopes ahead of this afternoon's qualifying session for tomorrow's USGP. Bryan Staring made slight improvements this morning, closing the gap to the riders in front of him and improving his confidence ahead of a grid shootout that should hopefully see him gain positions.
Brilliant Bradl takes first ever MotoGP™ pole position at Laguna Seca
Round 9: United States MotoGP™ - Qualifying Practice
Laguna Seca, Saturday 20 July 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Medium. Rear: Extra-soft (Symmetric), Soft & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 - Dry. Ambient 12-13°C; Track 26-26°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP - Dry. Ambient 15-15°C; Track 42-44°C (Bridgestone measurement)
LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl claimed his first ever MotoGP™ pole position as the German star posted a time of 1'21.176 to lead an all-Honda front row at tomorrow’s United States Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
Bradl set his pole-winning time on his penultimate lap in QP2 to relegate Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez to second place by just 0.017 seconds. Rounding out the front row was GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista who achieved his best qualifying result this season by setting a time of 1'21.373 to qualify in third place. The highest placed CRT qualifier at Laguna Seca was Aleix Espargaro whose best qualification time was just 0.923 seconds off Bradl’s benchmark effort and sees the Power Electronics Aspar rider line up on the grid in eleventh position for the race.
Weather conditions at Laguna Seca were similar to yesterday, with morning fog and cool temperatures during FP3 before sunshine and warmer temperatures broke through in the afternoon for FP4 and qualifying. Laguna Seca requires good acceleration out of the slower corners and good front-end stability to tame the changes in direction and elevation, hence the predominant tyre combination during qualifying was the softer option rear slick paired with the harder front slick. This same combination will feature heavily in tomorrow’s race, although some CRT riders evaluate their harder option rear slick and may select this for the race if high track temperatures occur.
The lights will go out for tomorrow’s thirty-two lap MotoGP™ race at 1400 local time (GMT -7) with the teams having their final opportunity to perfect their setup for the race during Morning Warm Up at 1040.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today’s weather and track conditions were similar to yesterday so teams had a good understanding of how the tyres would perform today. With the dry track the riders were able to do race simulations on their preferred tyre combination, with almost all riders using the harder front slick paired with the softer rear slick. However, some CRT riders evaluated their harder rear slick option during FP4 and the feedback was positive, so we could see some riders in this class select this option for the race, especially if we have higher than expected track temperatures. The works riders concentrated on finding a setup to get consistent performance out of the soft compound rear slick and I think this will be the popular rear tyre for tomorrow’s race.”