Motorcycle racing is a continual war of innovation. It is a war fought out on many different battlegrounds at many different times, but at its heart, it is about finding new ways, better ways of doing things. Engineers, teams and riders are always looking for some small advantage, turning what they do upside down in the hope of finding something to exploit.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after qualifying at Jerez:
Lorenzo Scores Front Row for Home Grand Prix
Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 3rd May 2014
Blazing sunshine and track temperatures of 50°C provided the background to a duel for pole position this afternoon in qualifying for tomorrow’s Gran Premio de España.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s local hero Jorge Lorenzo dominated 99% of the session, taking second at the end to secure his place on the front row of the grid for the race.
Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class at Jerez:
Marc Marquez led the final session of free practice for the MotoGP class, taking over from early leader Jorge Lorenzo in the last part of the session. Lorenzo used FP4 as a race simulation, running 17 consecutive laps, 5 of which were in the 1'39s, which he followed up with another 12 in 1'40. Valentino Rossi ended just behind his Movistar Yamaha teammate, with Aleix Espargaro taking 4th spot, and fastest Open bike.
Dani Pedrosa led the third session of free practice at Jerez for the MotoGP class, the Repsol Honda rider showing promise at a track he has been so strong at throughout his career. Pedrosa took top slot towards the end of the session, deposing Jorge Lorenzo and pushing the Movistar Yamaha rider down into 2nd. Marc Marquez follows in third, while Valentino Rossi is fourth, though less than a third of a second separates Pedrosa from Rossi.
With everyone slowly recovering from the shock of the announcement that Bridgestone is pulling out of MotoGP at the end of the 2015 season, it is easy to forget that we are here for a motorcycle race. The roar of Grand Prix machinery hurtling around the beautiful Circuito de Jerez on a glorious Andalusian morning soon dispelled thoughts of 2016, and concentrated minds on what is to come on Sunday.
The Marc VDS Racing team is considering moving up to MotoGP for the 2015 season. Team manager Michael Bartholémy has started the process which could lead to a MotoGP entry for next season.
A switch to MotoGP is far from being a foregone conclusion, Bartholémy was keen to emphasize. 'This is the first step in a long, political process,' he said. The first stage would consist of talks with Marc van der Straten, the Belgian brewing magnate who owns the eponymous team, here at Jerez, then again two weeks later at Le Mans.
Marc Marquez has topped the second MotoGP free practice session in Jerez in blistering conditions. As demonstrated in the second Moto3 free practice prior, the increased track temperatures meant that Marquez's fastest lap time of 1.39:757 was half a second slower than the morning's quickest lap set by Aleix Espargaro.
The Jerez round of MotoGP could be the very last race for Colin Edwards. The Texas Tornado could relinquish his place in MotoGP directly after the Spanish race, to make way for another rider.
NGM Forward team boss Giovanni Cuzari told Italian Sky TV that there would be a meeting on Monday with Edwards to discuss his future with the team. Forward's sponsors are reportedly not happy with having Aleix Espargaro circulating at the front, while Edwards has been unable to match the pace of his teammate.
After the MotoGP teams packed up and left Argentina to head to Jerez, Suzuki stayed on for three days of testing at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. Unfortunately for Suzuki, it rained on all three days of the test, meaning the test was a washout. Randy De Puniet did not manage a single lap, while Nobu Aoki put in just 50 laps on a damp track.
Suzuki issued the following press release after the test:
RAIN HITS SUZUKI MOTOGP ARGENTINA TEST
Team Suzuki Press Office – May 1.