Press releases from the MotoGP teams after qualifying at Misano:
New Misano pole position record for Stoner, on race tyres
Round 13: San Marino GP – Qualifying
Misano World Circuit, Saturday 3 September 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
Casey Stoner secured his eighth pole position of the season in Misano today, and in doing so set a new circuit pole position record. The old record was set by the Australian in 2008 in the era of tyre competition on Bridgestone's high-grip qualifying tyres, but now in the Official Tyre Supplier era there are no qualifying tyres meaning that Stoner's new record was set on race rubber.
The primary aim of race tyres is to have sufficient durability to last race-distance in contrast to the outright of grip offered by qualifying tyres over only a handful of laps, so for Stoner to set a new pole record clearly indicates the ongoing development of Bridgestone's MotoGP tyres during the three years of single tyre supply.
Furthermore Jorge Lorenzo, who will start tomorrow's race from second on the grid, and Dani Pedrosa in third were also both faster than the existing pole record, highlighting what has so far been a very fast weekend. This is the first time that Bridgestone have selected asymmetric rear slicks for Misano and the laptimes attest to the performance advantage they offer. The top seven riders all lapped faster than the existing lap record too during qualifying.
The top three all set their fastest laps on the harder option front slick and the softer rear, which looks to be the primary combination for the race. The second row for tomorrow's race comprises Ben Spies, Marco Simoncelli and Andrea Dovizioso. Again today conditions were fine and dry, and more of the same is expected tomorrow when the 28 lap MotoGP race will start at 1400hrs local time.
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
"We saw yesterday that the laptimes were fast but for the top three to beat the pole position record, which was set back in 2008 by Casey on our qualifying tyres, is very impressive particularly as qualifying tyres are no longer used in the single tyre era so these times were set on race tyres. This means that machine and tyre development are so important. Clearly tyre performance here this weekend is good, particularly of the harder front and both rear slick options. I am pleased that a new pole record has been set as it demonstrates that we are working hard to continue to improve tyre performance even in the current era of single tyre supply, and not resting on our laurels. We have said in the past that our competition is the stopwatch, and this today is a definite victory for us. It is only the fifth outright pole record that has fallen since the start of single tyre supply in 2009 without a modification to a circuit or its tarmac, so I am very satisfied after today, and of course must congratulate Casey, Jorge and Dani in particular for their performance. Casey achieved his theoretical fastest time as he was fastest in every sector of his best lap, but Jorge's theoretical best puts him only 0.035second adrift. All three are very close in laptime so I anticipate a good and close-fought race tomorrow."
Edwards storms to superb seventh in Misano qualifying
Colin Edwards delivered another fantastic qualifying performance for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in Misano to boost his hopes of recording a top six finish in tomorrow's 28-lap GP Aperol di San Marino E Riviera di Rimini.
The 37-year-old missed a second successive second row start by just 0.028s and Edwards will start round 13 of this year's World Championship from seventh position having once again finished top non-factory rider.
Edwards was in stunning form earlier today when he ended practice in a confidence-inspiring fifth position, the Texan benefitting from geometry modifications to the front-end of his YZR-M1 machine to lap almost a second faster than he ma naged yesterday.
With a quarter of this afternoon's qualifying session remaining, Edwards jumped into the top five with a lap of 1.34.356. He was able to shave a further 0.3s off that lap but it wasn't quite quick enough to secure him a third top six start on the grid this season.
Edwards is now optimistic that he can battle for the top six in tomorrow's race as he looks to cement his position as the leading non-factory rider in the overall rankings.
British rider Cal Crutchlow had an eventful qualifying session, which took place in slightly cooler conditions than yesterday. Temperatures still peaked at 29 degrees and like team-mate Edwards, Crutchlow was able to knock almost a second off his Friday pace to finish this morning's third practice session in ninth position thanks to wheelbase alterations to his YZR-M1 machine.
Crutchlow was lapping inside the top 10 and looking to improve his pace of 1.34.791 when he suffered two late crashes. He tumbled out at Turn 3 on his first soft Bridgestone rear tyre and having returned to the pits to jump on his spare Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team machine, he crashed again in the closing moments of the session while looking to better his 13th position.
Both times he escaped injury and the spills haven't dented Crutchlow's confidence and the 25-year-old remains positive that he can compete for a top 10 result on the 2.626 miles circuit tomorrow.
Colin Edwards 7th 1.34.054 – 29 laps:
"I'm really happy with today and it was a shame all our hard work didn't quite get us on the second row. We knew what the problems were yesterday and we changed the geometry on the front-end to create some stability throu gh the high-speed sections. Once again I got to say a big thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew because they rolled out an awesome bike for me. They did their job and I had to do mine and thankfully I did. There's not much between fourth and seventh and to be just over a tenth behind Ben (Spies) on the factory Yamaha proves what a good job we've done. I'm now looking forward to the race tomorrow. I'm going to run the soft rear tyre and I'm pretty sure it will be perfect, but I just can't make the hard rear option work. It feels pretty rigid and I just tense up when I'm on it. I've got to be looking at the top six though it is not going to be easy at all when you look at the calibre of those guys in front of me and the bikes they are riding. I just need to make sure I get a good start and try and stay out of trouble in the first couple of corners because there's been a few incidents there."
Cal Crutchlow 13th 1. 34.791 – 23 laps:
"The position on the timesheets looks like it was a bad session and it could definitely have ended a lot better without the two crashes. But this morning I was a second faster than yesterday and felt really comfortable on the bike after we made some overnight changes that improved the front. I think I was eighth on the timesheets when I had the first crash, so I know I could have been in the top 10 on the grid. The first crash was at Turn 3. I'd just gone out on my first soft rear and there wasn't enough heat in it, so it high-sided me and then turned into a low-side. It wasn't a big problem and we put a new soft rear tyre in the spare bike. But the only front I had left was 25-laps old. I was on for a really good lap and the front pushed because it had close to race distance on it and I crashed again. That's pretty annoying but they were both my mistakes and I hold my hands up for that. I'm still positive that I could have been much higher up on the grid and I am confident I can be inside the top 10 tomorrow. I need to apologise to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew for giving them a bit of work, but it makes me more determined to give them a decent result tomorrow."
FIFTH ROW FOR DE PUNIET, SIXTH ROW FOR CAPIROSSI
The starting grid for the Misano Grand Prix was finalized during this afternoon's qualifying session. Randy De Puniet turned in the fourteenth-best time (1:34.870). The Frenchman lost the front and fell just a few laps into the qualifying session, losing the opportunity to post an good lap. Loris Capirossi finished the session in sixteenth place (1:35.502), and he'll start from the sixth row.
Marco Rigamonti - Randy De Puniet Track Engineer
"It's a shame, Randy was going well on the bike we started qualifying with, but risked a bit too much in a corner and went off the track. Then with the second bike, he had a hard time finding his confidence because the setup was a little different. We hoped to be able to start from the third row, but we weren't able to drop the last two or three tenths. We're confident for tomorrow, although it will be hard because there will be many riders to battle with."
Randy De Puniet – Pramac Racing Rider – 14th best time in 1:34.870
"I'm dissatisfied and angry for how things went. I fell on the eighth lap, when I was going quite well, maybe on my way to a very good time. I wasn't able to find the same feeling on the second bike, especially with the front. We made additional changes, but there wasn't enough time left for me to improve my time. I very well could have started from the third row, but unfortunately the early fall hurt my qualifying session a lot."
Loris Capirossi - Pilota Pramac Racing Team – 16th best time in 1:35.502
"Today went the usual way: the final piece was missing. We're all very close, and then when the time comes to cut away a tenth or so, I'm never able to do it, for different reasons. When I try to lower my time, I try to be more aggressive, but this bike doesn't work with force. Instead, it becomes difficult to ride. It's hard; I've been riding a certain way for 22 years, and changing now isn't easy. We have a pretty good race pace, so tomorrow we'll try to make some changes and see what happens."
Bautista records best qualifying of the year
Publish Date: Saturday, September 03, 2011
Álvaro Bautista will start tomorrow's San Marino Grand Prix from the third row of the grid after qualifying in eighth place this afternoon at Misano.
Rizla Suzuki's Spanish racer equalled his best qualifying position in MotoGP so far, at the Misano World Circuit in Italy He went one better than his ninth at Indianapolis last week as he continues to show that the recent potential shown by the Suzuki GSV-R is starting to come to fruition. Bautista's best time of 1'34.360 from his 29 laps could have been even better, but he got caught in traffic at the end of the session when he was on his final run and was left a bit frustrated that he was unable to climb further up the grid.
Beautiful blue skies and warm sunshine was the order of the day as air temperatures rose to 29ºC. Current championship leader Casey Stoner took pole position, his eighth of the season, with reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo second and Dani Pedrosa in third making up the front row.
Tomorrow's 28-lap race will not only see Bautista aiming to get in amongst the front runners early on and make a serious attempt at a high-placed finish, but it will also be the first time that the one-off Rizla ‘Micron' paint-scheme that will adorn the Suzuki GSV-R will be seen and raced. The new livery will be launched tomorrow morning before Bautista takes to the track at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT) for the 13th round of the season.
"This morning we made some changes to the gearbox, but after the practice we switched back to the settings from yesterday. In the qualifying I started with the harder tyre in the hot conditions to see if it worked well. It was not too bad and I was riding at 35.0 on most laps, but the exit from the corner with hard gas caused me to slide and go wide. We changed to the softer rear we had been using in the morning and I had a good feeling with that compound, and could ride mid 34s all the time. At the end I couldn't make a best lap because there was a bit of traffic and some slower riders that I couldn't get past, so I lost the chance to make a good lap-time. I think we have a good set-up for tomorrow and the grid position is even better than last week, so if I get a good start I think I can push right up there. I want to stay with the front guys for the maximum amount of time as possible and make a race and get a result like Indy – or even better!"
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
"It's strange that Misano has seen our best qualifying result of the year so far, but in-fact we are a bit disappointed by the result. Álvaro made a steady rhythm at 35.0 with the hard rear tyre and then we compared it to the soft rear tyre from this morning, and he immediately made his qualifying time of 34.3, which at the time was good for fourth. Having put on fresh tyres we were all hoping – Álvaro included – that a 33 something was possible, but a combination of traffic and a couple of errors took the chance away. We still need to improve the qualifying performance, but it is getting better and as always the points are in the Grand Prix tomorrow. We're looking forward to the race!"
Karel Abraham will start from the fourth row on the grid
The Cardion AB Motoracing rider Karel Abraham will start the Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini from the fourth row on the grid after he made a significant progress in the qualifying practice at the Misano Circuit and finished twelfth.
"I am satisfied with the result of the qualifying practice," Karel Abraham said. The gap between him and Hector Barbera, who finished ninth as the fastest rider on board the Ducati Desmosedici GP11, was only 0,135 seconds. "Of course, it could be even better, but I am glad that the gap between me and the riders in front of me isn't too big," he continued.
While the other riders have changed used tyres for the new one in the last moments of the qualifying practice, the twenty one years old rider continued on the used tyres and set a best time 1:34,727.
"We use a combination of the hard rear tire and soft front tire from the first free practice and it works well. We will make some adjustments on the set-up of the motorcycle tomorrow and the we will see," Karel Abraham, who finished 1,589 seconds behind the fastest rider Casey Stoner, added.
Lorenzo Storms to Misano Front Row Start
Jorge Lorenzo delivered a scorching pace at the Misano circuit today to take second place on the grid in qualifying for tomorrow's Grand Prix of San Marino. The reigning World Champion had continued to benefit from the hard work of his crew in the final morning free practice, holding second for most of the session to finally finish third just 0.323 from first. Lorenzo dominated the afternoon's qualifying session, starting as the fastest rider from the outset before dropping to second with a gap of 0.578 to pole with 11 minutes to go. An extra burst of speed saw him drop the gap to a mere 0.120 seconds behind Casey Stoner on pole.
Ben Spies had a more challenging qualifying than his team mate today, spending the final free practice and subsequent qualifying working to improve rear grip levels on his YZR-M1. A last minute effort saw him deliver a fourth place grid start just off the front row, 0.809 from pole. The team will now work overnight to find an improvement for warm up to provide the best possible set up for the race.
Position : 2nd Time: 1'33.258 Laps: 30
"Today has been a good day for us. We wanted pole position but the first row is a good start for tomorrow. We have tried some things today and in QP we could almost always be in front. The bike is very good after all the great work of my crew and we have a fast pace. I think we can be competitive tomorrow and try to finish in front of Casey so that's our aim. The weather conditions are being very tough this weekend, it might even rain tomorrow. The race will be very difficult in all aspects."
Position : 4th Time: 1'33.947 Laps: 30
"It was honestly a lot tougher than expected this afternoon. I wasn't really happy with it We're trying a lot of stuff with the bike and I don't feel all that bad riding wise, we just don't have the right setting yet and we're not comfortable at a few spots on the track. Some are really good, some are really bad. We had to ride way over the limit to be where we were today. I'm glad we got it done and got on the second row but I'm not happy about how many risks I had to take to get there. The bike's there, we can see it, Jorge's going fast and I feel good, we just have to get my setting comfortable. We've got all night to work on it and see what we can do for tomorrow. "
"Second place is good, Jorge has a very good pace and he's happy with the bike so we are ready to race. Our tyre choice has been sorted so we don't have to gamble anything. Jorge is riding very consistently as the Jorge we know, he is very smooth and looking good so we are looking forward to the race to see what we can achieve."
"First row is a good starting point for tomorrow, Jorge has a really good pace which is important. We are working to find a better set up for Ben and are still looking for some more grip for the rear. We are going to prepare something to try for tomorrow morning's warm up. The weather for tomorrow is also a big question mark!"
Stoner secures eighth pole of the season with Pedrosa third and Dovizioso sixth
Today in San Marino, Casey Stoner took his 30th MotoGP career pole position and 8th of the 2011 season, and with it he broke his own record set here in 2008 by two tenths of a second.
It was a very hot qualifying session with air temperatures reaching 29 degrees and a track temperature of 39 degrees. Stoner spent the early part of the session working on set up for the hard tyre, when he switched to the soft tyre he was able to record the fastest lap seen at Misano with a 1'33.138 on lap 18.
Dani Pedrosa also spent most of the session working on tyre set up, the Spaniard will be hoping for a strong start and will try to match the race pace of Casey and Jorge ahead of him. Andrea Dovizioso, who made some steps forward in qualifying is happy to start from the second row and will be aiming for another podium finish in front of his home crowd.
Weather predictions show chances of rain for tomorrow's race so set up work in the morning warm up session will be critical. The twenty eight lap race will take place at 14h00 local time.
CASEY STONER – 1st 1'33.138
"It's been a pretty good weekend for us here, steadily improving the bike each session. We struggled a little with the hard tyre this afternoon, trying to find the correct balance but then we made an improvement and got the bike feeling better. Then when we put the soft tyres on, we got a great lap in but the bike wasn't working too well in the front, which is something we need to improve for tomorrow. It will be a tough race, Dani and Jorge are both running very well so I'll try to get a good start but there are a few more overtaking opportunities here at Misano, it's not a track with only one line. The weekend on a whole is going well, tomorrow we'll have to decide on tyres depending on what the weather is doing, hopefully it will cool down a little which would be nice!".
DANI PEDROSA – 3rd 1'33.318
"I'm happy with the qualifying session, I spent most of the time working on the tyres, swapping from the soft to the medium compound, trying to find the right one for tomorrow; normally before the qualifying session you have almost decided, but here it's been more difficult because of the weather and track conditions. We were working on that a lot this afternoon and in the last couple of laps I was pushing to be on the front row. We've made it, which is very important here because the first corners are very tight, and the times between the three of us are very close, so that's positive. For race pace, Casey and Jorge are still slightly faster than me, but we will look for something more on the settings tonight and try to be with them tomorrow for whole race".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 6th 1'34.026
"This morning we worked on the set up, reducing the issue of the pitching we had yesterday. This afternoon we improved the rhythm with the hard tyre in preparation for the race. Our target was to start from the first two rows, so the final result is not too bad. Tomorrow it will crucial to make a good start and try to stay with the front riders. Casey and Lorenzo are really strong and Dani is very fast off the start so it will be important to stay with them if we want to gain some points on Lorenzo and control Dani. We will continue working but the good point is that we are more competitive in the race pace than in using the soft compound for the qualifying. With these high temperatures and humidity the race will be really tough tomorrow. I hope that the Italian spectators will give me an extra boost".
SECOND ROW FOR FIFTH FASTEST SIMONCELLI AT MISANO
"Super Sic" set the fifth fastest time of this afternoon's qualifying session in the torrid heat at Misano, securing a second row start for tomorrow's race. After making some set-up changes after yesterday's free practice Marco is satisfied that he can make further adjustments in tomorrow's warm-up and have a good race. A podium challenge will not be easy but every race is different and you can never say never. Hiroshi Aoyama also enjoyed a positive session and could have been on the third row, missing out on ninth place by a fraction of a second.
Marco Simoncelli (5th 1'33.990) "I am quite strong here but we need to be stronger because the front three are extremely fast. However I am confident because I think I can be fighting with Spies and Dovizioso. We will make some more slight changes to the setting in the morning and try to improve it under braking. I am sure with a harder front compound I would have had less problems but this is the situation and we have to adapt. As for fuel consumption, which was our biggest worry yesterday, we have improved today and should be able to finish the race."
Hiroshi Aoyama (10th 1' 34.637 ) "I am satisfied that we have made notable progress – my only disappointment that I couldn't put the perfect lap together to break onto the third row. I have got my confidence back with the bike and my physical condition is much better. Starting from tenth place makes me think I can have a good race because my pace is quite good."
Fausto Gresini "Overall a second row start for Marco is good. We have struggled here and it hasn't been easy to find the right compromise with the set-up, especially with the fuel consumption. The first three are very quick and I think it will be difficult for Marco to stay with them tomorrow, although he has a good chance to fight with Spies and Dovizioso. Tomorrow morning we will try some things and then see. Aoyama did a decent job too and only just missed out on the third row so I think he can have a good race too."
TOUGH QUALIFYING SESSION FOR ELIAS AT HOT MISANO CIRCUIT
Misano, 03 September: After yesterday's first opening day the LCR Honda racer Toni Elias made several set-up changes to the front geometry and rear suspension of his RCV but could not translate his hard work in a brilliant performance today at San Marino and Riviera di Rimini GP qualifying session finishing 17th (1'36.167).
The Spaniard, who was hoping for a further improvement on the asphalt where he already experienced positive results in the premier class, had to deal with rear grip issue in a hot closely contested 60-minute qualifying session which saw Stoner setting a fastest lap time of 1'33.138.
Elias: "I am very frustrated and I can not believe I will start from the last spot on the grid on the circuit where I achieved good results in the past 4 years. This morning we have found a little adjustment which helped me to drive out of the corners and in this afternoon session we have been trying to improve rear suspension and chassis set. Basically we have been trying to improve the weight transfer loading the rear tyre to chase the correct temperature but we could not achieve what we were expecting and I am not comfortable with our overall package.
Tomorrow I must take a good start trying to follow the group because I do not want to race alone because it's gonna be very tough".
HÉCTOR BARBERÁ TARGETS BEST RESULT IN MOTOGP
Spanish rider is the fastest Ducati for second day at Misano and lines up ninth for San Marino race
After two dull races it looks like anything could happen tomorrow, with Stoner, Lorenzo and Pedrosa having one head to head throughout the weekend so far. Even though the Australian finished on top of the pile there are only 0.180 seconds between the three and barely anything to separate them in terms of race pace. All the ingredients are there for a three-way fight over 28 laps tomorrow, with Barberá and Bautista looking likely to join the scrap for positions immediately behind them.
It is no coincidence to see Héctor Barberá on the pace, the MAPFRE Aspar rider again finishing the day as the fastest Ducati rider on track. The Spaniard is enjoying himself on the bike and the results are clear to see - he is just 1.4 seconds off pole position with a race pace in the low 1'35s, which he hopes to confirm tomorrow. He knows it won't be an easy challenge because the lap times are close but the time has come for the Héctor, in his second year of MotoGP, to target a top result.
9th Héctor Barberá 1.34.592 (24 laps): "Things don't happen by accident. We are setting fast laps times because we have been doing a good job over the last few races. The bike is working well, we have hardly touched it and I am just focused on getting the most out of my riding because I am comfortable with this setting. My pace on used tyres is in the high 1'34s and that should be the case for the race tomorrow. I did every lap alone and on used rubber, setting similar lap times to Stoner last year. I have lots of targets, one of which is to improve my starts and my pace over the opening laps. I think that is the key to the race - from there on I think we have the pace to finish quite high up the order. I haven't gone into a race with such clear ideas as this before so we have to make the most of it."
CHALLENGING QUALIFYING SESSION FOR ROSSI AND HAYDEN AT MISANO
Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden finished eleventh and fifteenth, respectively, in today's qualifying session for the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. The Italian managed to find a setup for the race that is better than what he used on Friday, but he experienced bad luck on his final lap when another rider blocked his way.
After a promising morning session, Nicky Hayden had a harder time than expected in qualifying, and tomorrow he'll start from the fifth row of the grid and try to make up ground.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 11th (1:34.676)
"Today went a bit better. We changed the setup a little compared to yesterday, and then we stuck with that, making small steps. There were no longer parts of the track where I lost a lot of time compared to the others, as we reached a steady level around the entire lap, although of course we're still not as fast as we'd like to be. I was a little unfortunate on what would have been my fast lap, because after three good sectors, I came upon De Puniet going slow in the final hairpin before the last two left-handers, and there alone I lost half a second. Otherwise I could have done a 1:34.0 and started from the third row, which is what we had set out to do. Anyway, I'm not too bad in terms of pace, so we'll see what we can do in the race tomorrow."
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 15th (1:34.955)
"This morning wasn't bad to start with. I had used tyres from yesterday and was able to find a rhythm and do some decent laps. As has been the case lately though, things got worse in the afternoon. I was pushing the front, and I had a lot of front chatter, even with the soft tyres. It's tough for Ducati here at their home, with the team trying hard and all the fans wanting to see us do something. I've got to believe the bike is better than fifteenth, so I've got to do a better job myself. It's not the day we hoped for, and we'll try to do better in the race tomorrow."
Rizla Suzuki to unveil special ‘Micron' livery at Misano
Publish Date: Saturday, September 03, 2011
Rizla will reveal a special one-off paint-scheme at the Misano World Circuit tomorrow morning to celebrate the launch of its new ‘Micron' premium rolling papers.
The Suzuki GSV-R will feature an amazing chrome livery to reflect the design of the new Micron pack, and Álvaro Bautista will sport unique REV'IT leathers, Sidi boots and a special version of his Shoei race helmet to complete the package.
Rizla Micron is the thinnest, and therefore the most sophisticated and technically advanced naturally gummed rolling paper within the Rizla family. Rizla Micron will be launched this month in Italy and subsequently rolled out across the globe over the next couple of months.
The Rizla Suzuki ‘Micron' GSV-R will be on display in the pit-lane at Misano on Sunday 4th September at 08.00hrs local time. This will be the first time this amazing Troy Lee Designs paint-scheme will be on view to the public and if you are not lucky enough to see it in the flesh, then Bautista will be on track at 14.00hrs for the San Marino Grand Prix, complete with his new ‘Micron' machine and clothing. There will also be a gallery of images of the livery available on www.rizla-suzuki-motogp.co.uk from Sunday morning, just click HERE to see for yourself.