Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the disrupted first day of practice at the Motorland Aragon circuit:
Aragon first day halted by power-cut
Publish Date: Friday, September 16, 2011
The whole of the MotoGP paddock was left frustrated at Aragon in Spain today when a power outage at a nearby electricity station caused the cancellation of this afternoon's practice session.
Álvaro Bautista (1'52.224, 18 laps) had made a solid start to this weekend's proceedings in the morning session, recording the 13th fastest time and also getting through a large amount of work – on the same set of softer compound Bridgestone race tyres - as he tried to find a clear direction for the rest of the weekend. He was left disappointed at the decision to abandon this afternoon's practice - despite the best efforts of the circuit's organisers to re-instate the power to enable the session to go ahead – but also agreed that it was the only possible option due to safety concerns.
Bautista and the rest of the MotoGP riders will have a 75-minute session tomorrow morning - plus the usual hour of qualifying in the afternoon - to make up for some of today's lost time.
Sunday's 23-lap race is the 14th round on the MotoGP calendar and the main event gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).
"This morning we started with the softer compound tyres on the bike to get a feeling of the track and up until the middle of the session we were doing ok, but I continued with the same set of soft tyres till the end and by then they were very worn and I could not improve my lap-time. The rest of the guys put in new harder tyres and went quicker than me so I was not too worried about this morning's position. We have to try the harder tyre because I think the softer version is only really good for seven or eight laps and after that in these conditions it will drop off quite a bit. We are really disappointed with what happened this afternoon because we had many things to test, we had a new gearbox, the harder tyres and a new setting to try and get more grip from the rear, but now we have to wait for tomorrow. I know it was the right thing to do as race control couldn't see what was happening around the track, but it was still frustrating that we couldn't get on with our work. We won't have much time between the sessions tomorrow to make many changes, so I hope we make the right choice with the direction in the morning, because we can't afford to go in the wrong way with only two sessions. I am confident that we will still have a good weekend and I am looking forward to the race very much."
Power cut disrupts practice for Edwards and Crutchlow
Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow experienced a disrupted start to preparations for this weekend's Motorland Aragon MotoGP race after a major power outage ended in the cancellation of today's second practice session.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team pair were eager to get back on track after a positive and productive 45-minute opening practice when the disruption started minutes before the pitlane was due to open to commence this afternoon's session.
Power was restored and the session was due to finally get underway over two hours later than scheduled at 420pm local time. But just as Edwards and Crutchlow got back into their leathers, the electricity supply failed again a nd organisers were left with little option but to postpone practice.
As a result of today's disruption, Edwards and Crutchlow will take part in an extended practice tomorrow morning, which will be run over 75 minutes instead of the scheduled 45.
The power issues provided Edwards with an unusual start to his 150th MotoGP race, the American finishing ninth on the leaderboard this morning with a best time of 1.51.826. The 37-year-old was happy with the base set-up of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine and he's confident modifications planned for this afternoon would have helped him significantly lower his lap times.
The cancellation of the second session was particularly frustrating for British rider Crutchlow, who lost valuable time in trying to build up his knowledge of the technical Motorland Aragon track.
Crutchlow had once again demonstrated his pr owess at learning new tracks with impressive speed with a lap of 1.52.580 leaving him close to the top 10 this morning. He finished 14th but he opted to use Bridgestone's soft compound front and rear tyres throughout the whole session, while the best lap times were all set on the harder options. Crutchlow is confident had he used the harder compounds available he would have challenged for a place inside the top 10.
Colin Edwards 9th – 1.51.826 -19 laps:
"That was a pretty easy day and to be honest I don't think I've ever been in and out of my leathers so many times in one day. This morning I felt pretty good and comfortable, which was immediately a good sign because I didn't have a very good feeling with this track last year. We struggled for rear grip last year and I rode a soft front tyre in the race to try and find something that worked. But this morning I was happy right from the start on the hard front and rear and we know we can make the set-up better. We had a few ideas to help this afternoon but obviously there were some electricity issues and that's a pity for the fans that came out to watch us today. It was the right decision so we'll use the extra rest and come out strong tomorrow aiming to improve our pace."
Cal Crutchlow 14th -1.52.580 – 19 laps:
"I was really happy this morning because it was a good solid start and I really enjoyed riding the track. It was a pity I couldn't have lapped a little bit faster but I stayed on the soft front and rear tyres for the whole session. Most of the other guys used the harder tyres and when Colin changed he dropped his time by a second. I'm sure I could have done the same and then I'd be looking at being inside the top 10, which is always my goal. It is ob viously disappointing not to have the second session because it hurts me more than the other guys. I need to be out there learning the track and you lose the momentum gained. I felt really confident at the end of this morning and was looking forward to this afternoon, but now I've got to build up my pace all over again. There's nothing I can do about what happened and I'm confident with more time on track I can climb further up the timesheets."
FREE PRACTICE CUT SHORT AT ARAGON
The high-tech world of MotoGP was brought to a grinding halt today as a simple power shortage cut short the day's activity at Aragon. This morning's opening session went ahead uninterrupted but the lights went out just before the second practice in the afternoon, leading to its eventual cancellation, with more time allocated to the riders tomorrow morning.
Marco Simoncelli (4th 1' 50" 893) "The cancellation of a practice session due to a power shortage here at Aragon certainly doesn't look good for a World Championship. The clearly need to look into it and make sure that things are repaired and that it doesn't happen again. Unfortunately we can't really draw too many conclusions from just an hour on track but things didn't go badly, other than a few small problems in braking and with corner speed. We are lacking rear grip and the tyre goes off after just a few laps. I still think the rubber available to us is too soft and that's a worry for the race. We also have to work on fuel consumption. Overall this afternoon's cancellation was not what we needed."
Hiroshi Aoyama (10th 1' 51" 859 ) "The cancellation of this afternoon's session is definitely not a good thing. We tried some things this morning and did some work with the set-up and my feeling was pretty good, even though Aragon is not an easy circuit. Tyre wear is unpredictable and making the right choice for the race will be crucial."
Fausto Gresini "There is not much to say after just one session. It didn't go badly but we will have a lot of work to do in the extra time available to us tomorrow. The big problem right now is tyre wear over race distance so we'll be working on making the right choice tomorrow."
Pedrosa fastest in morning before second practice postponed
Round 14: Aragon GP – Free Practice One
Motorland Aragon, Friday 16 September 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Ex Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium
Dani Pedrosa led the way in the morning's 45-minute free practice session at Motorland Aragon, setting his best lap on his last of the session to go almost half a second clear of Jorge Lorenzo who was second fastest. Third quickest this morning was last year's Aragon GP winner and championship leader Casey Stoner.
Conditions for the session were dry and the temperature, although cooler in the morning in this region of Spain, was still high. The track was still a little dirty, but Pedrosa's best effort was just 0.7seconds off the lap record after only the first session of the weekend.
Normally the afternoon session is faster as the track has cleaned more with all the extra running and the tarmac temperature has increased, but today's second MotoGP session was postponed after a power-cut at a nearby power station left most of the paddock without electricity.
Consequently, MotoGP free practice will resume tomorrow at the earlier time of 0935hrs local time and will be extended to an hour and a quarter. The afternoon's qualifying schedule remains unchanged.
Masao Azuma – Chief Field Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport
"This afternoon was obviously quite frustrating for the teams and riders as the postponement of the second MotoGP practice session interrupted their planned work and made it difficult to make their tyre choices. Despite the best efforts of those involved, power at the nearby station could not be reinstated so there was no option but to postpone. From this morning's session it was difficult to draw concrete conclusions as the track was still a little dirty and sandy so we don't get a clear picture of what to expect for the rest of the weekend. During the session some riders didn't use both options of front and rear slicks, but under the regulations the riders had to select their split of front and rear tyre compounds today which was quite a tricky task without much data, so we worked very closely with them on this to provide as much data as possible to help their decision. Practice resumes tomorrow morning, when riders will have an extended session to make up for some of the time lost today so it will be a busy day."
The Repsol Honda Team starts strong at Aragon in single practice session
The Grand Prix of Aragón began this morning at the Alcañiz circuit and Dani Pedrosa finished the first forty five minute free practice session on top of the time sheets with Casey Stoner in third and Andrea Dovizioso in fifth. The second free practice session was at first postponed and then cancelled due to several power shortages.
This morning the Repsol Honda Team focused on finding a base set up on the RC212V for this particular circuit, Dani and Andrea tested both tyre compounds that Bridgestone brought to Motorland whereas Casey choose to remain on only the soft option.
Dani set his best time on his very last lap with 1'50.281, with Casey five tenths behind and Andrea eight tenths off.
Race direction has decided to extend tomorrow's morning session to 75 minutes, from 09h35 to 10h50. Qualifying will remain on schedule from 13h55 to 14h55 local time.
DANI PEDROSA – 1st 1'50.281
"In the morning session we were basically trying to get the feeling from the race track and we started well, the bike was working ok. We saw that the softer compound is maybe too soft, so not really the one for the race if the high temperatures remain, so we also tried the medium compound and I felt comfortable. In the afternoon the practice was cancelled which is a shame as the weather conditions were perfect. Of course we will have a longer session tomorrow morning but you cannot take the same benefit from it. With two sessions of 45 minutes you have time to analyse the data and make the changes you need for the second practice, while in 1h15 you cannot. Anyway, it's the same for everyone, so let's hope everything is ok tomorrow and we can keep improving the bike and have a good qualifying".
CASEY STONER – 3rd 1'50.806
"We didn't get that much time on the track this morning, we managed to get some data from the session but nothing that great. The track was a little abrasive and destroying tyres very quickly, we went out on the soft tyre and destroyed it in three to four laps so we tried to wait for the end of the session to see if the track got better but it didn't really change. We wanted to see how it would be in the afternoon session but it was a non event, it's strange as usually it's a wash out or something but for the circuit power to go down is something a little different! Although we get the time back in the morning, it's not that great as it makes it a very long day with a lot of riding and it's pretty exhausting. We've just got to focus on finding the best set up we can tomorrow, thankfully the weather has been pretty consistent here over the past few days but I'm afraid the track will act similarly, we'll just have to wait until tomorrow".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 5th 1'51.091
"It was a strange day. This morning's practice didn't give us much indication concerning the set up of the bike because we were struggling with the tyres, the track was not so clean and we were spinning a lot, the rear tyre was destroyed after ten laps so we had to use a new one. Tomorrow we will have 1h15 minutes of free practice. It will be an important session to work on the set up and in particular we will have to work to find more grip in the rear and reduce this spinning. I'm confident that the track conditions will improve tomorrow, especially for the qualifying. This morning we finished fifth and apart from Dani, we are just three tenths from Lorenzo and everybody will lap faster tomorrow. The afternoon was strange because at first the session was delayed and then finally cancelled, anyway it's the same for everybody so there is no problem. We are now focusing on tomorrow".
Electricity Steals the Show in Aragon
The opening day of the Grand Prix of Aragon was brought to an abrupt end this afternoon as a power failure in the local sub-station cut all electricity to the track. As a result there will be no second free practice, instead an extended third session tomorrow morning will compensate. Despite the shortened day reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo wrapped up in good form, finishing second fastest, 0.449 seconds behind Dani Pedrosa in first. Team mate Ben Spies was also quick to find a good direction for his YZR-M1. The Texan rose to third whilst using the softer tyres, only dropping in the time sheets to 11th as the rest of the field switched to faster rubber. The results leave the team optimistic for a strong performance from both riders tomorrow.
Position : 2nd Time: 1'50.730 Laps: 16
"This morning we started in a good direction, finishing second just four tenths slower than Dani who was top. It's too early to make too many conclusions because the track is too dirty so tomorrow will be the real day to see who is fastest. We are very disappointed to not be able to make the second start, we have so many things we wanted to try but at least we have an extra half an hour tomorrow to take profit from."
Position : 11th Time: 1'51.911 Laps: 17
"This morning was actually quite a good session for us; we were up to third position and then we opted not to change tyres and work on the set up. It seems everyone else tried the harder tyre in the end which worked a lot better so we're looking forward to using that. We picked which set up we are going to move forward on so the end result of the session was definitely not what the bike is capable of. Tomorrow should be good. I'm annoyed about this afternoon, it's no one persons fault but it's frustrating."
"The first practice went ok, everybody struggled a bit on grip but second place in the end wasn't bad. We were looking forward to free practice two because the track changes a lot after some usage by the other classes. We were never able to ride due to the electricity problem so we're looking forward to tomorrow morning to see what we can do."
"We only had one practice and we didn't want to use two sets of tyres for Ben in the first session so we stuck with one. The bike set up wasn't so bad but the plan was to try it this afternoon with the right tyres. We've lost a day so we'll see what happens tomorrow, it's going to be a really busy day. Jorge started well, finishing second was a good beginning, we look forward to seeing what he can do tomorrow."
FIRST DAY AT MOTORLAND CUT SHORT BY ELECTRICAL FAULT
MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá twelfth fastest in opening session, 1.7 seconds off top spot but with extended time available to improve tomorrow
The MotoGP and Moto2 riders were hit by an unusual setback at Aragon today, with an electrical power shortage just after second free practice for the 125cc class leading to the cancellation of the rest of the day's activities. This morning's opening session gave a brief indication of what to expect this weekend, Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Stoner setting the pace. Although Pedrosa pulled out four tenths over his Spanish compatriot Lorenzo at the end of the session and five over Stoner, their lap by lap pace was close enough to suggest an interesting battle for pole tomorrow.
Like the rest of the field Héctor Barberá went back to his motorhome with the job half done today, the MAPFRE Aspar rider also suffering the setback of an electrical fault on his bike this morning. Having been limited to just thirteen laps he was looking forward to making progress this afternoon but the untimely cancellation of the second session leaves him twelfth on the overnight time sheets, 1.7 seconds off the top but with every confidence of a major step forward tomorrow.
12th Héctor Barberá 1.52.016 (13 laps): "It was a strange day because with the cancellation of the second session you feel like you've been cut short. Even though I didn't do many laps this morning it was a productive session and the few laps I did were good ones. I was only four tenths off seventh place and I am not worried by our position today because with more track time I am sure we would have improved. I am enjoying myself a lot on the bike here - it suits my riding style and the Ducati, so I just want to keep working hard tomorrow and that's it. We had planned some set-up changes for this afternoon so we'll try those tomorrow and I am sure they'll be good."
SECOND FREE PRACTICE SUSPENDED AT ARAGON GP OPENING DAY
Aragon, 16th September: The premier class second free practice session at Aragon racetrack was delayed and then cancelled due to several power shortages so LCR Honda racer Toni Elias and his colleagues could not join the 5.078km surface to proceed their machines adjustments.
This morning first outing was held in dry conditions with Pedrosa on the top of the time sheet (1'50.281) whilst Elias experienced his first run out on this track aboard his RCV posting the 16th lap time (1'53.440).
Elias: "Aragon is a marvellous race track, but it's very tough. It took me some laps to feel the bike on these elevation changes but I enjoyed this first run out. We have got some issues with the life of the soft rear tyre so we had to change with a harder one and this could be our tyre choice for the race because we noticed the tyres are dropping very quickly. The surface conditions were not excellent and we had a list of adjustments to try in the afternoon but due to this big power shortage we will have to start our setup work tomorrow".
Power outage complicates Karel Abraham's progress
The Cardion AB Motoracing rider Karel Abraham completed only the first free practice while the second free practice was delayed and eventually postponed due to a power outage at the Motorland Aragón.
"Considering a problem with electronic which we had, I am quite satisfied with the result of the first free practice," Karel Abraham, who had a problem with an electronic sensor on the Ducati Desmosedici GP11, said. "Sensor was upside down and the motorcycle didn't work properly."
Although the mechanics of Cardion AB Motoracing team fixed the problem in the final moments of the first free practice, Karel Abraham completed only one lap aboard a modified motorcycle and set a best time 1:53,158.
"Unfortunately, we weren't able to try hard compound of the tyres," admitted the twenty one years old Czech rider, who completed seventeen laps with soft tyres and finished fifteenth, just 2,877 seconds behind the fastest rider Dani Pedrosa.
Karel Abraham and his Cardion AB Motoracing team will take part in an extended free practice, which will be run over seventy five minutes instead of the scheduled forty five minutes due to a power outage at a nearby electricity station. "It's not a very good news for us because the conditions are significantly different in the morning than in the afternoon and we need to be well prepared for the race," added.
DE PUNIET SIXTH IN THE FREE PRACTICE IN THE MORNING. CAPIREX SEVENTEENTH. FP2 CANCELLED
The 14th round of the MotoGP season got started this morning at Aragon, which is also the site of the third Spanish Grand Prix of the world championship. It was a challenging day for Aragon's technicians, who had to grapple with a blackout in the afternoon that ultimately caused the cancellation of the premier class' second free-practice session. In the morning session, Randy De Puniet registered the sixth-best time (1:51.376), first among all the Ducatis. Loris Capirossi finished with the 17th-best time (1:53.842) in his first outing at the Aragon circuit. Tomorrow's free-practice session will be lengthened.
Marco Rigamonti - Randy De Puniet track engineer
"Randy told me that he has never had as good a feeling with the bike as he had this morning. In the afternoon we would have worked with an eye toward the race, especially with regards to tire wear, so it's a shame that the blackout prevented us from riding. We also would have had to try the new frame that we received from Ducati. We'll see if we can do that tomorrow or if we have to save everything until Motegi."
Randy De Puniet – Pramac Racing Rider – 6th best time in 1:51.376
"It's a shame that we couldn't go on track in the afternoon, as the morning session went very well. For a long time I've looked for such a good feeling with the bike; it's strange, considering how differently things went at Misano. I'm satisfied. The bike is working like it should, and I want to repeat my performance tomorrow and Sunday."
Loris Capirossi - Pramac Racing Rider – 16th best time in 1:53.842
"It's my first time at this circuit, and I must say that the track is beautiful, but difficult. This morning I tried to ride as much as possible, and unfortunately, this afternoon we were stuck in the garage. I'm optimistic anyway. The time that I did this morning shouldn't be considered because I was trying to understand the track. I'm sure that I'll go better tomorrow."
BLACKOUT AT ARAGON, SECOND MOTOGP PRACTICE SESSION CANCELLED
The MotoGP division's second free-practice session of the Aragon Grand Prix was cancelled due to a failure that caused an electricity blackout at the circuit. After a series of delays, the decision was made to call off the session and extend Saturday morning's session, which for the MotoGP riders will take place from 9:35 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
Valentino Rossi and the Ducati Team will have to try to take advantage of the only session remaining before qualifying to prepare the new part that the Italian is using on his GP11.1 beginning with this race.
Nicky Hayden would also have preferred a normal schedule to continue working with the setup in the promising direction that he and his team found this morning, but he's nonetheless optimistic that he can do so tomorrow.
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 7th (1:51.418)
"We had a little problem at the start of this morning's session, and I had to come directly back to the garage and lost a bit of time. I started well behind the others, but actually, compared to the last few races, it wasn't bad once we got going. I think I was the only guy who used the same rear tyre the whole session, and I was able to click off three 51s there at the end. I was looking forward to riding this afternoon, but unfortunately it was cancelled. I hope they get it sorted out overnight, as it wasn't good for anybody, but there's no need to dwell on it. Hopefully we can keep it rolling tomorrow, because it's a nice track. It's definitely a little bit bumpier than last year, and not really grippy, but I like the layout."
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 8th (1:51.676)
"I don't think it's ever happened before that we couldn't do a session because the electricity was out! Joking aside, it's really a shame. For us it was important to test normally instead of just having a long session tomorrow, because you still lose a quarter of an hour in total, and the type of work that you can do is different, more limited. Anyway, we'll continue with the bike with the updated front frame because the feeling is the same as when I tried it the first time, so it's worthwhile to continue down this path. We don't know this track as well as Mugello, and that means we have extra setup work to do, although it's nothing too major. We must also find more rear grip because it was sliding a lot today."