2012 Silverstone MotoGP Friday Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the first day of practice at Silverstone:


Karel Abraham won´t race at Silverstone because of injuries

Injuries suffered at Aragon MotoGP test last Thursday are so serious that Karel Abraham will miss British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Karel Abraham passed two examinations and doctors recommended him to withdraw the race. Karel should be ready for Dutch Grand Prix held at Assen circuit on June 30th.

Karel Abraham:

„I passed two examinations at Clinica Mobile and at hospital and doctors highly recommended me to not race. Otherwise the broken bones should dislocate and cause that surgery will be necessary. In this case my start in next races should be endangered and we can´t risk it. It´s really bad for us to lose a race but it´s certainly better than lose four races in July. I really hope I will be back on track after two weeks. ”


FOURTEENTH POSITION IN FREE PRACTICE N. 2 AT SILVERSTONE FOR MATTIA PASINI

The weekend at the British track of Silverstone kicked in today, with the first two free practice sessions for the MotoGP class.

The FP1, which were held on wet track, was useful for Pasini and his crew to verify the initial configuration of the setting that should be used in case of rain.

The ART machine performance was positive since the morning, which allowed the Italian and his technicians to prepare some modifications to the set up for the afternoon practice. The second session was started on slick tyres, but soon the riders had to go back to their pit boxes because of a sudden shower, which got the track back to damp conditions. Pasini eventually closed the session in fourteenth position, with the lap time of 2'08.975.

Mattia Pasini #54 - 14th with 2'08.975

“This was quite a particular day: the weather conditions changed a few times during the day, especially in the afternoon. This didn’t make the approach to this track really easier on the ART machine, but in the whole I’m quite satisfied. Things didn’t go too bad, we can improve, but at the moment we are following our work schedule for the weekend. Now we’ll see where we are all set and where we can work to make some steps forward, so that we are ready for tomorrow’s sessions.”


Dovizioso and Crutchlow battle mixed conditions at Silverstone

Mixed weather conditions played a pivotal role on the opening day of practice for the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone, which ended with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow sixth and eighth quickest respectively.

This morning's session took place in wet and windy conditions that gave Dovizioso and Crutchlow the opportunity to focus on the wet settings of their Yamaha YZR-M1 machinery, with further rain forecast for the rest of the weekend.

The second 45-minute session was staged in m uch more favourable conditions with blue skies breaking through heavy cloud cover to completely dry the track. Conditions were still far from ideal though as a gusting wind remained that made tackling some of Silverstone's breathtakingly fast sections a tricky challenge.

Dovizioso and Crutchlow were building up their pace when a heavy cloudburst disrupted proceedings with less than 10 minutes completed. The rain interruption forced the duo to wait 15 minutes in the pits before the strong wind quickly dried the surface.

Once the action got back underway, Italian Dovizioso was able to set a best time of 2.05.448 that put him sixth on the timesheets.

Dovizioso finished less than 0.5s away from third spot and he is confident that in wet or dry conditions tomorrow he will be able to challenge for a fourth successive front row start for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team, having been third fastest on a soaking wet track earlier.

Crutchlow enjoyed a satisfactory start to preparations for his all-important home round and he was just over 0.1s behind Dovizioso in eighth position. The 26-year-old though was unable to find a comfortable set-up that allowed him to show his true potential and he will work closely with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team crew to find overnight improvements.

The British rider is still upbeat about his chances of mounting a front row challenge in tomorrow's qualifying session after he was a promising fifth this morning in the wet conditions.

Andrea Dovizioso 6th 2.05.448 R 11; 31 laps:

“This morning it was good to get some more time in the wet to work on the rain setting that we found in Le Mans. The bike worked well in France and it was positive again this morning to finish third. Although it was dry this afternoon the conditions were really tricky and not a lot of fun. It was so windy and that made it very difficult to control the bike. I am reasonably happy to be in sixth but we have some margin to improve and I am still close to the top three. That is the positive but we have to wait and see what will happen with the weather. It looks like more rain is coming but we are ready for anything and confident in the wet or dry of building on the podium achieved at the last race in Catalunya.”

Cal Crutchlow 8th 2.05.574 – 27 laps:

“It hasn't been the best start to my home race and we have definitely got to make some big improvements. This morning in the wet it didn't feel too bad but I expected to be fast after fighting for the podium in the rain at Le Mans recently. But in the dry this afternoon I had a lot of problems and the bike was quite difficult to ride. Conditions were tricky because the wind was really strong and making it difficult but it is going to be a long night checking the data and analysing where we can improve. I am not fast enough but we know we have room for improvement. I will come out fighting tomorrow and hope to put on a good show for the British fans braving the weather.”


Spies Finds Early Form in Silverstone

Yamaha Factory Racing rider Ben Spies was quick to find his form this afternoon in the first day of practice for the Grand Prix of Great Britain at the Silverstone circuit. Despite a small crash at turn 15 in the morning wet session, Spies was back out and fast from the start in the afternoon as the sun came out. Having led for most of the session the Texan wrapped up day one in second just 0.034 seconds behind Casey Stoner in first.

Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo spent the first day working with his crew to improve on the front end feeling of his YZR-M1, a task complicated by the changing British weather. A full wet session in the morning followed by a mostly dry but briefly wet afternoon practice was hindered by strong winds on track. Lorenzo ended day one in seventh on the combined times, 0.697 seconds from first.

Ben Spies

Position : 2nd Time: 2'04.825 Laps: 18

“Today was pretty good, although we didn’t get off to a great start this morning, I had a small mishap and crashed at T15. I’m happy enough though, even this morning in the rain I was very comfortable on the bike. We got a good dry session in this afternoon as well which is useful just in case we do have a dry race. The bike is working really well, it was pretty windy out there but we made the most of the 45 minutes to try a couple of things and we ended up going pretty quick.”

Jorge Lorenzo

Position : 7th Time: 2'05.488 Laps: 24

“It was nice to try the bike in the rain this morning as we may have these conditions for the race. Overall the day was not bad but not very good! We had a lot of problems with the wind in the afternoon session which made it difficult. I don’t feel very comfortable yet, especially on the straight, we have to solve a problem with the front of the bike to be faster. We’ll see tomorrow, I hope we can improve much more.”

Wilco Zeelenberg

Team Manager

"Free practice one gave us bad weather in the morning but at least we had a full wet session. The second session was a bit mixed, a lot of wind and some showers making it difficult for the riders. We are missing something in the steering and the balance of the bike isn’t right yet. It’s the first time here with the 1000cc so we need to work a bit on the setting.”

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

“The weather hasn’t helped us a lot today but we’ve made a great start to the weekend. Ben started where he left off at the Aragon test with a good pace. He is able to make a fast lap quite easily and his feeling with the bike has been immediately good. Jorge still needs to find something with the balance of his set up but we’re confident he will make a step forward tomorrow.”


Strong start for Stoner at Silverstone

World Champion Casey Stoner leads the way on the first day of free practices at the British Grand Prix, with team mate Dani Pedrosa in ninth position.

The British weather played a big role in both sessions, and the MotoGP riders had their first taste of Silverstone's notoriously tricky conditions. After a wet session in the morning where Casey and Dani finished 4th and 7th respectively, the Repsol Honda Team were hoping for a dry afternoon session to begin set up work on the RC213V with the new front tyre. However, a brief shower at the beginning of FP2 prevented the riders making the most of the 45 minute session.

Casey, the winner here last year, managed only 10 laps in dry conditions but it was enough time for him to set the fastest lap time with 2'04.791. Dani, who missed las year's race due to his collarbone injury, completed 14 laps and finished 0.8 tenths off his team mate.

CASEY STONER 1st 2'04.791

"We didn't learn very much from today. In the first session we tried understand the bike in the wet a little better, but it was gradually drying out throughout the session so it was difficult to take any real data. It was a similar situation this afternoon, we went out for a couple of laps and it started to rain which destroyed most of the session. We found the bike very hard to ride so we came in and made a change which took a lot of time and we didn't manage so many laps. It would be nice if we get some better weather again tomorrow and this wind makes things very tricky, but everyone is in the same position. The chatter is a little better, we made another small improvement but we'll need to check it tomorrow in some more consistent conditions".

DANI PEDROSA 9th 2'05.886

"It's been a tough day for me because it's a long time since I was here and it almost felt like a new track to me. I treated both practices as learning sessions, trying to learn the gears, the lines in the corners, the braking points and to find out the low grip areas. So, for me it was like a reminder in both wet and dry conditions and tonight I need to process all the information in my mind and get a little more used to the race track tomorrow and improve, in any condition. In the afternoon we used the new Bridgestone front tyre, the softer compound due to the cold conditions here, but we did just a few laps. As I said in Barcelona we need to tune the set up of the bike a little to work better with this tyre because for us it is too sof t. Working with the weight distribution we might improve the performance".


POWER ELECTRONICS RIDER DE PUNIET SHOWS CONSISTENCY IN WET AND DRY

Frenchman twelfth overall and fastest CRT rider in opening practice sessions for British Grand Prix., Aleix Espargaró places sixteenth.

Practice for the British Grand Prix began today at Silverstone, and all riders were obliged by the weather conditions to use the number 33 front tyre. Not much in the way of conclusions could be drawn, owing to the differing conditions in the morning and afternoon practice sessions. Ten minutes into the dry afternoon run, the rain began to fall again without making the track completely wet. It was an awkward situation for the MotoGP field, whose number was reduced by the absence of the injured Karel Abraham. Stoner, Spies and Bautista were the fastest riders of the day, the only ones to go round in the 2'04s.

Today was an occasion for prudence and hard work for the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders. With the track slippery, taking unnecessary risks was not an option with so much to do. Randy De Puniet struggled to find grip at the British track, but was nonetheless the fastest CRT rider on Friday and feels that there is plenty of potential for improvement tomorrow and ahead of Sunday's race. He finished twelfth on the combined timesheet from the first two practice sessions.

Teammate in the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar outfit, Aleix Espargaró enjoyed the wet morning session. He was able to find a clear direction on his second bike and placed sixteenth, eagerly awaiting Saturday's further practice sessions.

12th Randy De Puniet 2.07.893 (29 laps): "Maybe it is because it is the first day and because it rained this morning, but the grip levels weren't as good as we expected and we will have to work on this tomorrow. I am happy with this opening day, I feel positive and, although I haven't made any great leap forward over the course of the day, we have developed a few smaller things. This was just the start and I am convinced that we can improve by at least a second tomorrow. The weather is very unstable here, so we have to be very sensitive in setting up the bike to be ready for whatever conditions the race will bring. We gathered a lot of data today and I hope that tomorrow is the same."

16th Aleix Espargaró 2.09.379 (27 laps): "We rode in the rain this morning and tried out a lot of things, and I felt comfortable whilst we continued to improve. That was my best wet session for a long time. The afternoon was a little stranger, as we completed some dry laps and then had spots of rain to contend with and a strong wind which, although it helped to dry the track, it also bothered us a bit during the session. We still have a second day of practice in which to try things out. It looks as if it will rain, so I only hope that it does so consistently, because patchy conditions make it harder to work."


Stoner sets the pace in squally Silverstone practice

Round 6: British MotoGP™ - Free Practice One and Two

Silverstone, Friday 15 June 2012

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium-Soft, Medium (Asymmetric)

Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)

Weather: Wet/Dry. Ambient 14-18°C; Track 14-30°C (Bridgestone measurement)

In a day that saw sun, wind and rain descend upon the Silverstone circuit, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner set a time of 2:04.791 on a dry track in FP2 to finish just ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies.

After the morning rain, strong winds and sunshine helped dry out the circuit before FP2, but a brief shower during the session meant track conditions were less than ideal. Stoner’s benchmark time was on the combination of soft slicks front and rear and though a few riders did try the harder slicks in FP2, the variable weather meant the soft slicks with their superior initial grip were better suited to the conditions.

This morning’s wet FP1 session was headed by Ducati’s Valentino Rossi who once again used the GP12’s wet weather prowess to full effect to record a time of 2:19.328. With wet weather a strong possibility for Sunday, Rossi is primed to repeat his impressive podium performance at Le Mans.

The riders will be back on track at 1010 (GMT +1) tomorrow morning for Free Practice 3, with the one hour qualifying showdown commencing at 1355 local time.

Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“We had highly variable weather conditions today with sunny periods broken up by frequent rain showers and strong winds which made it hard for riders to find a rhythm. With such unsettled weather the revised compounds in our rear slick tyres and our new specification front slick tyres were welcomed by the riders as they provided good grip from the out-lap which is essential to safely negotiate the tricky conditions.

“Today was very constructive for us as this was the first time riders got to use the new specification front slick in the soft compound and so we gathered valuable data on its performance. The weather for tomorrow is likely to be similar to today but if we do get periods of fine weather, I expect teams to evaluate the hard slick options to see if they provide better stability in the high-speed corners and under braking.”


Rossi and Hayden fast in the wet, working to improve in the dry

The first free practice session of the British Grand Prix, which this morning saw Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden finish first and second, respectively, once again confirmed that both Ducati Team riders have an excellent wet setup for the GP12.

In the second session, the MotoGP riders turned approximately three laps before a brief afternoon rain shower sent them all back to the garages for some minutes, reducing the time they had to work on a dry setup. Hayden ended with a respectable time that put him fourth best, while Rossi, who is hoping for at least one more dry session to better understand the challenging British circuit, was eleventh.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 4th (2:05.353)

“We know our bike really likes wet conditions, and the team was obviously quite good this morning. With the rain shower this afternoon, we didn’t really get to do a lot of dry laps, as the time went by pretty quickly. The track was actually pretty good as far as grip was concerned, although it was really windy out there. We learned a couple of things, but we still have more work to do. We need to improve the transmission ratios a bit in some spots and work to get some more stability, because the side winds made it very difficult in the high-speed parts.”

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 11th (2:07.125)

“This morning went really well. We were fastest, which made us very happy since we had many problems here last year in the wet. So now we’re competitive in the wet on this track as well, whereas it was a little harder for us in the dry. That said, I would like to have at least one more dry session because on the one hand there are a couple of things to sort on the bike, which gives us some margin, while on the other hand I’m still not riding this track well. There are two or three spots where my lines aren’t efficient, and where I’m still losing some time. It’s better than last year, but still not good enough, so I need a little time. We’ll see what the weather is like tomorrow. Here, it’s the dry conditions that are the unknown, because it always rains!”


GOOD START FOR TEAM SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI AT SILVERSTONE

It was a positive opening day of the British GP for Team San Carlo Honda Gresini with Alvaro Bautista third fastest overall and Michele Pirro the second quickest CRT bike on track. In wet conditions this morning and then again in the dry in the afternoon both Alvaro and Michele rode with conviction and determination. A crash for Alvaro his morning was more a result of too much confidence rather than too little and he is already reaping the fruit of hard work completed in the post-race test at Catalunya last week. Michele was able to close the gap to the lead riders compared to when he rode in similarly conditions at Le Mans and he was amongst the CRT frontrunners also in the dry.

Alvaro Bautista ( 3rd 2’ 04” 995 ) "We have made a good start here despite crashing this morning in very tricky conditions. We had the opportunity to try the bike in the wet and that was important for us because at Le Mans in similar conditions we didn't have any confidence with the bike. I felt a lot better with it this morning and I was running third before the crash. We'd made some changes to the bike and it felt even better so may the crash was me just pushing a bit too hard. On the dry track in the afternoon we also did a good job even though track conditions weren't perfect and the wind was a real problem. Anyway, we managed to improve my confidence with the bike, especially over the bumps, which was a problem because the bike wasn't absorbing them very well. We gathered a lot of data that I'm sure will be useful tomorrow, when hopefully the weather is a little better."

Michele Pirro (13th 2’ 08” 535) "One wet session and one dry and overall we're happy with how they went. In the wet we managed to close the gap to the top guys compared to when we rode with similar conditions at Le Mans and in the dry we were amongst the best CRT guys throughout. We are happy that we are closing in on our objective and today's performance confirms the positive results from the test after the Grand Prix in Catalunya. Obviously we're hoping for better weather over the next two days with dry conditions and less wind because today it was a real pain."

Fausto Gresini "Things went well for both Bautista and Pirro and I am very satisfied with the day. The tests after the Barcelona race were important and positive and here is the proof. I am happy for Alvaro, who has been able to step up his performance significantly and Michele is making great progress even though we have so much to do with the bike. Overall I am confident about the weekend. Obviously we'd prefer it not to rain but I am sure we can be competitive in the wet if it does."


BRADL TAKES FIFTH PLACE AT SILVERSTONE FIRST OUTING ON HIS RCV

Silverstone, 15th June: the British Grand Prix got underway with a rain-hit first free practice session but the conditions improved for the second outing in the afternoon with Stefan Bradl occupying the 5th place (2’05.391).

The German riding the RCV, who experienced the British track for the first time on a MotoGP bike, went about his business with a consistent pace both in the wet and in the dry but he knows there’s more to come from his machine ahead tomorrow’s qualifying so Bradl is already fine tuning the bike together with his technicians.

Stefan: “I feel quite satisfied about this first day of practices. It seems we are well prepared both in the dry and wet conditions. I was a bit worried in the afternoon session because our rear tyre dropped down too fast so we made some little adjustments to improve our lap time. So far we are not at 100% yet with the set up but we know where to work and what we have to do because the lap times are still too slow compared to last year. But in general everything is working good for us: I have a little cold which is not helpful but hopefully I can control it during this weekend”.


Day of reflection for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing

The Friday free practices at the Silverstone circuit, sixth round of the 2012 season, have been not simple. First the rain during the first FP and then riding in dry weather conditions during the FP2 session has complicated the setup work for Colin Edwards’s Suter – BMW bike.

In the afternoon when Edwards would have been able to take full advantage of the dry conditions of the track, his bike suffered an electronic problem changing gears that delayed the team’s work. Hoping that tomorrow the weather conditions will be stable and allow the team to continue their setup work in order to be ready for the afternoon’s qualifying session.

Colin Edwards – 5-

“We struggled this morning in the wet; I don’t know what was going on. You shift in from fourth to fifth gear and the bike went …I don’t know, like it lost power. Then we thought we fixed it, went out this afternoon and same thing, both bikes exactly the same, you shift gear from fourth to fifth gear and would just lose power. Hopefully we will get everything fixed tomorrow, we have an idea with the bike setting. At least we got a couple of laps in even though it was still the same and it was doing it at every lap but I thought: “At least I got to get some information on bike setting.” So we will see what tomorrow brings.”


TRICKY WEATHER CONDITIONS AFFECTS SILVERSTONE FREE PRACTICE

The round six of this 2012 MotoGP Championship kicked off today at Silverstone Circuit.

After the morning practice’s session for this British Grand Prix, held in wet and cold conditions, the field was greeted with some rays of sunshine which slowly started to dry out the track for the second MotoGP practice session. The Pramac Ducati Team’s Hèctor Barberà set the 10th overall fastest time at 2’06.084 and he was satisfy with his work both in the wet and in the dry conditions.

Hèctor Barberà – Pramac Racing Team Rider – 10th fastest time in 2’06.084

“We worked tirelessly the whole day due to the tricky weather conditions. These mixed weather conditions allowed us to understand the new electronic settings both under the rain and with a dry surface and I was able to improve the confidence with my Ducati Desmosedici, especially on the wet track. We are in 10th position, which is not a great result, but we are only 0.6 seconds behind Stefan Bradl, who set the 5th fastest time. I’m pretty confident about our potential, we can step up and make the second row of the grid tomorrow, so we will work to achieve that result.”

Francesco Guidotti – Team Manager Pramac Racing –

“Today we tried a lot of stuff and we understood that we were faster compared to the last races, in particular with the wet condition. The today’s performance allowed us to make a great and concrete work, useful for tomorrow and for the future.”


2012

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