Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after qualifying at Brno:
Record lap fires Crutchlow to stunning pole position in Brno
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow claimed the second pole position of his career this afternoon with a stunning qualifying performance that made the British rider the fastest man ever on two wheels at the Brno track.
A stunning lap of 1.55.527 beat reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo’s 2012 pole position record of 1.55.799 to secure Crutchlow top spot in qualifying by well over 0.2s.
Crutchlow started QP2 brimming with confidence after a best lap of 1.56.156 saw him set the fastest time in free practice. He was immediately on a blisteringly fast pace in QP2 and his first flying lap of 1.56.081 sent him soaring to the top of the leaderboard.
Crutchlow’s sixth lap of the 15-minute session though was a record-breaking stunner, the 27-year-old improving by over 0.6s to secure him a second premier class pole position after he claimed top spot in qualifying at the historic Dutch TT in Assen back in June.
Brno was the scene of Crutchlow’s maiden MotoGP podium one year ago and he will start tomorrow’s 22-lap race with optimism that he can register a fifth podium in the 2013 World Championship.
Crutchlow’s record-breaking exploits showed once again the high level of the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team package and today saw another fantastic performance from teammate Bradley Smith.
The rookie equalled his best ever qualifying result by taking a richly deserved sixth position, his best lap of 1.56.014 less than 0.5s behind Crutchlow’s scintillating pace and just over 0.1s from securing the 22-year-old a phenomenal first front row.
Smith has been lapping comfortably inside the top 10 all weekend and his best time in QP2 perfectly illustrated the major progress he is making, as he was almost two seconds faster compared to the pace he set in first practice.
Smith has now qualified inside the top 10 for the last five races and he is looking forward to a strong race tomorrow to help him strengthen his challenge for a top 10 position in the World Championship standings.
Cal Crutchlow 1st 1.55.527 – 7 laps
“I am really happy to be on pole position again and I have to say a massive thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. It has not been an easy weekend while we have been working on improving the bike, but in every session we have progressed and got faster. I felt really good on that lap and to set the circuit best lap is a great achievement for the whole team to be proud of. I just pushed as hard as I could and it is nice to take another pole position because I feel this is more of a true pole after Assen. Jorge wasn’t in Assen but this time it feels great to be fastest with everybody on track. I am looking forward to the race and the objective is to finish on the podium like last year. It would be great to have a strong result tomorrow so I can go to my home race in Silverstone with some big confidence.”
Bradley Smith 6th 1.56.014 – 7 laps
“Today was another great day for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team. It is very exciting to have Cal on pole position again and from my side of the garage it is a brilliant achievement to be in the top six. The atmosphere in the team is great and both of us are really looking forward to the race tomorrow. I am less than 0.5s away from pole position and very close to the top three and it shows the progress I am making. We’ve made some changes to the front-end of the bike and it is really working. Now my main focus will be to remain smooth at the start of the race and not make mistakes like I did in Indianapolis. It is going to be a hard race over 22 laps because this track is very physical and it is very important to keep on a good line. I will try and get a good rest tonight and be ready for tomorrow. Getting a good start like in Indianapolis will be important and then I will try and learn as much as possible.”
BRILLIANT BAUTISTA LINES UP SECOND AT BRNO
Team GO & FUN Honda Gresini enjoyed another special day at a circuit full of great memories as Alvaro Bautista qualified on the front row of the grid with the second fastest time at Brno this afternoon. The Spanish rider has continued the good form he started at Laguna Seca before the summer break and after finishing fourth in California and sixth at Indianapolis in the last two races he is confident of another top result on board the Honda RC213V tomorrow. There were contrasting fortunes for Bryan Staring, however, the Australian unable to solve the chatter problems he suffered yesterday.
Alvaro Bautista (2nd 1’ 55” 754) “I am really happy with our performance today. Already this morning I could feel an improvement with the set-up of the bike and we had better grip on the rear. My pace was good on used rubber and then when we put the fresh tyres on in qualifying I was able to take advantage. It was good fun and now I am just hoping to get a good start and run at the front for as long as possible. I felt great on the bike today so hopefully we can have a similar feeling with it tomorrow and keep the pace up when the tyres drop off. I want to thank the team for the great job they have done, as well as Honda, Showa, Nissin and our main sponsor because they have had to wait a while for a moment like this.”
Bryan Staring (24th 2’ 00” 827) “Unfortunately we have only made a very slight improvement compared to yesterday. We are still struggling with the same issues and I am not able to ride the bike as I would like. It is disappointing because I felt I could do much better than this, especially coming to a circuit I already knew.”
Fausto Gresini “It has been a marvellous day and it is one we have been waiting for. I am happy for Alvaro, who did a great job in qualifying and secured a very important front row start. It is a result that confirms the job being done by the team, by Honda and our sponsors GO & FUN who are able to savour this kind of result for the first time with us. Tomorrow will be a long and tough race but it will be the same for everybody and I think we have a good pace with our package and I think Alvaro learnt a few things this afternoon that will help him tomorrow so I am confident.”
Front row start for Marquez in 3rd with Pedrosa in 4th
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez will start tomorrow's Czech Republic GP from 3rd position, his fifth consecutive front row and eighth of the season. Teammate Dani Pedrosa was just 0.005 off Marc and will start from 4th position for the 22 lap race.
As usual, it was a hectic qualifying session and Marc was unable to improve on his second exit with a fresh rear tyre. His time of 1'55.863 recorded on lap three on his first run placing him on the front row. On the other hand Dani, who has been struggling to find the right set up all weekend, was able to find a setting he was happy with and improve with his final flying lap and log a time of 1'55.868 on lap seven.
Marc Marquez 3rd 1'55.863
"I'm not entirely happy because I had the confidence and determination to fight for pole! I could not take advantage of the second tyre because there was a lot of traffic and some riders were waiting for a tow. But it is what it is - one day I will look to follow them, another day it will be the opposite! With regards to the race, I feel confident as I'm comfortable on the bike and have a good foundation and good pace. If the race is dry, then I feel ready to challenge for the win"
Dani Pedrosa 4th 1'55.868
"The sessions were pretty difficult today, because we had trouble finding a setup that I was happy with. In the last minute we were able to improve the setup, coming up with something that is more suited to my riding and which allowed me to ride more comfortably. Still, the times for everyone have been very close throughout the weekend, so we will have to fight hard. The important thing will be holding up physically, getting a good start and having a good race -whatever the conditions"
Challenging Brno Qualifying for Lorenzo and Rossi
Brno (Czech Republic), 24th August 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi delivered fifth and seventh respectively today in qualifying for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of the Czech Republic.
Lorenzo has been on dominant form since the first free practice session yesterday morning and a constant presence in the top two positions as one of the fastest riders on track with a highly competitive race pace. This afternoon however the reigning world champion was unable to replicate that form in the 15 minute qualifying heat with too much spinning on the rear tyre holding him back. Despite a promising last lap with initial red splits the Mallorcan had to settle for fifth on the third row of the grid for tomorrow’s race after being unable to retain the momentum up the hill to the finish line.
Teammate Rossi shared a similar qualifying experience to Lorenzo. Having been quick to get onto a very competitive race pace early in the weekend practice the Italian was unable to make best use of the qualifying tyres in the quick fire session. Excessive tyre spin prevented Rossi from closing on the front row so he will start from the third row in seventh for tomorrow’s race.
5th / 1'55.949 / 7 laps
“I waited for much more because I wanted to improve seven tenths or a second from the pace to make a fast lap but I couldn't take profit from the power of the new tyre. We had so much spinning and we went slow. The pace from all the top riders is quite similar so it’s going to be important to get a good start and try to overtake some riders at the beginning of the race and then we will see how we are.”
7th / 1'56.186 / 7 laps
“At the end I’m not so happy because seventh position is my worst position of the weekend and it was qualifying. I improved my lap time but the other guys were faster. My target was to start in the first five but unfortunately I have to start from seventh on the third row. Anyway, I have a good pace and was always with the front guys in the free practices. Now we have to make some changes to the bike, we have been competitive all weekend so I think and I hope we can be competitive during the race. Yesterday the harder tyre we used was good but today it was no good, maybe because it was ten degrees less, so I think we will use the soft tomorrow.”
“A very tight qualifying but of course not the result we wanted to see. A lack of grip on the rear was causing a lot of issues; it looked to be better in free practice this morning as we did have a very good pace. We will try to make the best package possible for tomorrow and go for it.”
“The qualifying didn't go quite as we wanted, but we have a good package and the race pace is very competitive for both Jorge and Vale. Of course we will continue working tonight to make it even better and then we are ready for the race. Unfortunately the weather forecast is not good for tomorrow so maybe the work we have done so far will have to change direction to give us a good rain set up. Let’s see what we can put together tonight, we will be ready whatever the circumstances.”
UNEXPECTED TOUGH QUALIFYING SESSION FOR BRADL: 8th ON THE GRID OF BRNO GP
Brno, 24 August: as announced yesterday by LCR racer Stefan Bradl (who led the first day of practices), today’s second outing at Brno race track has been extremely tough for the German and his squad. Bradl was warily happy with his good result on day one and he was completely right because he could only get a third row spot (1’56.477) ahead tomorrow’s 22-lap race.
“Definitely it’s a frustrating day for me and the Team. I am not happy with the bike; actually I am missing edge grip and can not carry the corner speed I would like. Our qualifying session was very tough because I was not able to take advantage of a new rear tyre because I was pushing the front too much into the corner trying to make the lap time. As I opened the throttle I could not use the rear tyre because we had too much spinning. I am not able to make a good exit out of the corners and for this reason we are losing too much time. We are working hard to find a solution but, so far, we are struggling to find a good setting”.
Czech Republic GP: Dovizioso ninth, Hayden tenth in Brno qualifying
Following qualifying for the Czech Republic GP, Andrea Dovizioso’s and Nicky Hayden’s positions were the same as yesterday—ninth and tenth, respectively—but the Italian in particular was happier with his performance than he had been at the end of day one.
Conditions were cooler in the Q2 session than they had been on Friday afternoon, with the air temperature measuring 21º C and the track surface registering 30º (70º and 86º F), and Dovizioso’s Desmosedici GP13 gave him a good enough feeling that his final lap put him onto the third row for tomorrow. Hayden, meanwhile, is still unsatisfied with his bike’s setup, and he and his team will try to make a positive step in tomorrow morning's warm-up session to better prepare him for the race.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 9th (1:56.825)
“We knew it would be tough, but it went better than we could’ve expected before today's sessions. I thought it would be difficult to get under 1’57”, but I was able to do it. There was a bit of traffic on the track, so I was waiting to get a free lap, and I managed to do a good time on the last lap. I’m happy because we were able to improve over yesterday, when it was warmer and it was hard for all the Ducati riders. Things went better today, both in the morning and in the afternoon. The weather conditions for tomorrow are somewhat uncertain, but with this temperature we can have a decent pace.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 10th (1:56.979)
“If I’m honest, today hasn’t been as good as we’d wished. We worked extremely hard and tried a lot of stuff to get a better feeling and improve the bike over the bumps and in the turns, but we haven’t been able to make any big steps. Maybe I confused myself a little bit too. It’s certainly frustrating for the gap to be so big, not just to the front, but also to the group ahead of me. In the morning warm-up, we’ll see what kind of a setup we can find for the race.”
POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR PAIR LINE UP TOGETHER ON FIFTH ROW
Aleix Espargaró thirteenth on Brno grid after qualifying crash as Randy De Puniet contends with chatter problems in fifteenth
Cal Crutchlow sounded a warning signal with the quickest time by a comfortable margin in free practice this morning and the British rider backed it up with a pole record lap in qualifying this afternoon at Brno. There was little to separate the top seven riders on the grid however and it promises to be an interesting race here tomorrow, with Alvaro Bautista and Marc Márquez completing the front row.
As close as the lap times were at the front of the grid the battle between the CRTs was equally tight. POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar Aleix Espargaró was forced to contest Q1 on his second bike after a crash just moments earlier in FP4 and even though he pushed hard to finish in the top two and progress to Q2 he finished two tenths of a second short, qualifying thirteenth. The Spaniard heads up a fifth row that also features his team-mate Randy De Puniet, the Frenchman overcoming the traction problems that have dogged the team in recent races but still suffering with front-end chatter that limited his progress.
13th Aleix Espargaró 1.58.378: “We had to spend this morning's session setting up the new engine in our number one bike and it wasn't easy but the mechanics worked against the clock to get things working. The pace is very fast this weekend and we are further away from the official prototypes than usual but that is to be expected at such a long and demanding circuit. We didn't make things any easier for ourselves with a crash in the final free practice this afternoon and even though I wasn't hurt we had to use the second bike for qualifying. I pushed as hard as I could to make it into Q2 but we fell two tenths short. We have work to do to try and be the top CRT tomorrow, just like Indianapolis.”
15th Randy De Puniet 1.58.953: “I am satisfied because we managed to solve the problems we've been having lately with the traction control. We are still lacking grip in some sectors and suffering chatter on the front in a few corners which is costing me some corner speed. The team worked hard and tried some different configurations, which helped us in certain parts of the track but not others so we need to try some more things in warm-up tomorrow.”
Long day for Andrea Iannone
At the end of a challenging qualifying day at the Brno circuit, site of the eleventh round of the MotoGP World Championship, the Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team sat in eleventh place.
During the morning’s FP3 session, which serves as the last chance for riders to bypass Q1, Andrea Iannone was more determined than ever to further lower his best time from yesterday, but with about eight minutes remaining, he lost the front and crashed in turn five. Fortunately, the Italian was uninjured, but he lost out on the chance to transfer directly into Q2, which would have given his painful shoulder a short break.
Following a satisfying final free-practice session, in which Iannone improved his best time by .414 seconds, he began Q1, only to enter turn one too quickly due to cold brakes and run into the gravel. Undaunted, he returned to the track three minutes from the end and jumped to the top of the time sheets, putting him into the final qualifying session.
Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“This morning I tried to push a bit harder, and I can accept the fact that I fell. In Q1, on the other hand, I was honestly a bit stupid, as I didn’t heat the brakes enough on the first lap. When I tried to brake for turn one, I went straight and ended up in the gravel. I tried to slow down as much as possible, but finally I had to lay it down to avoid hitting the air fence. I tried to get going again, but I wasn’t able. Fortunately, I got to the garage in time to go out with the second bike, and I managed to get into Q2. My shoulder still hurts, and it certainly didn’t help that I fell on it again today. Anyway, I improved my time again, and given my current physical condition, I’m pleased with the work we’re doing. I hope I can have a good race tomorrow, because I think it’s possible. As always, a huge thank-you to Ducati and the team, who really help me a lot.”
Hard day adapting for Michele Pirro and Ignite Pramac Racing Team
The search for the feeling with the Desmosedici GP13 continues for Michele Pirro, who is back in the Ignite Pramac Racing Team pits in place of the injured Ben Spies. The Italian is still struggling to find the right bike setup, and he ended the second day of the bwin Grand Prix Ceske Republiky with a spot on the fifth row of tomorrow’s grid.
Although the Italian sat in second place for most of Q1, his time of 1:58.812, which was a little more than six tenths of a second from that of fellow Ducati rider Andrea Iannone, is still far from his and the team’s objectives, and it wasn’t enough to put him into Q2 for this eleventh round of the MotoGP World Championship.
Work continues in the garage in an effort to find an improved setup for tomorrow’s race.
Michele Pirro – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“It didn’t go as expected. I’m still struggling to find the feeling with the front of the bike, and I’m a little bit disappointed. I was hoping to do something better, but as I said yesterday, I only rode this bike once before this weekend, and I have to adapt and get used to it. The bike I usually ride, the ‘lab,’ has a different chassis and behaves differently. I hope I can get a good result tomorrow, and I’ll try to do my best, of course. Tomorrow night I’ll go to Misano for a scheduled test, and then I’ll fly to Silverstone, where I’ll compete again with this bike. It won’t certainly be easy to jump from one to the other, but it’s my job, and I’ll do everything possible to achieve a good result.”
Edwards qualifies as best CRT at Brno
The NGM Mobile Forward Racing team gets to participate in Q2 at the Brno circuit. For the second time this season Colin Edwards qualifies as best CRT this season. The American rider seems to have found the right feeling with his FTR – Kawasaki bike, allowing him to start tomorrow’s race from the 4th row of the grid at Brno in 12th place.
Teammate Claudio Corti will start the race from the 18th position after a series of problems suffered during the afternoon session, making it impossible for him to repeat the morning lap times. After making a series of modifications that did not work out as expected the Italian is now focusing on going over today’s data in order to solve these problems before tomorrows qualifying.
“I am very happy because we have been able to be the best CRT in qualifying for the second time in little less than a week after Indy. This means that we are constantly progressing, the work we are doing is good and that we are on the right track. A special thank to Colin for proving how good of a rider he is and I would also like to thank every single one of our team members for the work done.”
“Honestly when we rolled out yesterday we knew the bike had potential, we just had to play around with it, work with what we more or less found at Laguna and Indy. Today was a couple of tweaks here and couple clicks there and we made the bike work better. I could string 1´58.7s and 1´58.8s together so went out there, put my head down, new tires, did the first lap and honestly thought that I could maybe do 1´58.4s and when I saw 1´58.1 I thought that was pretty quick. Its over half a second quicker than I’ve gone all weekend. My team has been doing an awesome job, we have been understanding this bike better specially in terms of the electronics and its all coming together, being a little patience and we finally got this bike working, I am happy about it.”
“The morning session went really well today but during the afternoon session I struggled a lot, unable to replicate the morning lap times. During FP4 we tried new modifications that did not end up being useful and the change in temperature of the track has probably prevented me from being any faster. I am aware that in turn one is where I lose all my time compared to Colin: I have to find the right line in order to try to improve my lap times. I don’t know if I should be either sad or happy given that if I had been a two point five tenth faster I could have finished in 14th place. We will shave to wait to see what happens tomorrow, they say that it might rain tomorrow. I would like to congratulate Colin for today’s good performance and for taking the team back to parc fermé as best CRT. Lets see what happens tomorrow.”
“After yesterday’s difficulties we are very happy of today’s result. We have improved a lot and we were able to take part for the second time this season in Q2 with Colin. It was a great performance on his part, good lap times, and amazing job and has show a consistency in the progress we have been making in this second half of the season. On the other hand Claudio had several problems during qualifying and was unable to repeat the morning lap times. He could have qualified further up the grid; we will analyze the data and keep working towards being in the best possible conditions for the race. Colin has a good starting grid position and a good pace, we have all our chances to be in the fight for best CRT tomorrow.”
Abraham will start to the home race from twenty-third
Karel Abraham reached only twenty-third position during qualifying practice in Brno Circuit. Therefor he will start to the race from eighth row on the grid. The rider was force to ride under local anesthetics of injured shoulder. The race will start tomorrow at 1 pm.
„It was a true disaster today, even if I got so much of anesthetics I really have to push hard to stay on the bike for fifteen minutes. So I’m very curious how I will be able to stay on the bike during the race. We are struggling little bit with the bike well the front either or rear. We have the warm up and I believe that it will be better. In the evening I’m going to see the doctor again, I will try to rest more and I believe I won’t feel worst. If it had not been home race we would consider to race, but in Brno I want to stay on the grid.“
Marco Grana, chief mechanic of team Cardion AB Motoracing
„It is difficult to want be under twentieth position if Karel is in this condition. We made a lot of changes on the bike to make the bike better and calmer for Karel, but we cannot change the circuit that is extremely tough for acceleration on the exit from the corner. Karel will try the warm up without anesthetics and he will take them for the race. I know that we will do the best. What will be after is the question. I think we will need at least one month to get back to good results.“
ZARCO IN THIRD ROW AT BRNO, PETRUCCI AND PESEK CONFIDENT FOR THE RACE
BRNO, August 24, 2013 - Day of qualifications for the CAME Iodaracing Team in Brno looking to the eleventh race of 2013 season, the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic. With its three riders, the Italian team has been involved in two classes for the composition the starting grid of the Moto2 and MotoGP.
In the "middle class" Johann Zarco has occupied the top positions in the morning free practice. The consistent performance of the French CAME Iodaracing Team rider, however, was not rewarded in the afternoon when in the qualifying session Zarco could not do better than the seventh time, that keep him in the third row of the Moto2 for the race. With his lap time 2.02.704 Zarco is very close to the firsts (in delay of 14 milliseconds from the second row and 0.502 s from poleman Takaaki Nakagami).
In MotoGP, Danilo Petrucci ends the qualifying in Q1 with the 17th fastest time (sixth row), the fifth between the CRT machines with 1.59.057. Petrucci, who had a technical problem in one of his Ioda Suter BMW in the practice session, managed to leave for the official tests, thanks to the timely work of the team that put him able to fight for a good position on the grid. Seventh row, however, for the local rider, Lukas Pesek. The Czech CAME Iodaracing Team rider was able to find a good feeling with his Ioda Suter BMW, getting the 20th fastest time in 2.00.522 and a good feeling for the race on Sunday.
JOHANN ZARCO - MOTO2 RIDER - 7th TIME - THIRD ROW - 2.02.704 "Today was a good saturday. We were among the first in both practice and qualifying sessions and that makes me very positive. In the morning I have collected some very interesting data therefore the chassis is just setted up. The shame is not being able to take the first row. The gaps are minimal and it would be just enough to start a little better. Tomorrow in the warm up I'll just have to choose the front tire, but for the race I am pretty quiet, I have a good pace and I am confident. "
DANILO PETRUCCI - MOTOGP RIDER - 17th TIME - SIXTH ROW - 1.59.057 "Unfortunately we still suffer with the chattering. This problem slows us down and is becoming to be very difficult to solve on this track. We did several tests and found a problem with the new tires, for this reason I was penalized in these qualifications. Physically, compared to the past few days I feel much better, I hope to have a good race tomorrow."
LUKAS PESEK - MOTOGP RIDER - 20 ° TIME - SEVENTH ROW - 2.00.522 "In the qualifying session I made the decision to use only one rear tire and to do not the pit stop. This decision was to test the behavior of the bike for the race tomorrow. I felt good and I was able to gain positions respecting to the practice of these days. My feeling with the bike continues to rise and for the race tomorrow, in front of my home crowd, I'm very confident."
Qualification with snags
Martin Bauer will start from 25th position in the MotoGP Race
Martin Bauer from the Remus Racing Team powered by S&B Motorsport was able to improve his lap times yet again in the free practice on Friday in the MotoGP World Championship, however in the decisive qualifier for the bwin Czech Grand Prix, the Austrian was set back by brake problems on the Suter BMW. Bauer makes his racing debut in the premier class of motorcycle racing tomorrow, Sunday from 25th position.
After the Grand Prix newcomer improved to a lap time of 2:00.721 in the fourth free practice, Martin Bauer wanted to undercut the magical two-minute limit in the final qualifier. The conversion failed due to problems with his front brake. Bauer was listed with a time of 2:01.135 min. and will start the race from 25th position in the ninth row on Sunday at 13.00 on the Brno Circuit.
Martin Bauer: “Naturally, it’s a big disappointment after the improved results in the free practice, especially since practically everyone knows that I can ride faster. But with the brake problems, which hadn’t happened before, I didn’t have the front wheel under control. Just when things were progressing and it depended on that, this happened.
As we only had 15 minutes for qualifying, there wasn’t enough time to change the mechanism, because you can’t remove the carbon brake disc without removing the cylinder, clamp and brake pads as well. Unfortunately, my plan of achieving a 1:59 time and overtaking my competitors didn’t succeed. I’ll try to make it tomorrow.”
Andreas Bronnen, Team Manager: “Qualifying in the dastardly narrow box below the Claiming Rule Teams – we just lacked 0.6 seconds to achieve 20th place – after the previous upward trend means we did not end up with the hoped-for result. The brake problems occurred at the worst possible time. However, it’s had no effect whatsoever on our overall performance so far. We will analyse the cause of the problem, and take appropriate measures so that Martin Bauer can achieve the far-better performance that’s possible with our package in the race.”
Records tumble as Crutchlow claims pole position at Brno
Round 11: Czech Republic MotoGP™ - Qualifying Practice
Brno, Saturday 24 August 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 - Dry. Ambient 19-20°C; Track 22-23°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP - Dry. Ambient 24-24°C; Track 30-34°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow claimed his second pole position of the season after the British rider recorded a new Circuit Best Lap time of 1'55.527 in qualifying at the Czech Republic Grand Prix.
Crutchlow set the pole-winning time on his penultimate lap to finish 0.227 seconds ahead of GO&FUN Gresini Honda’s Alvaro Bautista who qualified in second place. Bautista’s personal best lap time was also under the existing qualifying lap record, the Spaniard narrowly beating compatriot Marc Marquez who will line up on the grid in P3 after the Repsol Honda rider set a qualifying time of 1’55.863. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards was the top CRT qualifier for the second race in a row, the American rider qualifying for QP2 and finishing twelfth overall with a time of 1’58.392. All riders in QP2 set their best lap time on the combination of the softer rear and harder front slicks.
Today’s weather conditions were fine but slightly cooler than yesterday with track temperatures peaking at 34°C. Riders took advantage of the good conditions to perform race simulations in FP4, with both the softer and harder rear slick options tested in the final practice session. Rear tyre choice for the race could be influenced by tomorrow’s weather as some riders may use the harder rear slicks if warmer conditions are present for the race, although the majority of riders seem to favour the softer rear slick at this stage. Front tyre choice for the race is likely to be largely in favour of the hard compound front slick.
Current weather forecasts indicate a chance of rain tomorrow afternoon so there is a possibility of a wet race. The next scheduled MotoGP™ session is Morning Warm Up at 930 local time (GMT +2) with the race set to start at 1300.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“That was a great qualifying session and I am pleased that we have had a new qualifying record set in two consecutive races! We had fine weather again today so there was plenty of time for teams to find a good setup for the race, with some riders trying the harder rear slicks in FP4. Although the harder rear performed well, I think this option will only be considered for the race if track temperatures are higher tomorrow. The softer rear slicks also exhibited strong performance as well as good durability, so if the same cool conditions as today occur tomorrow, I think this option will be widely used for the race. Front tyre choice was similar to yesterday’s practice sessions with the hard compound being preferred by the majority of riders. There is a chance of rain tomorrow and although personally I hope we have a dry race, we are prepared for whatever the weather brings!”