Press releases from the MotoGP teams after qualifying at Misano:
Marquez shatters lap record clinching sixth pole of the season with Pedrosa in 4th
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez has taken his sixth pole position of his MotoGP career with a blistering time of 1'32.915, over half a second faster than second place Lorenzo. With this time he convincingly broke the pole record set by Casey Stoner in 2011 (1'33.138) but it wasn't a totally straight forward session. Marc only had one bike to qualify on after a small crash in turn thirteen in this afternoon's FP4 session and his crew didn't have enough time to fix the damage before the 15 minute Q2.
Teammate Dani Pedrosa also had a difficult day with a small crash in this morning's FP3. However, there was enough time to fix the damaged bike in time for qualifying but Dani, who has had grip issues all weekend, was unable to progress higher that 4th for tomorrow's race with a time of 1'33.726.
Marc Marquez 1st 1'32.915
“I'm very happy with this pole position, as we had a really good hot lap! It's a shame about the small crash that we had in practice this morning - which was completely my fault - but the important thing is that we know where I made the mistake. In qualifying I felt very comfortable every time on fast laps and was able to put in some quick times. We'll see if we can fight with Jorge tomorrow, as he has a very good pace. Valentino will also be tough to beat, because it is his home race and he has been very strong in practice; I'm sure that he will be fast tomorrow as will Dani. The aim is to get a good start, try to ride in the lead group at the front and pick up more World Championship points"
Dani Pedrosa 4th 1'33.726
“We had a bit of luck to take fourth on the grid, because we have been having problems with all the rear tyres that we have used. I don't know exactly what happened, but I didn't have any grip in any of the sessions today. In the final free practice session we changed the tyres twice, then in qualifying we again switched to new rubber, but there was never a good response. We don't know if the problem is with the tyres, with the bike or with the track surface. In the final moments we made another change and suddenly I had some grip again, and it is thanks to this that we were able to take the fourth fastest time -although this position was certainly short of our aims for today. For tomorrow, however, we are confident that we can get a good start and have a good race"
Crutchlow digs deep to claim second row in Misano
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow maintained his excellent qualifying form in 2013 to claim a fantastic fifth position on the grid for tomorrow’s 28-lap Misano MotoGP encounter in San Marino.
For the first time since the new qualifying format was introduced for 2013, Crutchlow found himself having to participate in the opening 15-minute QP1 session. The British rider though comfortably advanced into QP2 with a best lap of 1.34.694.
Still searching for the optimum set-up with his YZR-M1 to allow him to show the potential that has taken to four rostrum finishes and two pole positions in 2013, Crutchlow dug deep to find his best form of the weekend in a record-breaking QP2.
In gloriously sunny and hot conditions at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, which lies just a short distance from the Adriatic coast, Crutchlow shaved another 0.6s off his best pace to claim a place in the middle of the second row for tomorrow’s 13th round of the campaign.
Crutchlow’s brilliant performance this afternoon ensured in 13 qualifying sessions this season he has not yet finished lower than fifth position.
British teammate Bradley Smith also featured in QP1 and he came tantalisingly close to making it through to the second session when a time of 1.34.869 saw him miss out on a top two place by just 0.175s.
The 22-year-old was pushing hard on his final lap to try and join the battle for the top 12 grid positions when he suffered a small front-end crash at Turn 14. He was uninjured in the spill and he will start tomorrow’s race from 13th on the grid, and he remains optimistic that he can fight for a ninth top 10 finish in his rookie season.
Cal Crutchlow 5th 1.34.014 – 9 laps
“It has not been an easy weekend at all and having to go into QP1 for the first time this season was proof of that. So considering how difficult it has been I am really pleased to be starting on the second row of the grid. This afternoon was much better and as I always do, I managed to pull something out of the bag in qualifying. I am always strong in this situation but I really had to be today to get myself out of trouble. We still need to find something else for the race because the gap to the front is pretty big. I am definitely trying my hardest but I have lost some confidence on the bike since the middle of the season and now I have to improve to go faster. One area I definitely need to look at is T3 because I am not fast enough in that sector. I’ll try and get a good start and go with the leading group and I will be doing my best to deliver a positive result for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team.”
Bradley Smith 13th 1.34.869 – 8 laps :Bradley Smith
“Unfortunately today didn’t go according to plan at all and being 13th on the grid is not ideal. I improved my pace from yesterday by over a second but clearly it is not enough. I’ve crashed twice now this weekend by losing the front, so it shows we have a problem and we will have a good look at the data tonight to find some improvements in that area. We made a really good step overnight with the bike for FP3, but this afternoon we didn’t really make any progress. It is going to be a very tough race and if I can get a top 10 finish I will class that as an amazing result."
Double Front Row for Yamaha in Misano Qualifying Battle
Misano Adriatico (Italy), 14th September 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will start tomorrow’s Grand Prix of San Marino side by side on the front row after an intense qualifying battle this afternoon at the Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’.
As usual Lorenzo was the first rider away onto the track and immediately set the pace with a 1’33.824, the fastest lap of the weekend at the time. He went on to immediately improve, shaving a little off to lap in 1’33.797, beating last year’s pole time. With nine minutes remaining he relinquished pole position to rival Marc Marquez and returned to the pits for fresh rubber. With just over six minutes remaining he returned to the track and with his seventh lap brought his time down to a 1’33.428 to secure second place on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
Teammate Rossi was quick to follow Lorenzo out at the beginning of the session but was forced to sit up in the opening lap due to heavy traffic, the Italian having to wait until there were just eight minutes remaining to find suitably clear track to climb from 12th to an impressive third position with a 1’34.025. He then returned to the pits for a fresh rear tyre and was back on track with just over five minutes remaining. The nine-time world champion then delivered a scorching 1’33.659 with two minutes left on the clock to take provisional second place, only to be bettered by teammate Lorenzo soon after and moving to third. Another step on his final flying lap saw the lap time drop even further to a 1’33.573, securing third place and keeping him on the front row for the second time this season.
2nd / 1'33.428 / 8 laps
“I expected to struggle less this weekend and go faster than last year but I couldn’t be faster and I couldn't improve the bike so much. We improved a little but not enough to be closer to Marc. He made an amazing lap. We are struggling to stop the bike in braking and we have more spinning than normal in acceleration, that is why the lap time is not great. I will try to make a good start tomorrow and maybe the best strategy is to follow Marc and see how our performance is during the race.”
3rd / 1'33.573 / 9 laps
“We are satisfied with yesterday and today because we worked very well during the practice, I was always strong and we improved the setting step by step. This afternoon my bike was fantastic; it had a great setting with a lot of grip. With the second tyre I was alone with no traffic and I pushed very much from the first corner with a great feeling with the bike and I improved my lap time a lot. I’m happy because it's very important to start on the front row tomorrow as Marc and Dani are very fast and also Lorenzo is very strong and very fast. Tomorrow I want to arrive on the podium so starting with them from the beginning is important to fight for it. I want a great race and I want to be on the podium!”
“The second day is done in Misano and we qualified second on the front row, which is good for the race. Of course we would have liked to have gone a bit faster; we are still trying to find some solutions for some extra grip. Overall, we are on the front row, which is what matters but for tomorrow’s race we would like to improve a little bit.”
“A really good qualifying session, having both riders on the front row is very important, especially here where it is difficult to overtake. For me we have done a really good job so far. We came here with important new items for the bikes and were able to make good use of them, although we still have some adapting to do. Tomorrow is going to be a really good race, it's going to be a tough one but I think we are ready. Looking at the rhythm both riders have we should be confident.”
BAUTISTA UNABLE TO CONVERT PRACTICE PACE INTO TOP GRID POSITION
After a strong showing during free practice at Misano, Alvaro Bautista was unfortunately unable to convert it to an ideal lap in qualifying and he will start tomorrow's race at Misano from the middle of the third row. It won't be an easy race for the Spaniard, starting from eighth place at a track that doesn't lend itself to overtaking, although Alvaro's race pace is good and his motivation is certainly not lacking. Bryan Staring continued to struggle slightly in the fast sections at Misano but he is also confident of an improved showing tomorrow.
Alvaro Bautista (8th 1’ 34” 230) “I can't say I'm happy because we showed in free practice that we have good potential here but we didn't manage to confirm it in qualifying. I am disappointed because we have done a good job so far this weekend and I expected better. I can take comfort from our race pace and hopefully with a good start tomorrow we can make ground up, even though it won't be easy at a track like Misano where it's not easy to overtake.”
Bryan Staring (23rd 1’ 37” 283) “I'm fairly satisfied. We are still struggling in the fast sections and I can't push the bike how I would like. I am still confident we can improve this situation for tomorrow and have a good race. We'll try our best because we all want the best possible result at the team's home race.”
Fausto Gresini “We have done a good job here over the course of free practice but unfortunately it didn't produce a result in qualifying. It is disappointing because I am sure we were capable of much more today. Anyway, the race is tomorrow even though starting from the third row at a track like Misano where it is not easy to overtake is not ideal. Hopefully Alvaro's confidence in the pace that he has can seem him make progress. Bryan has taken a small step forward today so hopefully he can have a good race tomorrow.”
Fourth row for Andrea Iannone and the Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
Andrea Iannone finished qualifying day at Misano World Circuit with a time of 1:34.519, over two-tenths of a second faster than the best time he registered in the morning warm-up session and good enough for the fourth row of the grid in tomorrow’s race.
The third and final free practice session had proven decisive, as Andrea recorded a time of 1:34.731 just a few minutes from the end, putting him in eighth place and transferring him directly to Q2.
Andrea and the Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team are satisfied with the small changes they made to the Desmosedici GP13 today, and they’re preparing for tomorrow's race.
Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“I'm a little disappointed because I could’ve been faster, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to take advantage of the first tyre. Still, I managed to make a big improvement both on the time I set during the test and session by session, so that’s positive. We did a good job, and I know I have to improve a lot in the first part of the track to drop a few more tenths. I'm fast in almost all the sectors except for T1, which is the goal for tomorrow. We made small changes to the bike that I liked, and I'm pleased. I hope I can continue like this.”
Fourth row for Michele Pirro and the Ignite Pramac Racing Team
Today was a tireless day for Michele Pirro, standing in again for Ben Spies, and the Italian ended up with a row 4 grid place at the Misano Circuit with a time of 1’34.467, just over a tenth of a second from the fastest Ducati rider, Andrea Dovizioso.
A turn 5 crash for Michele about four minutes from the end of the last and decisive free practice session partly compromised the result of this long second day of practice and qualifying, but it was luckily without any serious consequences except for a slight increase in the pain in his shoulder that was injured during the British GP at Silverstone.
Tenacity and new-found confidence, however, allowed the Ignite Pramac Racing Team rider to fight during Q1 with a determined Cal Crutchlow, and to improve on his fastest time clocked during yesterday’s FP2 by more than two-tenths of a second.
Michele Pirro – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“Unfortunately, I had a crash this morning that affected the session and, as a result, qualifying. My time was good at that point and I would have gone straight to Q2. Then I was trying to save my tyres in Q1, but when I saw that Crutchlow had my same time, I went back out again; otherwise, I think I could have done better in Q2. It’s a shame, but I’m confident for tomorrow. My shoulder is bothering me a bit, especially because I aggravated it again this morning, but I know the support of my home fans will help me to forget it.”
Challenging qualifying session for Ducati Team at Misano
Qualifying day at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli proved unsatisfying for the Ducati Team, with Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden posting times that will have them starting tomorrow’s GP di San Marino e Riviera di Rimini from the third and fourth rows, respectively.
Although neither rider was satisfied with his lap time or qualifying position, Dovizioso was relatively pleased with his race pace. Meanwhile, Hayden and his team will use tomorrow’s warm-up session to try to improve the performance of the Desmosedici GP13 over bumps and on changes of direction.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 9th (1:34.338)
“I’m really disappointed with qualifying because I wasn’t able to put together a perfect lap, and starting from the third row will make things difficult. It was important to try to make row two here because the first few corners are challenging, and it’s difficult to overtake riders. We might have the pace to fight for sixth place, which is something we haven’t had in recent races, so that’s fairly positive. It will be a long and difficult race, but we’re in a bit better shape than we have been for the other races.”
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 10th (1:34.362)
“Obviously, things aren’t going as well here as we’d like, as tenth in qualifying is a long way from the top. The actual lap time wasn’t so bad, but nonetheless, the others are far away. We’re struggling a lot over the bumps and with edge grip, especially in the last corner. We’ve got some issues to sort out so we’ll definitely try something in the warm-up to see if we can improve the pace. We know tomorrow’s going to be a hard race, but anyway, we’ll line up and do our best.”
BRADL TO LINE UP IN 7th POSITION AT MISANO GP
Misano, 14 September: second day of action at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli circuit saw LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl placing his RC213V in 7th place (1’34.098) ahead tomorrow’s 28-lap race. Still searching for the optimum set-up with his RC213V, Bradl dedicated the majority of his time on track today to improve his feeling with the front-end. Bradl admits that the adjustments, made since yesterday, helped him a lot but not enough to qualify in the second row.
“Even today it was very difficult for us to challenge the front guys. Honestly I am not confident enough and this front-end issue prevented us in taking the second row. I think that the Team made a very good job because we improved the bike a lot from yesterday and we definitely changed a lot of things in the bike and I could adapt quickly. I am definitely trying my hardest but with this limit I could not push myself beyond the 7th place today”.
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ IN ESTEEMED COMPANY ON MISANO GRID
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar continues excellent form to qualify on second row in sixth, Randy De Puniet sixteenth
Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo resumed their personal battle from Silverstone today as they went head to head for pole position at Misano, where a stunning lap from the championship leader sealed pole position in record time. Valentino Rossi will aim to contend victory with them tomorrow from the front row of the grid in third place with Dani Pedrosa, currently second to Marquez in the standings, starting from fourth.
After being the fastest rider outside the four top factory men yesterday Aleix Espargaró continued his excellent form today, qualifying directly for Q2 in free practice this morning before stepping up a level in the afternoon. The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar man posted his fastest lap of the weekend with just a couple of minutes remaining to vault himself up to fourth place, eventually dropping two positions in the final flurry but still maintaining a position on the second row in sixth, just a second off the pace of Marquez – an achievement in itself considering that Lorenzo was himself half a second adrift. Randy De Puniet's cause was not helped today by having to change engines in his number one bike but the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider is hopeful of a stronger performance tomorrow from sixteenth on the grid.
6th Aleix Espargaró 1.34.028: “Sixth place here is a far better result than fifth at Sachsenring because Jorge and Dani were missing from that one and for a short time today I was actually as high as fourth, so the team told me afterwards. To be sixth fastest when everybody out there is giving it their best shot is great. I had my first front row on a 250 here and I always enjoy riding at this circuit. To be on the second row today, so close to the times of the guys in front of us, is a fantastic feeling. It is not a false position either and I think we can be up there in the race too because we have worked hard on our pace. I'm struggling a little bit with a full tank but if I can hang in for the first few laps I can have a good race and take advantage of this excellent starting position.”
16th Randy De Puniet 1.35.596: “We realised this morning that some of the problems we encountered yesterday were due to the fact that our engine had exceeded its maximum mileage. So we had to switch to the second bike and I found it difficult to adapt, especially to the engine braking, and we ran out of time. The mechanics worked quickly to put a new engine in and then we had to use the afternoon session to play around with the setting again. We improved things in qualifying but then when we put the last new tyre on we encountered chatter. We'll have to work on it in warm-up tomorrow and hopefully improve the situation for the race.”
Edwards second best qualifying CRT at Misano
Qualifying day at Misano World Circuit comes to an end with both NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders managing fantastic fast lap times: Colin Edwards managed a fantastic 1´35.174 today and qualified as second best CRT at Misano. Edwards will start the race from the 14th place on the grid and teammate Claudio Corti will start form the 18th place.
The American and Italian rider seem to still have some trouble with the grip during this second day at Misano but will try to solve it during the warm up in order to be ready for the race. The Italian rider wants to do well at this home race and remains very hopeful for tomorrow knowing that he has a good pace that can allow him to be competitive tomorrow.
“This morning we started off with what we had yesterday and right at the end of FP3 we tried some different rear in the suspension and it worked good. Then we kind of got stuck on a pace and then right there at the end of FP4 we decided to try something else with the swing arm pivot and that made a big difference. It seems like we gained 3 or 4 tenths immediately, and without that little change we would have still be struggling a little bit. Thanks to my team, everybody did an awesome job. I am pretty happy of having been able to do 1´35.1 over here. We keep moving forward and finding little tricks to make this bike go fast.“
“Qualifying was ok considering that we were able to improve a lot the race pace and that allows me to remain confident for the race. I lacked 3 tenths today on my fast lap, that would have been enough for me to qualify in 15th place. Unfortunately I have had grip problems all weekend on the rear tire, not allowing me to exit the corners as I would like to, not letting me open gas earlier. We will work on it tomorrow morning and try to find a bit more grip while turning to be faster. It looks like we might have bad weather conditions tomorrow but lets hope it doesn’t rain. It would be a real shame given the good job that the team has done this weekend on the dry setting of the bike.”
“Today we continues working on the good base that we had from yesterday. Colin has been able to do a fantastic lap time in 1´35.1s, which is an exceptional time for a CRT bike. He will start tomorrow’s race as the second best CRT on the grid. Claudio has made remarkable progress since yesterday, he wasn’t able to replicate Colin’s lap times but he does have a solid race pace for tomorrow. We will have to wait and see what the weather conditions are like tomorrow and try to finish with both riders in the points.”
New lap record set as Marquez dominates Misano qualifying
Round 13: San Marino MotoGP™ - Qualifying Practice
Misano, Saturday 14 September 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 - Dry. Ambient 22-24°C; Track 28-32°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP - Dry. Ambient 25-26°C; Track 39-39°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez resumed the dominant form he showed in yesterday’s practice sessions to smash the qualifying lap record on his way to pole position at Misano.
Marquez set a scorching lap of 1’32.915 to beat the existing lap record by 0.223 seconds and take the first slot on the grid for tomorrow’s race ahead of the Yamaha Factory Racing duo of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi who qualified in second and third place respectively. All of the riders on the front row set their best time on the combination of the softer rear and the harder front slick tyre and the San Marino Grand Prix is the fourth round in a row where a new Circuit Best Lap record was set in qualifying. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro once again used the full potential of the CRT-specific softer rear slick to qualify directly for QP2 and claim sixth position on the grid for tomorrow’s race with a time of 1'34.732 to be the best CRT qualifier.
The weather for today’s practice and qualifying sessions was practically the same as yesterday, with the same peak temperature recording of 39°C being reached during qualifying. The grip level of the circuit did not improve from yesterday and as a result the softer slick options were widely used today, particularly for the rear tyre. Although the softer rear slick was the preferred option, those riders that used the harder rear did report it performed well with only a slight reduction in edge grip compared to the softer rear. Both front slick options were used today with no clear preference emerging in today’s sessions. The harder front slick offers greater stability in the faster sections of the circuit, while the softer front slick offers an advantage in edge grip which helps compensate for the poor grip level of the tarmac.
The MotoGP™ riders will be next on track at 0940 local time (GMT +2) tomorrow morning for the twenty minute Warm Up session before the twenty-eight lap San Marino Grand Prix gets underway at 1400.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Weather conditions were almost exactly the same as yesterday and although the pace was quicker today, the comments from many riders indicate that the condition of the circuit is not as good as recent years, so this makes Marc’s new qualifying record even more impressive. The lack of grip also resulted in just a few riders evaluating the harder rear slick options in FP4, as they preferred the greater edge grip offered by the softer rear slicks. For the front tyres, there is no clear preference among the riders. Some prefer the greater cornering and braking stability of the harder front, while other riders prefer the better edge grip and feel of the softer front slick. It seems that the greatest variable in race tyre strategy among the riders for tomorrow’s race will be the front tyre.”