Press releases from Bridgestone and the MotoGP teams after Saturday's qualifying for the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring:
Marquez takes new pole record as Honda lock out Sachsenring front row
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has recorded his seventh pole of the season for tomorrow’s German GP, with teammate Dani Pedrosa in second and local boy Stefan Bradl completing the front row aboard his satellite LCR Honda.
After a tricky FP4 session where rain was a constant threat, the sun was shining for Q2. Marc’s first exit was spoiled by a tyre issue but on his second run there was no stopping him. He set a time of 1’21.126 on lap seven, taking provisional pole, and then on lap nine he set a blisteringly fast time of 1’20.937, snatching Casey Stoner’s pole record from 2008 (1’21.067). Marc has qualified on the front row at the last twenty-one races, and this is his sixteenth MotoGP career pole (in just 27 races) signifying a 59.2% pole ratio in the premier class.
Teammate Dani was also in superb form, setting a time of ￼1’21.233 on his first run. However, he found himself in the gravel after a small mistake in turn one on his second run and was unable to return to the pits and get back out on track in time. His time remained second fastest and he will start from the front row for the sixth time this season.
1st - 1'20.937
"The weekend has been affected by the crash I suffered yesterday, but I kept my nerve and little by little we’ve been getting better. I felt good yesterday afternoon and I was much better this morning. In the few laps I did in FP4, I could see that we had a good pace and a chance to fight for pole position. With the first tyre I didn’t feel entirely comfortable, but with the second one I had a good feeling and could see that there was good grip - so I decided to push a little more and put in a strong lap. Starting from the front is important for the race tomorrow, because this is a circuit where it is difficult to overtake. We will try and keep up the pace from practice, which I think has been good”
2nd - 1'21.233
"It was a good qualifying session and we had a good pace, despite the crash which was my fault when I think I hit a bump under braking but luckily I'm fine. I’m very grateful to my mechanics for the work they did yesterday to get the bike back running again after my crash in FP2. Tomorrow we will try to do our best, position ourselves well from the start, make a good tyre choice and hope the weather is kind to us! Our setup is definitely good, so I hope to have a good race”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Secure Second Row Start at Sachsenring
Sachsenring (Germany), 12th July 2014
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will start tomorrow’s Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland from the second row of the grid having taken fifth and sixth respectively in today’s qualifying session.
Both riders had a good start to the sunny 15-minute qualifying heat, Lorenzo initially taking second and Rossi taking fifth place with their first flying laps. The M1-riders had multiple hot runs to determine their starting position, improving their times by more than 0.3 of a second from this morning’s free practice. Both then unfortunately suffered from a lack of grip with their second qualifying tyres, restricting their ability to make a further attack towards the end of qualifying.
Lorenzo had a late start to the qualification session in order to get a flying lap in without any traffic. With eleven minutes to go the Spaniard showed his consistency as he rode a sequence of laps into the 1.21’s and clocked a 1’21.526. With six minutes left of the session he came in for a fresh set of tyres to have another go at putting his name at the top of the leading board. Two minutes later he was back on track and able to improve on his time by 0.350 of a second, delivering a session best of 1’21.508 to finish in fifth place.
Teammate Rossi had the opposite approach to the qualifying session. The Italian was one of the first riders to get out on track, but soon returned to the pits after two laps. With eleven minutes remaining he was back on his way and immediately shot up to fifth in the standings with a hot lap of 1’26.651 seconds. With five minutes remaining Rossi had another return to the pit box, before quickly heading out for another hot run. The Doctor wasn’t able to improve on his time during his third stint, and will start tomorrow’s race next to his teammate in sixth place on the grid.
99 Jorge Lorenzo
5th / 1'21.508 / 10 laps
“Fifth is definitely not what we expected from today's qualifying session, especially because we have a good pace and because we’ve always been in the top three during the weekend. In the qualifying we couldn’t take profit from the new tyres and the second tyre didn't have the same traction, I don't know why, it was spinning a lot and felt like a different tyre. The maximum we could do would have been third or fourth at this track. It’s going to be a very long race, the first lap will be important because it's difficult to overtake here but we will try to get another podium. We are not so bad in pace so let's see if we can stay with the front guys.”
46 Valentino Rossi
6th / 1'21.651 / 10 laps
“Fortunately I did quite a good lap with the first tyre. Usually you can go faster with the second tyre by two or three tenths, but there was something wrong with the second one. It didn’t have any grip and it was also very difficult to get the bike back to the box. There was something wrong, so unfortunately I couldn’t push. I’m on the second row and the second row is the limit for a good race. Today we worked well on the bike, we’re not so bad, but for tomorrow it will be hard. Our competitors are very fast so we have to improve."
“So far we’ve done a good job with both riders starting from the second row. Unfortunately we weren’t able to improve on the lap time in qualifying with the second tyre as for some reason the grip provided by it was not at the same level as the first, making it almost impossible for the riders to improve. It’s going to be a long race and both riders have a good pace so we are confident they can make a strong challenge from the second row. Tomorrow’s warm up will be important as we will try something different with the set up based on the data to try and make another step.”
Tough German GP qualifying session for Ducati Team at Sachsenring
Today the Ducati Team faced up to a difficult qualifying session at the Sachsenring circuit in Germany, where the ninth round of the MotoGP World Championship will be taking place tomorrow.
Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow first had to tackle the Q1 session after failing to get through directly into the Top 10 following the three combined free practice runs. After setting two excellent split times on his fast lap, Crutchlow was pushing hard when he lost the front of his GP14 at the notorious Turn 11, a fast downhill right-hander, but he emerged unscathed from the crash. Cal was unable to conclude the session and he will start from fifteenth place on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
Dovizioso on the other hand managed to get through Q1 with second-quickest time, but then in Q2 he never found the right feeling with his Desmosedici and had to settle for eleventh place, which means the Italian will start from row 4.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 11th (1’22.120)
“It was a bit of a strange qualifying session for us, because I also had to do Q1. For me it was difficult to set a good time and I was unable to get the best out of the bike. I didn’t have the right feeling to be able to do a perfect lap on my own. It’s a pity about my grid position, because on this track it’s important to start close to the front. As for race pace, we’re actually not that bad but it will be important to make up some positions at the start because the track is very narrow and it becomes difficult to pass.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 15th (1’22.529)
“It was obviously a tough day, and I’m disappointed with how the qualifying went. I was doing a good lap and it looked like we were going through to Q2 but unfortunately I crashed at Turn 11 and didn’t make it. We always knew the risk with our setting, but I never had enough heat in the front tyre because we were going too slow the previous lap with other riders on the line. For the race I think we can be in a better position than what we are, but it seems that all the Ducati riders are struggling on this track, so as a team we look to progress in tomorrow morning’s warm-up.”
SPECTACULAR FRONT ROW FOR BRADL IN FRONT OF HIS HOME CROWD
Sachsenring, 12 July: the home fans were very excited today with local hero Stefan Bradl qualifying on front row ahead tomorrow’s 30-lap race at Sachsenring circuit. The German displayed good form since yesterday’s first outing at the 3.671Km racetrack increasing his confidence session by session and culminating with an excellent 3rd position (1’21.340) behind Pedrosa and Marquez. This front row gives Bradl an extra advantage as the German circuit is very tight and overtaking maneuvers are pretty difficult.
Stefan: “It’s simply fantastic for me to get the front row in front of my home crowd. I could see my fans waving and clapping their hands when I was on track and this is an incredible feeling. I think we have done a good job so far especially this morning when we have found further improvements and it’s easier for me to turn the bike now. Tomorrow, depending on the weather, it will be very important to choose the right front tyre because this track is very demanding for the front rubber. Actually the pressure is high now because everybody is expecting me to climb the podium but I keep my feet on the ground because it’s important to score points”.
Seventh place for Iannone
Another positive day for Andrea Iannone at the Sachsenring circuit, in which the young Pramac Racing rider one again is the first of the Ducati. His teammate Yonny Hernandez for a split of a second doesn't get access to qualifying two. The whole team is doing its best to find the right set-up for the bike, in a circuit that seems to not help the Desmosedici.
The morning starts with an exciting free practice session, where Andrea Iannone, manages to improve constantly, but not enough to get into the top ten. The tension inside the garage goes up till a minute to the end, when the young rider finally is able to get access QP2. Andrea in the second qualifying session proves once again his talent by gaining the seventh starting position for tomorrow's race and finishing the day with his best time in 1'21.679.
Yonny Hernandez successfully finishes the third free practice session. It is a good day for the Colombian rider that manages to pull out all his talent, during the last lap of the session unluckily he is excluded from the top-ten for just two-tenths of a second. Even more intense of the FP3, was the first qualifying session in which the EnergyT.I. rider initially managed to get the first position. Yonny’s team takes on the fifteen minutes of qualifying with there teeth clenched, but once again on the last lap, this time, for only 7 thousandths of a second he loses access to QP2. Yonny Hernandez in tomorrow's race will start from the thirteenth position, gained with a time of 1'22 .411.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing)
"I am very glad I was able to get the seventh position, since the beginning of the weekend that they are the first Ducati, but the result that counts is tomorrow’s. This is one of the hardest tracks we faced and it is very difficult to keep a small gap from the first, even if the track is so short. The team is working well, the weekend is going in the right direction and I honestly did not expect to be able to do a similar time, so I'm very happy with what we managed to do! "
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing)
"For a hair i could have accessed to QP2, in spite of this I am very happy with how it today. Lap after lap I was able to improve more and more. I was able to race in lap times not too distant from the official Ducati bikes. Tomorrow I hope to do well in the race, I really enjoy this circuit although it is not at all simple. "
DIFFICULT QUALIFYING DELIVERS FOURTH ROW FOR BAUTISTA. REDDING NARROWLY MISSES Q2
The German Grand Prix will start uphill for Alvaro Bautista and the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: the Spaniard qualified today in tenth position during the qualifying session at the Sachsenring circuit and therefore tomorrow he will line up his bike on the fourth row of the grid. A starting position certainly not easy on a twisty track where it’s essential to stay close with the other riders in the early laps of the race.
The major difficulties of Bautista, whose best lap has been 1’21”906, emerged with the new tyres: aboard his Honda RC213V machine, in fact, Alvaro failed to exploit the potential grip offered by the new tyres and consequently was stuck behind in tenth place. However, the Spaniard showed a good race pace during the fourth and final free practice session, so the team is confident ahead of the scheduled 30-lap race.
Aboard the Honda RCV1000R, Scott Redding missed his very first entry into the Qualifying 2 for just 32 thousandths of a second: in Qualifying 1 the English rookie signed a good 1’22”436, which though was not enough to get into the decisive session that establishes the first 12 grid positions and tomorrow he will start from 14th place.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (10th - 1'21"906)
“Today we worked a lot to find some more rear grip, because yesterday we have been struggling a lot with that; this morning we found something which helped me to be more comfortable and during FP4 we wanted to try another setting in order to improve further, but unfortunately we couldn’t do it due to the bad weather. In Qualifying we continue to struggle when we put the new tyre: I don’t know why, but I have exactly the same feeling when I use either the new or the used tyre. This is not a good sign, obviously. However, in FP4 with used tyres I managed to keep a good pace, so I remain confident for tomorrow’s race, but when you start from the back it’s always difficult to stay with the front group. Anyway, we have to work to improve our performance with the new tyres, because if we have a good rhythm but we can’t start from the front of the grid, it’s quite difficult to make a good result”.
SCOTT REDDING (14th - 1'22"436)
“Today we had a good opportunity to go to the Qualifying 2, but at the beginning of Qualifying 1 I made a wrong decision with the front tyre: I went out with the soft front tyre and I felt a lot of movement, so I came back to the pits to go out with the harder one, which was better, and doing so I lost some precious time in the beginning. Moreover, if we check my ideal time, my best lap time would have been three tenths faster: in my best lap I lost most of the time in the first sector. Tomorrow it’s going to be a long and demanding race, we have to see what happens: we will use the rear soft tyre; regarding the front tyre, it will depend on the weather conditions”.
“I’m half happy and half disappointed about the result of this Qualifying day: on the one hand, once again Bautista struggled to exploit the potential of the new tyres, and as a result he will start from the fourth row of the grid. It won’t be easy, it’s clear, although it must be said that Alvaro can count on a good race pace. On the other hand, Redding did a great job, posting very interesting lap times. Too bad that he just missed the Qualifying 2 for a few thousandths of a second: it would have been the first time for him. In any case, the important thing is that Scott is putting in a lot of determination and commitment”.
A well deserved 4th place for Espargaro at Sachsenring
Tomorrow the NGM Forward Racing rider Aleix Espargaro will take the start of the German GP from the first spot of the second row. The Spaniard set a very good lap time of 1’21.376, missing the front row for just 0.036 and one tenth from Dani Pedrosa, second behind pole man Marc Marquez.
In a day, complicated by the changeable weather conditions, Espargaro rode with a very good pace, using both soft and hard tyre but he hasn’t decided yet which tyre he will use for the race. He will take this decision tomorrow according to the temperature and the weather conditions, as this will be a key element for the race.
Team mate Colin Edwards continued to work on the bike set up. At the end of the afternoon session he was able to improve a bit the feeling with front and he is confident that he can make soon another step forward. Colin finished 19th, setting a lap time of 1’22.888 and tomorrow he will take the start from the 7th row.
“Today we continued to work on the bike set up, playing with the front spring and at the end of the session we could improve a bit the feeling with the front. We understand what we have been struggling for this season and I look forward to make another step forward”.
“It’s a pity that we miss the front row for just 0.036, but in the second run I lot some time in the first corner, compromising a “perfect lap”. Anyway I’m 1 tenth from Dani Pedrosa and I’m confident for the race as we have a good pace. The race will be long (30 laps) so the choice of the tyres will be crucial. I haven’t decided yet, today in fact we used both soft and hard tyre with a good feeling. Tomorrow we will try to maintain the contact with the front guys and fighting for the best possible result. After a 6th place in Barcelona and a 4th place in Assen, I aim at finishing in the top 5”.
Optimism high after eventful Q2 for Tech3
Pol Espargaro today accomplished a successful qualifying campaign to clinch 8th position on the grid for tomorrow’s 30-lap eni Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland at the famous Sachsenring circuit. The young Spanish rider began the day by running competitively in the morning session and consistently improving his lap times until an unfortunate fall at the rapid turn 11 close to the end of the practice. However his lap of 1’22.101 was strong enough to seal 8th place in the combined standings which saw him progress through to Q2. The unpredictable weather this week in Saxony struck again as rain fell just before FP4, yet the sun shone through for the dry qualifying session. During the 15 minute shootout, the premier class rookie battled onwards to produce a best lap time of 1’21.771, which was merely four tenths of a second from the front row and leaves the reigning Moto2 World Champion confident of challenging some of the Factory MotoGP riders tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Bradley Smith produced a spirited display today to seize 9th position on the grid, which will see him contest the race from the third row. The British rider bounced back impeccably from a fall in FP3 to set a best lap time of 1’22,001, seizing 5th and promoting him straight through to Q2. He continued to stride forward to set a best time of 1’21.794 before an unlucky late fall, preventing him from ascending any higher up the grid. Nevertheless, the lap by the 23 year old British star was only 0.3 behind the fastest Yamaha Factory rider and Smith remains primed for what will be a closely fought grand prix tomorrow where he confidently intends to finish with a top tier result at round 9 of the 2014 MotoGP world championship.
Position : 8th Time : 1'21.771 Laps : 9
"Of course 8th is not where we wanted to finish but I think we were close to our maximum with this performance, I was just two tenths away from the fastest Factory Yamaha which shows how tricky things are. Plus I had a big fall this morning where I made a mistake in turn ten and then lost the front of the bike in the following corner, but luckily no injuries were caused. Aside from this, I am happy because we improved the braking stability from yesterday and this is where we gain a lot of time, however there is still some work to be done to make the acceleration better as this is where we are struggling at the moment. For sure tomorrow will be a challenging race due to the narrow, twisting nature of the circuit so a strong start is vital to success here and I would be really happy if we scored a top six finish."
Position : 9th Time : 1'21.794 Laps : 6
"Today was another eventful day and in all honesty, I’m a little frustrated as we had the potential to easily qualify on the second row. I had a fall this morning which could have been much worse, but I managed to save it as best as I could. However during the incident, the foot peg went into the front of my leg and I needed stiches, so of course this was a far from perfect start. Still, I did my best and this afternoon the Yamaha felt really good. Unfortunately, I pushed a little bit too hard too early on turn 3 and 4 where we have been fast all weekend but the limit was reached that time. It’s a pity especially as the start is really important at this narrow track. Now I need to get a good rest to be in the best possible condition and I still remain confident that we will be able to fight for a strong result tomorrow afternoon."
Nicky Hayden best in Q1, eventually qualifying twelfth
DRIVE M7 Aspar rider rounds out fourth row, 1.7 seconds off pole time. Teammate Hiroshi Aoyama will start from sixteenth
Qualifying for the German GP took place today at the Sachsenring, with the Q1 session in particular providing plenty of excitement. Rain at the end of the Moto3 session meant that the track would be slightly dirty, but the MotoGP riders pushed very hard this afternoon. The man of the day was undoubtedly Marc Márquez, who took a seventh pole position from a possible nine this season. He will do so ahead of teammate Dani Pedrosa and home rider Stefan Bradl, after setting a new pole record of 1:21.067 –beating Casey Stoner’s time from 2008.
Argentina and Jerez were previously where DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Nicky Hayden had managed to go through to the second qualifying session. Today he did it again in Germany, brilliantly leading Q1. It was one of the tightest qualifying sessions of the year, in which the four fastest men were separated by less than a tenth of a second. Hayden had already anticipated before the trip to the Sachsenring that the circuit would be well suited to the characteristics of his Honda, and also predicted that the situation for most riders would be even. That proved to be the case, as the American placed just 1.7 seconds off the pole position time in Q2 and rounded out the fourth row of the grid.
Two rows behind will be Hiroshi Aoyama, who finished sixteenth and heads row six. The Japanese DRIVE M7 Aspar rider was very combative at the start of the first qualifying session, placing very close to the top. But at the end he made a slight mistake which deprived him of accompanying Hayden in Q2. He was pleased with his progress today, and is confident of a positive result at the German GP.
12th Nicky Hayden 1.22.647: "Our main goal today was to qualify for Q2. It is clear that once you get through to that, you are in another league and you have to keep pushing even harder. I'm happy because our times were quite positive, we rode faster than we had during the rest of the weekend, but everyone else also lowered their times. It would have been interesting to have an extra tyre to try to improve our best time a little more still. Nevertheless, I am satisfied; today we have had our best qualifying session for a long time. I want to thank the team for their work this weekend; we have taken a step forward. It’s nothing massive, but the competition is so fierce in this class that any significant development is very small. Now we have to continue to concentrate and try to keep it up for the race. We know it will be hard, but we will try to have as much fun as possible."
16th Hiroshi Aoyama 1.22.659: "Before qualifying the conditions were critical, because it rained at the end of Moto3. Looking at the state of the asphalt we decided to use the soft front tyre, and I think we made the right decision because I felt more comfortable than during the practice sessions. This allowed me to ride three tenths faster than before. At the end of the session I tried to push a little to get into the top places, but I made a small mistake on the last corner. Finally we qualified in sixteenth position, which is not a bad result considering that today we found some improvements. I hope the improvements allow us to be more consistent during the race tomorrow. At this circuit the differences to other riders are minimal, so it gives us more chance of achieving a good result."
After qualifying Abraham holds seventeenth position
The Czech rider Karel Abraham finishes on seventeenth position in qualifying at German circuit in Sachsenring. Thus he will start to the race from sixth row. After showers in the morning, the weather got better and riders finally could complete qualifying under ideal weather condition. The Czech team wanted to reach better result on favorite track, but due to series of unfortunate coincidences could not reach it.
"I'm quite upset right now. Qualifying started quite well, since first lap it was ok, I made good time. Then we have changed tyres and we had time for two or three fast laps. Unfortunately during the first fast lap, Crutchlow crashed behind me and it put me off balance and concentration at that moment is away. In last lap I let go behind me Hayden, I was behind him approximately one hundred meters to be able to move over. He was not keeping the line and he blocked me and he ruined my lap. I didn’t make another, because the qualifying has finished a few seconds behind me. I get it, that something like that can happen in free practice, however not in qualifying where is not so much time, it is unforgivable. I could improve at least one tenth, today we could reach more. I'm angry a lot today."
Marco Grana, Cardion AB chief mechanic
„Today was very difficult day. Especially the weather conditions were very tricky. During all sessions we had three different situations so setting up the bike wasn´t that easy. We continued in playing with the front tyre, but now we know what to do for the race. In the qualifying we made a very nice lap time immediately in the first exit. Than we changed the tyres and wanted to improve the lap time again. Unfortunately Hayden wasn´t in the line and spoiled the whole lap. We will fight with the best OPEN Honda tomorrow, which is Hayden. We will see.“
Marquez sets new Sachsenring lap record in German Grand Prix qualifying
Round 9: German Grand Prix - Qualifying
Sachsenring, Saturday July 12 2014
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 - Dry. Ambient 15-16°C; Track 27-29°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP - Dry. Ambient 16-17°C; Track 25-31°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez set the quickest ever lap time at Sachsenring in qualifying for the German Grand Prix, the reigning MotoGP™ World Champion setting a time of 1’20.937 to head an all-Honda front row for tomorrow’s race.
Riding high on confidence after topping the earlier Free Practice 4 session, Marquez’s record-breaking effort came on his penultimate lap in Qualifying Practice 2 and saw him beat teammate Dani Pedrosa to pole position by 0.296 seconds. Hometown hero Stefan Bradl brought smiles to the scores of German fans at Sachsenring by finishing third quickest on his LCR Honda RC213V with a best time of 1’21.340. All the riders on the front row used the combination of the medium compound slicks front and rear for their time attack in QP2.
Weather conditions today were slightly cooler than yesterday, and a light rain shower at the start of FP4 prevented some riders going out on track until the second half of the session, although both qualifying sessions were completely dry. The peak track temperature recorded today was 31°C; 13°C cooler than yesterday’s high. The cooler track temperatures resulted in the riders preferring the soft and medium compound options for both the front and rear tyre today. Any of the three front slick options could appear on the grid for the race depending on the temperature tomorrow, with cooler temperatures likely to see the race choice steer towards the soft and medium options. The consensus from riders on their preferred rear tyre choice is the soft compound for the Ducati and Open-class riders and the medium compound for the Factory-class Honda and Yamaha riders.
Tomorrow’s weather forecast is for slightly warmer temperatures with a slight chance of rain in the afternoon. The thirty-lap German Grand Prix commences at 1400 local time (GMT+1) but before then the MotoGP™ riders will be out on track for the morning Warm Up session at 0940.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“We had a little disruption today with the rain shower at the start of FP4, but overall it was a productive day as the riders were able to work on their setup and tyre choice for the race. Depending on the weather conditions tomorrow, any of our three front slick compounds could be used for the race, but if the weather forecast is correct and it is warmer tomorrow I expect the medium and hard compound front slicks to be the popular race choices. Rear tyre choice is more straightforward with almost every rider preferring their softer rear slick option, particularly as the cool track temperatures today meant that riders didn’t have a chance to evaluate the harder option rear slicks. I was pleased to see Marquez beat the six-year-old lap record which was set by Casey on qualifying tyres, as it shows the excellent performance of our 2014 specification tyres at this challenging circuit.”