Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after the first day of practice on a soaking wet Misano:
Rain Sets the Pace as Misano MotoGP Begins
Misano Adriatico (Italy), 12th September 2014
There was little fun to be had today by the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders in the first two practice sessions for Sunday’s 'Grand Prix di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini' at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Persistant rain throughout the day meant both Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi had their wet riding skills tested to the max on the treacherously slippery track.
Lorenzo started slowly, finding his confidence in the wet and was able to make a big improvement over the two sessions, taking nearly four seconds off his time by the end of Free Practice 2 to finish in eighth in the combined standings.
The morning practice saw Rossi as one of the many GP riders to have their session interrupted by a fall. Luckily the Italian was unhurt and ready to continue. Like his teammate Lorenzo, Rossi was able to make a big improvement in the afternoon wet session, taking just over two and a half seconds off his lap time to finish in tenth overall.
Despite all the work in the wet the weather is now forecast to be dry with sunshine for the remainder of the weekend, meaning the team will start again from the beginning in the third practice tomorrow in the hunt for the best dry set up for the track.
99 Jorge Lorenzo
8th / 1'51.541 / 15 laps
“At least we didn't crash because today almost everyone did. We have been one of the few lucky ones. The pace has been very difficult to find. I needed a lot of laps to get onto a good rhythm. The tyres didn’t give me so much confidence, that is one of the reasons, but the other is me. I needed more time than the others to build my confidence but I found it in the end to get eighth position. Obviously we need to improve the bike in the rain as our competitors are faster but I also need to improve my riding.”
46 Valentino Rossi
10th / 1'51.738 / 17 laps
“Today was a difficult day for everybody, especially in the morning. Unfortunately we had to go on the track with a hard option tyre. It was very dangerous and very difficult, especially because the grip of the track was very low and the asphalt is a bit damaged so there were a lot of crashes. This afternoon it was coming better with a softer tyre and the feeling with the bike improved a lot. Personally speaking we are still not fast enough. We tried some different settings for the rear part of the bike mainly but I don't have enough feeling and I don't have enough grip in the corner entry, so we have to work and we have to improve.”
“We’ve experienced very difficult conditions today in the wet looking for the best set up for both Vale and Jorge. It looks like we have a lot of work tonight for tomorrow but as we have already done in the last GPs, we will work hard and be ready. We are positive, the weather forecast for the weekend is getting better and better so we expect dry conditions from tomorrow morning and a dry race.”
San Marino provides first full wet day of 2014 season
For the first time this season, the MotoGP riders have endured a fully wet day on track in both FP1 and FP2 at a very greasy Misano circuit.
With nine riders falling in the FP1 session, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa showed caution as they took to the rain drenched track aboard their Honda RC213V machines. Marc completed only seven laps and finished second fastest with a time of 1’52.003 (lap six) with Dani recording just six laps and finishing 10th with his time of 1’54.450 on lap five.
The rain persisted into the afternoon session and due to the poor grip level of the Misano tarmac in the wet conditions, Bridgestone made more soft compound wet tyres available to the riders. Dani improved by over four seconds from FP1 and finished second fastest with his time of 1’50.356 recorded on his final lap of twelve, placing him third for the day in the combined times. Marc improved by 1.484s and ended FP2 in third place with 1’50.519 on lap six of seven, placing him fourth for the day.
3rd - 1'50.356
“Today we were only able to put in a few laps because the track was so slippery. The tyres didn't have any grip in the morning and we had to change from the intermediate to the soft compound - and even then the problem wasn't resolved. Tomorrow we will see if we have dry conditions and can get more grip, but I'm sure that this will also be difficult."
4th - 1'50.519
"Today was a strange day, as it looks like the rest of the weekend will be totally different; there is a chance of some rain tomorrow afternoon, but the race is forecast to be dry on Sunday. So today was a day for doing our homework and only staying out for as long as strictly necessary, because it was very risky and you have to avoid these kinds of situations, at least in my case. I felt good putting in only five or six laps in each run, and as I felt confident I decided not to do much more than that."
Dovizioso shows great form on first day of free practice for TIM San Marino and Rimini Riviera GP with fastest time in the wet. Crutchlow eleventh
Andrea Dovizioso produced a great run in today’s free practice sessions at the Misano World Circuit, where the TIM San Marino and Rimini Riviera GP, round 13 of the MotoGP World Championship, is being held. The Italian rider powered his Desmosedici GP14 to the top of the overnight leaderboard after the first two free practice sessions. Despite a crash on his out-lap in the afternoon session, Dovi then went on to set the quickest time of the day – 1’49.195 – in conditions made more difficult by heavy rain.
Due to a technical problem in the second session, for the moment his team-mate Cal Crutchlow remains outside the top 10 in the standings.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1st (1’49.195)
“Of course I am very happy because it’s always a pleasure to set the quickest time! It was a pity about the crash at the start of this afternoon’s session, but we did manage to understand the reason why and then thanks to the modifications we made for the final run, we made a big step forward and this allowed me to regain feeling in the bike and set the fastest time at the end of the session. We have good pace, also in the wet, and I think that we will manage to be quite quick in the dry, seeing as we did a test here less than one month ago.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 11th (1’51.757)
“We had some technical problems in the afternoon session, so I am disappointed with the position. I’m sure that our potential is obviously a lot better than what we’ve shown so far, and that’s a positive from today, because I felt quite comfortable and confident in the rain conditions. I used the harder front tyre in the morning and crashed: it was a strange session, and the track is obviously really slick in the rain but I’m fine with no injury.”
Espargaro dodges rain to be quickest Yamaha on day one at Misano
Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Pol Espargaro began the opening day of action at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in superb form, storming to 6th position despite the treacherous conditions caused by a continuous downpour of rain throughout the day. The young Spanish rider started the first session positively but fell midway through, however he remained resolute and after running on foot back to the pits, he recommenced his practice campaign before finishing in 8th. In the afternoon, the reigning Moto2 World Champion set a best lap of 1’50.761 having valiantly battled through the unchanged slippery conditions. This time was the fastest of all of the Yamaha MotoGP bikes as well as remarkably being only four tenths of a second from third place in what was an impressive performance for the premier class rookie. In addition, the 23 year old Spaniard posted the quickest sector time in T2 as he now optimistically looks towards tomorrow’s qualifying session where a position on the first two rows is the aim.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage, Bradley Smith endured a tricky start to round 13 at the 4226 meter Misano circuit as he gallantly battled through the relentless rain. The 23 year old rider initially began the morning practice optimistically but lucklessly fell on his first lap and then took the decision to sit out the remainder of the session. Yet, the British star intended to bounce back strongly this afternoon and he worked with his team to tirelessly rebuild the Yamaha YZR-M1 as fast as possible to compete on the Misano track. As the FP2 session progressed, Smith posted a series of competitive lap times which positioned him inside the top ten as he consistently improved, yet a crash near the end of the practice prevented his run from proceeding any further and left him in 18th position in the combined standings. Despite this unfortunate end, the British rider remains confident and will now refocus on the qualifying tomorrow where he will determinedly intend to assert himself right behind the factory MotoGP bikes.
Position : 6th Time : 1’50.761 Laps : 27
"Overall I have to say that I'm satisfied with our result today, even if the weather conditions were far from ideal. The track was really slippery this morning and with the hard Bridgestone wet tyre compound it would wasn’t difficult to crash out. However, the softer option we got for this afternoon improved the situation significantly. Finally we had some grip and I felt comfortable on the bike, which is crucial in these conditions. Yet, the standing water on the track still made it difficult to ride and I believe the surface of the circuit is a bit risky in wet conditions, which was illustrated by the numerous crashes today. In any case I am convinced that we learnt more than what we would have done during another dry session and I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend with the hope that the conditions will improve tomorrow."
Position : 18th Time : 1’53.329 Laps : 15
"The track conditions were very tricky today with the rain falling, but firstly I want to say sorry to the team for the two crashes I had. However, with these conditions it is very easy to make a mistake and the slightest error can cost you a lot. Both of mine were quite comparable as I fell during the braking in the straight. They were strange crashes and there was not a lot I could do to control them as it was not about being too quick or carrying too much angle, nor opening the throttle too soon. Moreover, it was the straight braking that caught me out which is usually ok on these bikes. Before I fell, the times I was producing were quite competitive plus, had I not lost the last five laps we could have certainly improved more and been inside the top ten. Yet, despite today’s tough start I am looking forward to tomorrow where we will come back stronger, hopefully with some better weather"
POSITIVE FIRST OUTING FOR BRADL AT WET MISANO
Misano, 12 September: the San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix commenced today in wet conditions with many riders crashing out of the 4.226m soaked race track. But the LCR racer Stefan Bradl, who is a fan of the twisting Adriatic Coast circuit, qualified 4th in the morning first free session and 7th in the afternoon practice (1’50.848).
Stefan: “We started the weekend in very bad conditions because it rained a lot and the surface was really slippery. We saw many crashes in all classes, which is very unusual. For us it was not that bad because I found my pace in the wet in both sessions making only few laps and this is good. This means that we quickly adapted to the tricky conditions but tomorrow it’s going to be different if the weather is sunny, then we must restart from zero”.
Wet start for the NGM Forward Racing Team
The first day of the San Marino and the Riviera of Rimini Grand Prix was characterized by the bad weather with both free practice sessions on the wet.
Sixth in the FP1 and 12th in the combined free practice times, the Spanish Espargaro worked on the wet set up of the machine. Despite two crashes, fortunately without consequences, Aleix could improve his feeling and is confident for the race weekend.
It was a hard day of work also for his team mate Alex De Angelis who finished 11th in the morning session. A crash without consequences in the FP2 prevented him to improve his lap time and he finally finished in 20th position. The rider from San Marino is determined to do well in his home gp and tomorrow he will continue working on the bike set up.
According to the weather forecast the weather should improve tomorrow and both NGM Forward Racing Riders look forward to ride on the dry at Misano.
“Due to the rain in both sessions, there was no grip and we struggled as the asphalt was very slippery. The final result doesn’t reflect our potentiaI so I’m confident for this weekend. I crashed twice loosing the front, but fortunately without consequences”.
Alex De Angelis
“It was a difficult day as the track was very slippery and it rained in both sessions. Anyway, compared to the session on the wet that we did at Brno, the feeling with the machine has improved and today I could ride in the group. A small crash prevented me to improve my lap time but all in all I’m optimist for tomorrow”.
RAIN DISRUPTS FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE AT MISANO
The first day of the Grand Prix of San Marino and Riviera di Rimini at the Misano circuit was affected by the rain that forced the MotoGP riders to face the first two free practice sessions in very treacherous conditions. Like many others, also the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini riders crashed due to the slippery surface, luckily without consequences.
Scott Redding finished the day in 13th place with 1’52”213, closely followed by his teammate Alvaro Bautista, who set 1’52”298.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (14th - 1'52"298)
“For sure the conditions today were really bad, this morning I saw that it was so risky, so we preferred to complete not too many laps, but in the afternoon we were able to make more laps, but the track condition was still bad, my feeling was like riding on ice, very complicated. I was improving my feeling on the bike and my lap times step by step, I was improving my lap times every lap, but I crashed with two minutes to go. At the end this two sessions probably are useless, because we expect dry conditions tomorrow and Sunday for the race, so we will start from scratch tomorrow. Normally this track has not so bad grip, but perhaps the cars racing here some days ago left some rubber on the braking points, which made the surface more slippery when wet”.
SCOTT REDDING (13th - 1'52"213)
“It’s been quite a good day: my feeling was not so good this morning, but then the situation improved in the afternoon, I felt pretty good and we were able to be quite fast in the beginning, then I had a small crash in the end, but the track conditions were really strange. When the rain stopped to fall, the track quickly became very slippery. I lost the front under braking, but everything is okay and all in all I’m quite happy so far. We just have a few small things to try to make more comfortable for me beacuse I have some wheelie and quite a lot of spinning, but our base now is not bad”.
“Riding today was really difficult and therefore we saw many falls. Also our riders crashed, but in these conditions we need to accept it. In a few words, it’s been a kind of useless day: now we reset everything ahead of tomorrow's practice and qualifying, on track which should be dry”.
Solid start for Redding on opening day at wet Misano
Misano, Italy – 12 September 2014: Scott Redding was 13th fastest on combined times, after an opening day at Misano that was marred by rain and tricky track conditions.
Both MotoGP free practice sessions were held in fully wet conditions, with the notoriously slippery Misano track surface claiming its fair share of victims. Across all three classes there were 62 crashes today, including a low speed one for Redding right at the end of this afternoon’s second free practice session.
The forecast for the remainder of the weekend is for dry conditions, but Redding is confident of improvement even if the weather stays wet tomorrow.
Scott Redding // 13th // 1’52.213
“Despite the small crash at the end, its been a fairly good day overall. This morning my feeling with the bike wasn’t so good, but we managed to improve things for the second session this afternoon and I was quite quick at the beginning. When the rain stopped towards the end of the session the track quickly became very slippery and I lost the front under braking and went down. Everything was okay and we have a pretty good base with the bike now, but there is still some work to do, as it still wants to wheelie and spin up in places.”
Wet weather welcomes MotoGP to Misano
Hiroshi Aoyama and Leon Camier make cautious start with fifteenth and nineteenth fastest times respectively
Sixteen degrees and constant rain were not the conditions the MotoGP riders were hoping for as the series landed on the Adriatic coast of Italy today but it proved to be a cold and wet start to the GP of San Marino. More than half the riders in the field suffered crashes today, seemingly due to the fact that they were forced to use the harder wet tyre due to there not being sufficient quantities of the soft option. As a result, Bridgestone have resolved to bring more soft tyres for tomorrow. Yonny Hernández set the pace in the morning session and he looked set to stay on top in the afternoon until fellow Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso put in a late lap to seal top spot.
There was little for the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team riders to take from a day that saw Hiroshi Aoyama crash early in the opening session at Misano. The Japanese rider was one of several riders to scuff their leathers today but thankfully he escaped without injury, whilst his team-mate Leon Camier gradually built his confidence and speed to clock his fastest lap right at the end of the afternoon session. With qualifying to come tomorrow, Aoyama lies fifteenth on the overnight timesheets with Camier in nineteenth.
15th Hiroshi Aoyama 1.52.584 (23 laps): “The track conditions were dreadful today here at Misano and the bike had no grip. I also crashed early in the first session and didn't do as many laps as I would have liked. The mechanics did a great job and we improved the feeling in the afternoon but the rear tyre still didn't seem to be working properly. It looks like we weren't the only ones with this problem because there were lot of crashes today. The positive thing is that despite the lack of grip out there we were able to improve significantly from the morning to the afternoon.”
19th Leon Camier 1.53.699 (22 laps): “It's strange because usually I am fast in the wet but today I struggled. At the start the bike had no grip at all but then I built my confidence and feeling. There are some points on the track where there is rubber from the car racing here. Some corners have quite good grips but others don't have any at all so you have to be careful even putting your knee down. If the weather is like this again tomorrow we have some changes planned and if not we'll push ahead with the original idea for today. We made some mistakes at Silverstone but we won't be making them again here.”
Hernandez is fast under the rain; Iannone competitive despite the crashes
The rain was the star of today's practice sessions at Misano, causing many crashes that did not spared even the Pramac Racing Team. The team, however, showed to be able to adapt to all conditions and did a great job, also in the prospective of the uncertain weather conditions expected over the weekend.
Andrea Iannone was victim of two crashes, one in the morning and one in the afternoon session. In both cases, Andrea was betrayed by the slippery and unpredictable reaction of the front tire while braking, which caused many crashes for a lot of riders. Unfortunately, he was not able to ride a lot, but it is certain that tomorrow he will be able to get back among the fastest riders and to improve his current ranking (ninth overall with the lap time of 1.50.603), thanks to the work already done in the test right here at Misano in late August.
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing) was the star of an exciting Friday her in Italy, taking on perfectly the wet track. In the morning session he finished in first place with a lap time of 1.50.310, which earned him a second place in the combined standings today. Great satisfaction within the team even though it’s only Friday's practice. This result gives morale and motivation.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing)
"This morning I crashed in the first free practice session, I slammed my foot that initially hurt a lot. After the session, I went to the mobile clinic and they gave me a painkiller that helped my pain. I'm sorry I slipped in FP2 too, because I was very fast and I was improving lap by lap. The feeling with the bike is good but there is a problem with the front tire, which doesn’t warn when it loses grip and you suddenly find yourself on the ground. "
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing)
"I am very happy with this first day of practice. This morning I did my best result in MotoGP finishing first! I was very fast throughout the hole day and in the combined classification i’m second. For tomorrow we still have much work in both cases of rain and sun. If tomorrow there are the same conditions as today we have to look for a bit more grip otherwise if the track is dry will start with our usual dry setting. "
First day in Misano was rainy, Saturday promises dramatic practice and qualifying
Practically first day on wet, have MotoGP riders behind them. Thus most of the riders used slippery track in Misano to collect experience, because according assumptions, the track should be dry on Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, Karel Abraham "suffered" two smaller crashes, bike and also rider got off without bigger injury. In the morning practice, the rider of Cardion AB Motoracing finished on fourteenth, and in the afternoon on sixteenth position.
„This was practically for the first time in this season, when we ride whole day on wet track. The result isn´t bad, even I crashed. Both crashes were not heavy and it happens in this condition. Misano track is always slippery on the wet and the crashes are usually completely unpredictable. You can loose the front riding straight without any hard braking. We expect to ride on dry for the rest of weekend, but if not, we can say we would be ready.“
Marco Grana, cardion AB chief mechanic
„We had really difficult day. It rained whole day and this make Misano track extremely slippery. Following my experience the sea causes this, which is close to the circuit. We tried both wet tyres – the soft one as well the hard one – during the day. But the result is similar; bike excessively slips on both of them. We suffered two crashes, but it´s nothing remarkable in this weather and we saw many riders crashed in both practices. The weather may change and tomorrow we will likely ride on the dry. In this case the third free practice would be almost like qualifying practice. I expect it to be very dramatic, but I hope to be able to stay around 15th position.”
Dovizioso reigns on wet and wild first day at Misano
Round 13: San Marino and Rimini MotoGP™ - Free Practice 1&2
Misano, Friday September 12 2014
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 - Wet. Ambient 16-16°C; Track 17-18°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Wet. Ambient 16-16°C; Track 18-18°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso led the field on a challenging opening day to the San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix race weekend, the Italian rider’s lap time of 1’49.195 in a wet Free Practice 2 helping to warm the hearts of the Italian fans on a damp day at Misano.
Both sessions at Misano today were subject to wet and cool conditions, but Dovizioso showed his affinity for the Misano circuit by ending the day 1.115 seconds quicker than his closest rival, Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez who was second quickest today. Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa was in third place on the timesheets and a further 0.046 seconds behind Dovizioso’s benchmark time. Both Dovizioso and Pedrosa set their best time on the soft compound wet tyres front and rear in FP2, while Hernandez set his quickest time of the day on a set of hard compound wet tyres during FP1.
Track temperatures at Misano today were the coolest yet recorded this MotoGP™ season, with a peak of just 18°C today and with both sessions experiencing heavy rain, only wet tyres were used. For the first session of the weekend, FP1, all riders used the main wet tyre at Misano, the hard compound wet, but after the grip level of the Misano asphalt in wet conditions was found to be unexpectedly low, almost every rider opted to use the alternative, soft compound wet tyre in FP2. To ensure maximum rider safety, Bridgestone elected to expand the wet tyre allocation for the San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix by providing four extra sets of soft compound wet tyres to all riders.
Forecasts indicate the worst of the weather has passed, with tomorrow’s FP3 session likely to take place in dry conditions.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today’s heavy rain and cold track temperatures combined to create a very challenging environment for the riders. The general rider feedback is that the grip level of the Misano tarmac in the wet was quite poor, particularly under braking. All riders used the hard compound wet tyre in the morning FP1 session, but given the harsh conditions almost every rider elected to use the soft compound wet tyres in the afternoon FP2 session. Due to the lack of grip of the wet tarmac, after FP1 we decided to make more soft compound wet tyres – which are the alternative wet tyre at Misano - available to all riders for the rest of the weekend to ensure maximum rider safety. Tomorrow’s FP3 session could be an exciting one, as if it is dry it will be the first chance for riders to assess the different slick options while at the same time, the riders will be pushing hard to finish in the top ten in order to qualify directly for QP2”