Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after qualifying at Misano:
Perfect Pole for Lorenzo in Misano
Misano Adriatico (Italy), 13th September 2014
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team sprinkled a little Misano magic on qualifying this afternoon as Jorge Lorenzo set a scorching pace to score the first Factory Yamaha pole position start of the season.
Lorenzo wasn't the only Yamaha rider on fire either as teammate Valentino Rossi put in a stunning ride to secure third on the front row to the delight of his home crowd, just 0.064 seconds behind Lorenzo.
Putting yesterday’s rain and troubles behind him, Lorenzo was quick on to the circuit for the start of the 15 minute qualifying heat and straight to work. His first flying lap delivered a 1’33.604. He kept pushing for the second lap and shaved a little off to go second with a 1’33.502 before returning to the pits for fresh rubber.
He was back on track in confident mood with a little under six minutes remaining as an intense battle got underway for the front row. A flurry of fastest sections followed by numerous protagonists but it was Lorenzo who emerged the victor, taking provisional pole with two minutes left on the clock after a scorching 1’33.238 second lap time. The lap proved unbeatable, putting the Movistar Yamaha rider on pole for the first time this year.
Rossi took his time to leave the pit lane as qualifying got underway, allowing the pack to depart before heading out into clear space. Sharing his teammate’s confident form he put in an initial 1’33.756 to slot into fourth place. His second flying lap shaved a little off, delivering a 1’33.605 to hold provisional fourth on the second row.
The Doctor then returned to the pits for fresh rubber before hitting the track and putting the pressure on. The nine-time world champion left the best for last, starting with a 1’33.513 for fifth place he then delivered a perfect lap, a stunning 1’33.302 to move up to third on the front row, just 0.064 from Lorenzo on pole.
99 Jorge Lorenzo
1st / 1'33.238 / 8 laps
“Finally after a long, long time, we make a pole position so I’m very proud. From the beginning we’ve been competitive, not like in Silverstone where we had some issues. It seems like the Yamaha is working very well as Valentino is also very fast. I pushed hard in the beginning but maybe didn't know the perfect lines for the perfect lap. Then in the second tyre I made a very good lap time but just in the first section I lost one or two tenths because I made some mistakes and went wide. From section two I made an unbelievable lap so I’m very proud. The important thing is tomorrow, it’s the day we get the points so we have to make a good start and try to lead the race and win. Being on pole gives a small advantage at the start so I will try to make profit of it and push away in the first laps. It won’t be easy to go away as Vale has a good pace and the others will be there but I’m going to try.”
46 Valentino Rossi
3rd / 1'33.302 / 8 laps
“This morning was not so bad but this afternoon we made a huge step with the setting of the bike and with a used tyre I could be very fast, which is the most important thing for tomorrow. I’m so satisfied because it’s the first, first row of the season. I always struggle in qualifying. In the last races I was able to improve my level to stay always on the second row but the front row is so important for tomorrow, it’s much easier to start at the front. I’m also happy because my lap time is close to the pole position, I feel good with the bike, I had a good practice and I have a good setting. It looks like the Yamaha is very competitive here so we have to fix some small things and be ready for tomorrow.”
“We are very pleased with both Jorge and Vale after today’s performance. Jorge rode a perfect lap to take the team’s first pole position of the year. As we said yesterday we were confident we could work hard overnight and deliver a competitive set up for the guys today. Vale was equally impressive, I think for him also this is the best qualifying of the year, perfectly under control and so close in terms of time. Our set up and package is very competitive and balanced, we are consistently very fast and the tyres are working really well. We will work to make some further small steps overnight. With the same weather conditions forecast for tomorrow I’m confident we can have both riders very much in contention to share the podium in the race.”
Marquez and Pedrosa miss front row by a fraction of a second
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa will begin tomorrow’s San Marino GP from the second row of the grid, only the fourth time Marc has been off the front row in his MotoGP career and the first time since Catalunya 2013.
It was an intense day at the Misano track as the sun finally arrived and the riders had their first dry track time. With the limited time, neither rider found their optimum setup in time for qualifying but nevertheless both pushed to the maximum and with just 0.201 seconds separating the top six riders, a front row spot was highly contested.
Marc finished 4th with his time of 1’33.360 on his final lap of 6, and just 0.058s off the front row, with teammate Dani Pedrosa just 0.058s from Marc in 5th with his time of 1’33.418 on lap 7 of 8.
Both riders will be hoping to find something in tomorrow’s warm up session before the race begins at 14h00 local time.
4th - 1'33.360
"This is the first time this season that I've been off the front row, maybe because we haven't yet found the best setup for this circuit. However, we still have the warmup tomorrow in which to try things out and improve. Yesterday's practice sessions were both wet, so that is why today we found it a little difficult to find the optimal setup. Nevertheless, I am happy because I felt fairly comfortable on the bike - which is important for the race - but we will have to fight hard to finish on the podium."
5th - 1'33.418
"I had a very good feeling today in Misano, although this isn't reflected by my position on the grid for tomorrow. The times today have been very close between everyone, but tomorrow in the end we start from the second row. I'll have to get a very good start and push on the opening laps. It will also be important to make the right choice with the front tyre, because that will be the key to the race. We will have to fight to the maximum, because this is a very long race."
Dovizioso qualifies on row 2 for TIM San Marino and Rimini Riviera GP at Misano, Crutchlow starts from row 5
Andrea Dovizioso was able to qualify well this afternoon at the Misano World Circuit. The Ducati Team man set sixth-fastest time, two-tenths of a second away from pole-sitter Lorenzo, and he will start from the second row of the grid for tomorrow’s race. Team-mate Cal Crutchlow was not so fortunate; due to a technical problem he was unable to improve his Q1 time and finished in thirteenth place. As a result the British rider will start round 13 of the MotoGP World Championship, the TIM San Marino and Rimini Riviera GP, from row 5.
In this morning’s free practice session Dovizioso had finished second-quickest behind his fellow Ducati rider Iannone, thus guaranteeing him an automatic place in Q2, while Crutchlow, thirteenth after the three combined free sessions, had to tackle Q1. After going top of the leaderboard in the first part of the session, the Coventry man went out on track again to try and improve his time, but a technical problem forced him back into the pits, and right at the very end of the session, Cal was passed by Hernandez and Bradl who edged him out of Q2.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 6th (1’33.439)
“This afternoon we had a few problems and were unable to complete all the scheduled work load. Unlike the last few races, we didn’t manage to get into qualifying with the best possible set-up and as a result this didn’t allow me to get the best out of my technical package. We could have done a better qualifying session, but at this point it’s vital to get a good start from the second row, and then figure out the pace to maintain during the race”.
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 13th (1’34.495)
“I’m obviously disappointed not to go into the last qualifying due to a technical problem with the bike but this is racing and we have to continue to work hard for tomorrow’s race. I was confident in Q1: we made a good start, we had some things that we wanted to try and I believe that we could have made a big improvement on the lap time with the second tyre, but we had the problem with the bike. Despite everything, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race: I think we are faster than our position on the grid for sure and hopefully we can have a good battle in the race.
Espargaro shines in Italy to seize 7th on the grid
Pol Espargaro surged to 7th position in today’s qualifying challenge which will see him begin tomorrow’s Misano Grand Prix from the head of the 3rd row. The young Spaniard began the day positively in perfect weather conditions as the sun shone down in Italy and he went straight through to Q2 after clinching 9th in FP3. The rookie then embarked on the Q2 session with speed from the word go and powered to a best time of 1’33.557 on his 6th lap. His time was stunningly only three tenths of a second from the pole position. Furthermore, the fact that the reigning Moto2 World Champion clocked the quickest sector time in T4 impressively underlines how rapidly he was able to adapt, having ridden less than 90 minutes of dry track time aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 on this circuit. Espargaro now looks forward to tomorrow’s race where he will aim to challenge as the leading satellite MotoGP bike once again to strengthen his 7th place in the World Championship standings in his rookie season.
Meanwhile Bradley Smith will begin tomorrow’s 28 lap sprint around the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli from 9th place on the grid. The British rider began the day by completing the morning practice in 8th and setting the fastest T3 sector time. Later in FP4, Smith closed the session with a best time of 1’34.953 which saw him fully prepared for the 15 minute shootout Q2 session at the 4226 meter circuit. The 23 year old rider sought to make an impact straight away, however, his attempts were prevented by a lack of traction from his rear tyre. Despite this, the British star battled onwards to produce a best time of 1’33.761, less than half a second from the final front row position of Valentino Rossi as well as being the fastest Yamaha through the speed trap with 285.5 kmh. From this grid placement at the rear of the third row, he will intend to undertake a rocket start and then ascend up the field to seize a top point scoring position.
Position : 7th Time : 1’33.557 Laps : 8
"Considering that we just had one day of dry track time, I'm really satisfied with our qualifying performance. We have been truly fast plus a gap of just 3 tenths to the pole position is something we should be quite proud of. However, we could have been even higher up the grid but I made some mistakes in sector 1 and 2 on my fast lap which definitely cost me a lot of time. We have to be confident for tomorrow as the start will be crucial due to it being difficult to overtake at this circuit. I'm still a bit unsure about our race pace as due to the conditions we could not try a lot of laps with the same tyres, so tomorrow morning's warm up will be another important occasion for me to try a few more adjustments in order to be as prepared as possible for the 28 lap sprint."
Position : 9th Time : 1’33.761 Laps : 9
"Finishing 9th for sure means things did not go according to plan and once again the start will be crucial for our performance tomorrow. I hoped to be a bit further up the grid but my feeling with the second tyre was not the same. I always use the first tyre in Q2 to get up to speed and then do my quick lap on the second but this time after we changed the tyres, the bike didn’t handle comfortably and I had high sides on each corner entry. With the nature of this circuit I wanted to be in the top six so that I could be in the best position for tomorrow. However, despite this it goes without saying that I am ready to get stuck and give it my all. As for the race pace, I’m still a little unsure but I rode FP4 on old tyres where I managed to do 1’34 lap times and of course when we start with fresh rubber it’s always easier. There’s a few things to try in warm up, but I am very pleased with how the bike handles during braking which is very important at Misano and I will need to be doing a lot of overtaking tomorrow to get to where I want to be."
BAUTISTA AND REDDING READY FOR ASSAULT AT MISANO AFTER DIFFICULT QUALIFYING
Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista and Scott Redding claimed the 12th and 14th position, respectively, during this afternoon’s qualifying session of the Grand Prix of San Marino and Riviera di Rimini, at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
After closing the combined classification of the first three practice sessions in tenth place, thus gaining access to the Qualifying 2, Bautista was not able to go beyond the 12th fastest time and then he will start from the fourth row of the grid tomorrow.
His teammate, Scott Redding, took part in the Qualifying 1 session, during which he claimed the fourth position in 1’34”919: the British rookie will then line-up his RCV1000R machine on the fifth row of the grid, anyway in front of the other three Open Class Honda bikes.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (12th - 1'34"766)
“Today was not good, for sure: this morning we already had a lot of problems and I’m not able to feel the contact of the tyres on the ground, so we are struggling a lot. During the FP4 we tried some set-up solutions which didn’t work, therefore in Qualifying I used the same setting as before. We need to try something which can help me, otherwise I cannot push hard: everytime I try to push, I go straight on corner entry, because it’s vvery difficult to stop the bike in these conditions. Maybe keeping a good rhythm in the race will be easier than make one fast lap, so for tomorrow I hope to make a good start and then fight like I did at Silverstone”.
SCOTT REDDING (14th - 1'34"919)
“Today was strange for me, I had two crashes and I struggled to get the right feeling on the front: there was no front grip and both crashes were caused by that. When I start to turn the bike I don’t have confidence on the front, but we will work hard tonight to find a good solution and to try to be stronger in the race. Maybe we took the wrong direction, but now I just need to clear my head a little bit after the crashes, because I was really frustrated for that”.
“Unfortunately, Alvaro is still struggling: the rear grip issues have emerged also today, during the first day of practice in the dry and this didn’t allow him to get a good lap time in qualifying. We hope, however, that his race pace will allow him to recover some positions. After the rain yesterday and the two crashes today, Scott’s race weekend started uphill, but we trust in an improvement ahead of the race”.
The NGM Forward Racing first Open bike at Misano
Only 4 tenths of a second is the gap between Aleix Espargaro and the pole man Jorge Lorenzo. The Spaniard from the NGM Forward Racing Team gave his best during the qualifying session setting a best lap of 1’33.713. First Open bike, Aleix Espargaro finished in 8th place and tomorrow will take the start of the Marino and the Riviera of Rimini Grand Prix from the third row.
It was a difficult session for team mate Alex De Angelis, who is still suffering from pain in his wrist due to the crash at Silverstone. Alex worked on the set up of the machine to improve the feeling under braking. He finished 19th with a lap time of 1’35.679.
The whole NGM Forward Racing Team is close to Simone Corsi, who is not going to race at Misano following the crash he had in Silverstone during the race. To wish him a good recovery, Aleix dedicated to his moto2 team mate a special helmet bearing the number 3.
“We are only 4 tenths from the pole and we are all very close so tomorrow it will be a good race. I like Misano a lot and I expected a better result on this track. Yesterday we struggled, crashing twice. Anyway I’m optimist for tomorrow. Regarding the tyre for the race, I think we will go for the hard option”.
Alex De Angelis
“My wrist is very painful and this prevents me to ride as I would like. Regarding the bike, we are struggling under braking, so we will continue to work on the set up of the bike trying to improve my feeling. As it happened at Silverstone, I couldn’t take the maximum out of the soft tyre during the qualifying, while the feeling with the hard compound is good and this is positive thinking about the race”.
Fifth and sixth row of the grid for DRIVE M7 Aspar riders
Aoyama and Camier improve to secure 15th and 16th
Misano is certainly a track where Lorenzo enjoys riding, and seemingly the technical conditions make it a good venue for Yamaha. The Spaniard, who has won the last three editions of the San Marino Grand Prix, took pole on Saturday, paving the way for a possible fourth consecutive victory. With good weather today the MotoGP riders were able to work without such a risk of crashing as on the first day. The final qualifying session was the most entertaining. Dovizioso started off showing that yesterday was not a fluke, then the likes of Lorenzo, Marquez and Iannone took over. Two Spaniards against two Italians, and Ducati showing that at this circuit they are not so far from Honda and Yamaha. In the end, Lorenzo was took first place ahead of Iannone and Rossi. For the race tomorrow, a battle between Spain and Italy is all set up. The difference between the first six riders was just two-tenths, the perfect ingredient for a tight race from start to finish.
Although yesterday the team suffered significantly because of the rain, as did all the MotoGP riders, today the DRIVE M7 Aspar pair enjoyed themselves at Misano. Both managed to improve throughout the day and the final practice session was the prelude to what qualifying would produce. Both Hiroshi and Leon recorded their best times of the weekend in Q1. Hiroshi improved almost six tenths on his best time in FP and Leon, almost three. They have shown fighting spirit and good pace for the race tomorrow. Eventually the Japanese rider was classified in 15th position at the back of the fifth row, and the British rider just one position behind him, at the front of row six.
Hiroshi Aoyama 15th 1’34.966: "I guess all the riders will be happy today, the weather conditions have changed a lot from the first day and we were able to work smoothly. This morning we worked in a particular direction to try to find the best set-up. In the afternoon conditions changed because the temperature increased so we had to adapt. We are happy with our work, but we have to raise the race and see if the tyres will perform properly for all the race. We still need to get a bit more grip and the bike to turn better. We will work during the morning warm-up session to tune it in, as we need to try to be a little faster."
Leon Camier 16th 1’35.275: "I had so much fun riding in the final practice session. I am generally happy with the feelings today, the work on the bike allowed me to ride without taking too many risks. Since yesterday we have improved a lot, even in the wet. Today in a short time we felt very comfortable and we improved in each outing. In Q1 I improved three tenths from FP4, and hoped to improve a little more in the latter part of the circuit, but I started to notice that we were losing the front end so I had to be careful. We are happy because we have done a good job and we're ready for tomorrow's race. We have narrowed the gap with riders such as Redding, but even so we still have one more step to try to match their level. Our pace is optimal but I will not pressure myself to predict a result. Tomorrow I'll go out and enjoy the riding as I did today, and then we'll see how far we can go."
Difficult day in Misano for Redding
Misano, Italy – 13 September 2014: Scott Redding will start tomorrow’s Grand Prix of San Marino and Riviera di Rimini at Misano from 14th position on the grid, after qualifying once again as the first Open Class Honda, despite a crash late on in the timed session.
Redding’s qualifying crash was his second of the day, with a lack of front grip the cause in both cases. It is an issue that the 21-year-old Briton will address tonight with his crew, ahead of tomorrow’s race.
Scott Redding // 14th // 1’34.919
“Today was strange for me, as I was struggling to get the right feeling from the front. There just wasn’t any grip and the two crashes were a direct result of that. When I started to turn the bike I just didn’t have the confidence in the front that you need for a quick lap here. Maybe we went in the wrong direction with the settings but, either way, we need to do some work tonight to find a solution. I also need to clear my head a bit after the crashes, as it was pretty frustrating.”
Iannone in front for the third time this year, Hernandez shows his potential
Exciting day of qualifying for the Pramac Racing Team, with Andrea Iannone who conquered the second position and starts from the first row. Yonny Hernandez, after dominating Q1, closes Q2 eleventh.
The home GP helps Andrea Iannone, who tomorrow in front of his home crowd will start from the front row in second position. Andrea is the author of a almost perfect qualifying session, giving his best the last few minutes of qualifying. First row for the third time this season thanks to the good work of the technicians who are able to put a bike on the track at the top of it’s potential in spite of the uncertainties and delays caused by yesterday’s bad weather.
Yonny Hernandez also was the author of a thrilling performance. Throughout the Q1 he battled with Bradl and Crutchlow to get into Q2. The Colombian rider has got the best and passed both the on the last useful lap and accessed to the second qualifying session. Yonny ended Q2 in eleventh place with a lap time of 1'34.283 and is satisfied with the continuity that every race he is gaining in qualifying. Tomorrow he will try to remain glued to ten riders in front of him and gain positions.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing)
"I'm really pleased with the result today! It was definitely my best qualifying session this year. It is the third time that I start from the front row, but to do this result in Misano and in front of my fans has a better taste. Here it is very important to start from the front of the grid to be able to find a good rhythm because it is very difficult if you get closed in the group to gain positions. I knew that using the soft tire I had some advantage. For the race tomorrow I want to make a good start, plus we have an idea to improve the setting of the bike that can lengthen the life of the tire. I thank the entire team and Ducati for the support they give me. "
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing)
"I'm so happy that i was able to qualified to Q2 where I managed to improve slightly compared to Q1. I think that if I had the possibility to use a new front tire during the second qualifying session I could have done even better. But that's okay, I reached my goal and accessed Q2. I think tomorrow I'll do a good race. The only question mark, as always, is the life of your tires but I'll do my best to do a good start and push hard until the end of the race. "
Abraham will start from seventeenth position to the race in Misano
Karel Abraham will start to the race of Grand Prix of San Marino from the position in the middle of sixth row. Team Cardion AB Motoracing struggled with many complications, and for this reason they managed to make a good lap practically at the end of fifteen-minutes qualifying.
„I had another crash in FP4, practically the same as on Friday. I lost the front again as well as many other riders. We must find something to eliminate this. The bad luck continues in QP. My first fast lap was cancelled due to excessing track limits in turn 10. The fastest lap I did in the last few seconds was not perfect, but on the other hand we stay close to our rivals and we can race with them.“
Marco Grana, Cardion AB chief mechanic
„We had really difficult day. Crash before qualifying practice always affects the performance of the rider, but I think we dealt with it and we can be quite happy. The good news is that Karel was faster than Q1 pole position i sector 1. This is promising, but on the other hand we must improve the performance in the sector 4. Now we must focus on the front and solve the problem we suffer. I think we can still make very good race in the top 15.“
Lorenzo launches himself to first pole position of the year at Misano
Round 13: San Marino and Rimini MotoGP™ - Qualifying Practice
Misano, Saturday September 13 2014
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 - Dry. Ambient 18-20°C; Track 24-24°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP - Dry. Ambient 22-23°C; Track 33-34°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo emphatically displayed his intent to win a fourth consecutive San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix by securing his first pole position of the season at Misano today, and consequently his first ever premier-class pole position at the Italian circuit.
After showing impressive pace in the Free Practice 4 session, Lorenzo extracted even more performance from his Yamaha YZR-M1 machine in Qualifying Practice 2 to post a 1’33.238 on his final lap to finish 0.051 seconds ahead of Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone who was the second best qualifier. On the other Movistar Yamaha MotoGP machine, Valentino Rossi rounded out the podium in third place with a best lap time of 1’33.302 to finish just 0.013 seconds behind Iannone. Today’s QP2 session was fiercely competitive with the riders on the first two rows of the grid ultimately being separated by less than two-tenths of a second. All riders on the front row used the medium compound front slick to set their best lap time during the time attack in QP2, but whereas Lorenzo and Rossi used the medium compound rear slick, Iannone took advantage of the soft compound rear slick available to the Ducati and Open-class riders at Misano to clock his quickest time.
Yesterday’s cool and wet weather gave way to dry and warm conditions today, with a peak track temperature of 34°C recorded at the end of QP2. With this morning’s FP1 session presenting the first dry track time, the majority of riders initially used the soft compound front slick paired with their softer rear slick option; medium compound for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders, and soft compound for the Ducati and Open-class riders, to get a feel for the Misano tarmac. Although the Ducati and Open-class riders experimented with their two rear slick compound options during the two Free Practice sessions, the Factory and Yamaha riders stuck to using just their softer option, medium compound rear slick for the entire day, with the hard compound rear slick remaining untested. For the front tyres, the majority of riders preferred the medium compound front slick in today’s sessions, although all three front slick options; the soft, medium and hard compound front slick were utilised and all of these options could feature in tomorrow’s race.
Even warmer conditions are forecast for tomorrow’s twenty-eight lap San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix which starts at 1400 local time (GMT +2). The twenty-minute morning Warm Up session starts at 0940 and will be an important session as riders look to use every second of dry track time before deciding on their race tyre choice.
Shinichi Yamashita – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“After the poor weather conditions yesterday, today was a very busy day for the teams, riders and our engineers as there were just two sessions available to work on bike setup and slick tyre choice before the qualifying sessions. Despite this the riders got to evaluate a few different tyre options, and particularly for the front slick a lot of testing was done to see what worked best on this circuit which demands a lot of cornering and braking stability. I am pleased with the performance of our tyres today, the lap times were very quick and the first two rows of the grid for tomorrow’s race were separated by just two-tenths of a second and our tyre allocation for this weekend is working well for all the manufacturers. Conditions will be even warmer tomorrow, so the morning Warm Up session will also be important for the riders to help them decide what tyre combination to use for the race.”