Press releases after qualifying for the MotoGP class from the teams and Bridgestone:
Marquez take 50th career pole and new Sepang record with Dani in second
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa have qualified first and second for tomorrow’s Malaysian GP, their fourth 1-2 of the 2014 season. They were the only riders to set a time under 2’00 minutes and both riders smashed Marc’s pole record from 2013 (2’00.011) with Marc’s time of 1’59.791 sending him to the top of the time sheets and Dani just 0.182 behind him with 1’59.973.
It’s been a searingly hot day in Malaysia, with track temperatures reaching 56ºC. Dani, fastest yesterday and in this morning’s FP3, found a good setup for qualifying and has put himself in a prime position to challenge for victory tomorrow, and importantly ahead of Lorenzo (3rd) and Rossi (6th) in his fight for second place in the World Championship.
Marc was able to put his small FP4 crash behind him and claim his 50th career pole (14 in 125cc, 14 in Moto2, 22 in MotoGP) and his thirteenth of 2014 which is a new record for pole positions in a season in the premier-class, bettering the record held by fellow Repsol Honda riders Mick Doohan (12 in 1997) and Casey Stoner (12 in 2011).
Tomorrow Dani will become the tenth rider to reach the milestone of 150 starts in the premier-class of Grand Prix racing and Honda will be looking to add the Constructor’s Title to the Rider’s Title they won in Japan. With a 45 point lead over their closest rivals, a finish from any Honda rider in the top eleven is enough to clinch the crown for Honda. The Repsol Honda Team are also able to win the Team’s Title tomorrow, with Marc or Dani needing to outscore Lorenzo or Rossi by five points. The race will begin at 16h00 local time.
1st - 1'59.791
“I am very happy to have taken pole position, because the temperature out on track was very high and it was difficult to do such a good lap! The time was very good - better than I had expected - so I am delighted with how things went today. Let's hope that tomorrow's race is dry, but Dani looks to be a very strong candidate for the win; he has a great pace and we hope to be ready to fight with him from the opening lap! I'm also happy to have broken the record. Maybe pole positions are somewhat insignificant because they don't give you any points, but you achieve them by being the fastest rider over a single lap. That doesn't mean that you will be the fastest in the race, of course, so the most important thing is what happens tomorrow.”
2nd - 1'59.973
“It was a good qualifying session. The times that were being put in were amazing, because in this heat the bikes don't normally go that fast and the tyres don't tend to have so much grip. We will try to have a good race, because the last two have not been great for us. We have a strong desire to take a good result, and we also need one if we want to finish runners-up in the Championship, but the first thing that we have to do is push 100% tomorrow regardless whether it rains or shines!”
Lorenzo Secures Front Row in Heated Sepang Qualifying
Sepang International Circuit (Sepang, Malaysia), 25th October 2014
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo continued his competitive form of yesterday this afternoon at the hot Sepang International Circuit by taking third on the grid. His teammate, Valentino Rossi, had a challenging qualifying session and will start tomorrow’s Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix from sixth position.
Despite the fact that the lengthy track allows little time for multiple hot laps, Lorenzo made sure to leave pitlane last for the 15 minute qualifying heat to be ensured of some clear space. When on his way the Majorcan was fast straight out of the box and posted a 2’00.469 lap to take provisional third. He was unable to improve on his time on his second try and came into the pits for a fresh set of tyres with six minutes left on the clock.
Less than three minutes later Lorenzo was back out on the track for one last shot at claiming pole position and immediately posted a 2’00.203 lap, which saw him hold second place briefly, until a late effort by rival Dani Pedrosa relegated him to third.
Teammate Rossi had an eventful day at the Malaysian circuit. During the 4th Free Practice session the Doctor was one of several riders to fall victim to a small crashe at the treacherous circuit. Luckily Rossi was uninjured and was back in the pit garage in plenty of time for the 2nd Qualifying session.
Similar to his teammate, the nine-time World Champion bided his time at the start of the qualifying session. His first flying lap of 2’01.218 put him in fifth position before being pushed back to sixth by Andrea Dovizioso.
After a quick stop at the box, Rossi was back on his way with more than four minutes remaining, allowing the Italian to put in two more laps. He put his head down once more and clocked a 2’00.740 which briefly earned him fifth place before a last minute flurry of activity saw him end the session in sixth.
99 Jorge Lorenzo
3rd / 2'00.203 / 6 laps
“I am very happy with third place on the grid, because I knew that apart from the factory team some of the other Honda riders like Bradl or Bautista were going to be fast too. In the end I managed to claim the front row. I tried to get the pole position, but compared to Honda we needed just a little more acceleration when exiting the corners. I think we are getting closer in terms of race pace. This is probably one of the worst tracks for Yamaha, but I am very satisfied with the work we’re doing. The bike is very good in all sectors; under braking, corners and acceleration. Tomorrow it will be impossible to ride similar lap times, especially when the tyres start to drop. If you’re able to ride 2’01 laps it will be very good effort for trying to win the race. I would prefer the race to be dry, but if it rains I think we’re ready too.”
46 Valentino Rossi
6th / 2'00.740 / 6 laps
“We had to try the hard front tyre and it was not so bad, but unfortunately I had some chatter and I crashed. We have to make a decision for tomorrow, because with the medium front tyre we are closer to the limit and we have to ride smoother. Starting from the second row is not so bad considering that we struggled with the setting of the bike yesterday and today. We improved more today compared to yesterday, but we have to take another step for tomorrow. The two Honda’s are very strong and Jorge is also a bit faster than me. If I want to stay with them, I have to improve my setting and my pace. The weather here is impossible to understand. It’s not like Phillip Island where the temperature goes down in the afternoon. It’s now four o’clock and it’s around 38 degrees, but it depends on the rain. We hope it will be a dry race and a little bit cooler than today and we will try.”
“Today it was extremely hot, which makes it a real challenge for the riders. Jorge did good job to secure a front row start for tomorrow, he has a very good pace and speed and is in a good position for the race. Vale has a good pace but was unable to find the perfect set up for qualifying and crashed with his preferred bike, that made it hard to find a good rhythm. Despite this he was able to secure a second row start, which is important here for the first corners. As there is a real possibility of rain tomorrow we would have liked at least one wet practice today to work further on our wet set up. We’ll continue to work tonight to try a couple more things for warm up tomorrow morning and then we are ready as we can be for race."
Dovizioso qualifies fifth and Crutchlow eighth for tomorrow’s Shell Advance Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang
Qualifying for tomorrow’s Shell Advance Malaysian Grand Prix took place today at Sepang today under a scorching hot sun and with temperatures of 35°C (air) and 58° (track). The two Ducati Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow were able to qualify respectively in fifth and eighth place and will start tomorrow’s race from rows 2 and 3.
Dovizioso had set fourth quickest time in both of today’s free practice sessions, while Crutchlow finished the first in sixth and the second in seventh. Both men had to deal with the suffocating heat and they worked hard with their teams to try and improve feeling with the bike on the Malaysian circuit, which is characterized by conditions of scarce grip.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 5th (2’00.703)
“I am happy with the work we have done this afternoon: we are closer to the front and our race pace is more constant. In qualifying I was unable to do a perfect lap because the front closed in on me at turn 6. It’s a pity because the new tyre can only be used at its best on the first lap: I did however manage to improve by a few thousandths of a second on my second run and this shows that without that problem, I could have obtained a better time on my first attempt. Row 2 is OK, and tomorrow I’ll try and make a good start. It’s going to be a difficult race, but I’m more confident than I was yesterday.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 8th (2’01.119)
“First and foremost I’m very disappointed with qualifying today, we had a problem with chatter in both runs. We think it was the harder tyre option at the front of the bike, and without this problem I believe I could have been easily on the second row of the grid today. It’s a pity because I felt quite comfortable and confident, but in two corners I lost over half-a-second to what I did in the morning. The guys have been working good, as always, we are looking to improve the bike for tomorrow and hopefully we can have a strong race here in Malaysia.”
Iannone stopped by the pain; Yonny Hernandez once again almost in Q2
A tough Saturday for the Pramac Racing Team. Andrea Iannone was stopped by the pain in the elbow and arm after the yesterday’s crash. Yonny Hernandez did not access Q2 for one position.
This morning Andrea Iannone tried to push over his limits, getting back on his Desmosedici for the FP3, despite yesterday’s crash. Unfortunately, the pain was too strong and kept him from using his strength on the bike. The medical direction after further investigation recommended Andrea to not take part in today's qualifying and tomorrow’s race. Iannone will fly to Italy this evening and then undergo a CAT scan and a MRI to be 100% sure that there will be no complications, so to be ready for the next round in Valencia, the last race of the season.
In the morning session Yonny Hernandez was very fast, staying for a long time in tenth positon and closing eleventh. In Q1 a small mistake in the last lap unfortunately prevented the Colombian rider to take part in the final qualifying session. Yonny is sorry for this, however he knows that he is fit and starting thirteenth he can still fight for the top ten.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing)
"This morning I tried to get back on track to see how things were going with my arm, unfortunately I hurt a lot so I decided not to risk it. I am very sorry to skip this race because I wanted to finish the season well. These things happen, we will make up for the last race in Valencia. "
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing)
"Even today I went quite fast, but unfortunatly I didn’t manage to qualify directly into Q2. During the first qualifying session I was fast. Too bad for the last lap, I made a small mistake losing a couple of tenths. Tomorrow I will try to do my best to get back in the top ten. "
BAUTISTA BACK INTO THE TOP TEN IN SEPANG QUALIFYING. REDDING SHOWS GOOD PACE IN FP4
Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista will lead the fourth row of the grid in tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix: the Spaniard set the tenth fastest time in this afternoon’s Qualifying session at Sepang, first clocking the fastest time in Q1 with 2’01”818, then closing in tenth position the Q2 with a time of 2’02”294.
Today’s result marks a slight improvement compared to Bautista’s last few qualifying performances; Alvaro, anyway, struggled again with rear grip aboard his Honda RC213V machine. The rain could come tomorrow to help him in the race: yesterday in fact, in full wet conditions, the Spaniard was feeling pretty good.
His teammate, Scott Redding, will start from the seventeenth position: the English rookie didn’t get the desired result in qualifying, having failed to take advantage of any slipstream, but he remains still confident ahead of the race because he can count on the good pace showed during the FP4. The only question mark for Scott now remains the tyre choice for tomorrow.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (10th - 2'02"294)
“I’m tenth on the grid, but two riders didn’t take part at the Q2 because they were not fit to ride, so for us the position is the same as the last few races; especially my feeling with the bike has not changed here. We are struggling a lot with rear grip; it’s like the rear tyre is not working properly. Once again, we are facing a difficult weekend: we have always the same problems, regardless of the weather conditions. We always try many things, but we never find the solution. Yesterday in full wet conditions my feeling was not so bad, so if tomorrow it’s going to rain, it could be good for us, but with mixed conditions we will be again in trouble”.
SCOTT REDDING (17th - 2'02"874)
“Qualifying was not good: I made a good FP4, with good lap times, so my rivals tried to follow me and it was impossible to get a slipstream. Aoyama went like 8 tenths faster than me because of the slipstream, so I didn’t want to lead the way with other riders behind me. Therefore it was difficult to put some laps together, actually I did only one lap. Again, I’m a little disappointed with the qualifying result, but the FP4 was really good and now we just need to decide which tyre we will use tomorrow. We make better lap times with the soft one, but this track is so greasy and it’s always changing when the temperature drops or rises. The hard tyre could be a good option for more laps, but the softer one could also be good to geta way and then try to make consistent lap times. Anyway, at the moment it’s difficult to make a choice, we will see tomorrow”.
“With regard to Alvaro, the situation has not changed compared to the last races: we have the same rear grip issues that does not allow him to be quick so the position, especially in qualifying, is always more or less the same. Anyway, at least we were able to enter into the Q2 and tomorrow we will start from the beginning of the fourth row, with the tenth time. We always hope to recover some positions in the race and achieve the best possible result. If it’s going to rain, a full wet condition could help us. Scott struggled in qualifying, having been unable to take advantage of the slipstreams in the straights, but he showed a good pace during the 30-minute FP4, so tomorrow a good result and to be the best Open Class Honda RCV1000R is certainly a target within his reach”.
Smith battles Sepang heat to qualify on third row
Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Bradley Smith will launch from the rear of the third row on the grid for the 20 lap challenge at the Sepang International Circuit tomorrow. The British rider began the day by undertaking 19 laps in this morning's free practice 3 session as he relentlessly continued his work with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team in order to confidently set himself up for the all-important qualifying practice 2. He concluded the session in 8th with a time of 2’01.426, which was only half a second from his target of 5th position. When the 15 minute QP2 dash began, the British rider lunged immediately in the tropical heat in Malaysia and ran at full pace before concluding the session with a top lap of 2’01.263. His performance today will see him rocket from 9th position on the grid as he fully intends to follow up his debut podium from the previous round in Australia, with another top result at the 5543 metre circuit in Malaysia to strengthen his aim of clinching 6th in the championship standings.
Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro suffered a heavy fall in the closing minutes of the morning practice which resulted in him fracturing the head of the second metatarsal in his left foot. Therefore, the young Spanish rider decided to sit out today's free practice 4 as well as the qualifying 2 session which he still would have qualified for, due to scoring 10th position during FP3. The high side occurred in the first corner while Espargaro was intending to post a fast lap to establish his appearance in qualifying 2. However, a small piece of glass damaged the oil radiator and formed a small hole which caused a very fine leak of oil which was invisible to the rider. The 23 year old still hopes to contest in tomorrow's 20 lap battle in Malaysia and the final decision will be made after his physical conditions have been examined before the warm up. In case of Espargaro choosing to participate in the race, he will have to start from 12th on the grid as he was counted as the last of the top twelve riders in QP2.
Position : 9th Time : 2'01.263
"Overall, I am pleased with the work that we were able to undertake today as I believe that we extracted the most that we could from the bike. We successfully managed to overcome some of the issues which I experienced yesterday and now we will analyse the data in order to establish where I can make further improvements. It appears as though sector three is a key area which I need to focus on in order to have a strong performance. I feel confident for tomorrow, but we must remain realistic with our expectations in the fight against our rivals in the championship. It will be vital to have a good start plus I need to be consistent for the entire 20 laps with the race being a long one and the humidity making it even more challenging. However, I feel ready and am quite excited for the demanding battle where I aim to score some more valuable championship points."
Position : 12th Time : 2'01.885
"It was a tough day and I am feeling sore after the heavy fall, but we must move on and I still hope to be able to compete in tomorrow’s race. I saw Dovizioso and Redding pointing to let me know something wasn’t right on the rear, but I couldn’t see anything wrong with the bike as the oil leak was so small. Therefore I continued riding normally as the bike felt the same and there was no reduction in power on the straight, but then I hit the brakes and fell at the first corner as oil had slipped onto the rear tyre. Fortunately, the consequences could have been worse but I still have a broken foot and the middle finger of my right hand is in a lot of pain also. My crew chief explained what happened to me and I still find it quite unbelievable. It was a very strange day all in all. I crashed at the beginning of the session, yet it was just a small fall and nothing serious. I managed to improve gradually from there and was making some good steps forward as we solved a few issues which I wasn’t able to amend yesterday due to the rain but then I fell again. If I can race, I hope to be in a position to try and use the warm up to make further adjustments to the bike, but the most difficult aspect to deal with will be changing the gears. We have to forget about today now. I have never ridden in this condition, but we will see how I recover overnight and will then make a decision about the race tomorrow."
STRONG PERFORMANCE FOR BRADL (4TH) AT SWELTERING SEPANG QP2
Sepang, 25 October: 35° air temperature and 60° on the asphalt made the Sepang GP qualifying session extremely demanding for the MotoGP field today but LCR racer Stefan Bradl was capable to ride his RCV machine on the 4th spot on the grid (2’00.472) behind Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Marquez. Today’s 4th fastest lap time is a more than reserved result for the German who missed the Malaysian GP last year after the right ankle fracture.
Stefan: "We can be happy with this good qualifying. We had the chance to follow Marquez in the last run using a different strategy this time and it ended up in a strong result for us. I am really happy to be 4th on the grid especially after the last qualifying sessions where we were not able to qualify better than the third row. If we can have a good start tomorrow we will have the potential to follow the guys in front. We wait and see what the weather is going to be. Today it was extremely hot like 60° on the asphalt with the tyres almost cooking and it was very physically demanding for everybody. Sure it will be a close and tough race but we are in good form here in Sepang”.
Seventh place for Aleix Espargaro at Sepang
It was a good qualifying session for the NGM Forward Racing rider Aleix Espargaro, who finished with the 7th best lap time. Team mate Alex De Angelis finished in 18th position setting a lap time of 2.03.165.
Espargaro, despite a problem with his eye, that compromised the morning session, was among the protagonists in qualifying fighting with the front guys for the first two rows. Setting a lap time of 2.00.801 he will take the start from the third row alongside Crutchlow and Smith.
It was a difficult qualifying session for Alex De Angelis, who – compared to the other riders- didn’t take part to the winter test at Sepang. De Angelis will take the start from the 6th row and will aim at getting some important points for the championship.
“Sepang is a demanding track both for the rider and the machine. There are two long straights and we lose something there, but anyway we can be competitive. All in all it was a good qualifying session. We finished 7th and tomorrow we will do our best to get points for the championship and defend the 6th overall position”.
Alex De Angelis
“In the afternoon I could improve of almost one second and this is positive. I have a good feeling with the bike. This will be the most demanding race of the season for the torrid temperatures. Moreover, as I was not here in the winter test, we needed to work more. Regarding the race, I’m confident that we can fight with the other open bikes and get some points for the championship”.
DRIVE M7 Aspar riders shine at main sponsors' home round
Aoyama improves on best grid from last week in Australia to qualify eleventh, Hayden targeting strong race from fourteenth
History was made at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia today as both Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa broke the two-minute barrier for the first time, Márquez setting a new record in the process with his thirteenth pole position of the season. With his Honda team-mate Pedrosa just two tenths behind him tomorrow looks to be an interesting battle between the pair although the in-form Jorge Lorenzo is also in good shape on the front row of the grid, whilst the ever-present threat of rain could shake things up in the race.
Hiroshi Aoyama counts Sepang as one of his favourite circuits and he certainly showed his affection for it today. After setting his best grid position of the season so far just seven days ago in Australia, where he qualified twelfth, the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team rider went one better today after again progressing to Q2. Eleventh place and a fourth row start was the fruit of the Japanese rider's labour, whilst there was further satisfaction on the other side of the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team garage as Nicky Hayden made notable progress from a difficult start yesterday and qualified fourteenth.
11th Hiroshi Aoyama 2.10.568: “To qualify in eleventh place, my best of the season, is the perfect way to celebrate my birthday! We have to keep our feet on the ground because the most important thing is the race tomorrow but we have to be happy with our work today. We are in good shape and ready for the race. We did a good job in the first qualifying session this afternoon although I was struggling a little bit for feel on the front because we had to go with the hardest tyre due to the heat. In Q2 I tried to push even harder but I crashed in turn six. It was a stupid crash and luckily I wasn't hurt. In general I have had a good feeling with the bike all day and I think we have a positive set-up. We still need to decide on the front tyre for tomorrow and work out which one helps the performance of the bike the most but I am hopeful we can have a great race here at Sepang”.
14th Nicky Hayden 2.02.330: “My feeling in the dry today was much better than yesterday morning. We haven't taken a huge step but made small improvements throughout the day, found some rear grip, although now we're suffering a little with the front. I got a bit of chatter in some of the corners when I tried to push. In general we are happy with the job we've done here, we just need to try a couple of things in the morning warm-up to see if we can find a little more pace. Hopefully by the time the race starts at four o'clock here the weather stays good for us but we'll try and be ready for whatever we get. It is going to be a tough race but I'm looking forward to it.”
During qualifying was important tactics a few seconds played decisive role for Abraham
Karel Abraham entered into his fastest lap seven seconds before checkered flag was raised in qualifying of Malaysian Grand Prix, Sepang. Nevertheless he reached his best qualifying result of the season. He will start from fifteenth position to the race.
It was quite weird qualifying, however the result is good. In Sepang it is hectic, it is the longest circuit, so if you make a mistake you lose more than 2 minutes of time per lap. Exactly it happened to me, the first exit was bad and I made two mistakes. At the end of the qualifying I wanted to ride behind Redding or Aoyama, but we were waiting all for someone faster. So at the end I had to do it by myself. It was really tight, because i went into my only fast lap seven seconds before end of qualifying. I am happy that i was not in garage at that time, because it had to be really tense moments, if I didn’t make we would be starting from last position. Fortunately fifteenth position is quite good. We will see what the weather will be tomorrow. Today it was really hot but tomorrow it can rain.
Redding remains confident ahead of Malaysian race
Sepang, Malaysia – 25 October 2014: Scott Redding will start tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix from the sixth row of the grid, after qualifying in 17th position at a hot and humid Sepang today.
After showing good pace in the final free practice session this morning, which he finished in 10th place, in qualifying Redding was unable to catch the slipstream that is so critical for a quick lap time aboard an Open Class bike at Sepang, which its two long straights.
The 21-year-old Briton remains confident for tomorrow’s 20-lap race, although he has yet to make a final decision as to which of the tyre options he will use tomorrow afternoon.
Scott Redding // 17th // 2’02.874
“I had a good FP4, putting in some good lap times, but qualifying didn’t go so well. It was impossible for me to get a slipstream, but that didn’t stop people following me for a two. The slipstream was important; Aoyama made up 0.8s only because of the tow, but it just wasn’t there for me today. I didn’t want to lead with other riders behind me, so it was difficult to strong laps together, and I only really managed one reasonable lap. Again, I’m a little disappointed with the qualifying result, but the FP4 was really good and now we just need to decide which tyre we will use tomorrow. We make better lap times with the soft one, but this track is so greasy and conditions are always changing when the temperature drops or rises. The hard tyre could be a good option for more laps, but the softer one could also be good to get away early and then try to make consistent lap times. Anyway, at the moment it’s difficult to make a choice, we will see tomorrow.”
Marquez runs hot in scorching conditions at Sepang to set new circuit record
Round 17: Malaysian MotoGP™ - Qualifying
Sepang, Saturday 25 October 2014
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 30-30°C; Track 40-44°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP - Dry. Ambient 34-35°C; Track 57-58°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was in record-breaking form during qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix, as the 2014 World Champion set the quickest ever time at the Sepang circuit to become the first rider to achieve thirteen pole positions in a MotoGP™ season.
On his penultimate lap in Qualifying Practice 2, Marquez set a time of 1’59.791 to smash his own Sepang Circuit Record Lap by over three-tenths of a second and claim pole position ahead of his teammate Dani Pedrosa by 0.182 seconds. Third quickest in qualifying today was Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo who set a 2’00.203 on his final lap in QP2. All riders on the front row set their best lap time during qualifying on the combination of the medium compounds slicks front and rear.
Extremely hot ambient temperatures and strong sunshine pushed track temperatures today to levels. The peak track temperature of 58°C during Qualifying Practice the highest measurement recorded by Bridgestone in recent years. Today’s hot and dry conditions enabled the riders to assess a wide range of tyre combinations, with all of the slick options in Bridgestone’s tyre allocation for the Malaysian Grand Prix being utilised today. Both the medium and hard compound front slicks are performing well this weekend and will feature in tomorrow’s race, with some riders preferring the better cornering grip of the medium option, while other riders prefer the better braking stability of the hard compound front. Rear tyre choice for the Factory Ducati, Honda and Yamaha riders shows a strong trend towards the medium compound rear slick, while most of the Open-class riders look set to use the soft compound rear slick in tomorrow’s race.
The final MotoGP™ session before the race will be the Warm Up session at 1040 local time (GMT +8). The twenty lap Malaysian Grand Prix will commence at 1600 local time.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“After yesterday’s unsettled weather, it was important that all the sessions today were dry as it gave the teams and riders the chance to evaluate many different tyre combinations in preparation for tomorrow’s race. As expected, many riders tried our new hard compound front slick today and the overall consensus was that this tyre is well-suited to the conditions here this weekend. Depending on each rider’s riding style and bike setup, both front slick options provide their own particular advantages and I expect front tyre choice to be evenly split between the medium and hard options. Rear tyre choice for the race is showing a preference among the Factory Ducati, Honda and Yamaha riders for the medium compound rear slick, while the majority of the Open-class riders prefer the soft compound rear. The lap times from the riders so far this weekend, both during the time attack in qualifying and in long runs have been extremely quick and given the very high temperatures, this is a good indication of how well our 2014 specification tyres are performing at Sepang. In particular, it was pleasing to see the Circuit Best Lap record beaten so comprehensively by Marc in qualifying and I hope we will also see a new race record lap set tomorrow.”