Press releases from the MotoGP teams, Bridgestone and Dorna after the final qualifying session of the year at Valencia:
Renaissance Man Rossi Back on Pole
Valencia (Spain), 8th November 2014
A super heated last qualifying session of the season at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit this afternoon saw Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi rise to the top to start tomorrow’s Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana from pole position. His teammate Jorge Lorenzo will start directly behind him from fourth place on the grid.
Rossi clinched his first pole since Le Mans 2010 by lingering in the pits for a little while at the start of the session, allowing him to fully focus on a lap time once he entered a relatively empty track. Putting down a 1’31.765, the nine-time World Champion briefly set provisional pole. He went on to further improve his time but not his position with a 1’31.614 lap, leaving him in eighth place with eight minutes of the session remaining. Rossi then returned to the pits for fresh rubber and was back out again two minutes later. He became one of the key protagonists in an incredible fight for pole as the times started to drop into the 1’30s. His improvements continued as he initially set provisional pole with a 1'31.198 lap. He later got pushed back to fourth but, with one lap remaining after the flag had come out, he dropped a final time of 1’30.843 to take the 50th pole in his MotoGP career and his 60th pole over all classes.
Teammate Lorenzo was also one of the last riders to get on the track this afternoon. Once out he immediately fired off a fast lap and set provisional pole with a 1’31.726, before getting pushed back to eighth as the pace quickened. He went on to improve with a 1’31.421 to rise back up to second and with seven minutes remaining returned to the pits for a fresh rear qualifying tyre. Three minutes later he was back out and continued to improve his time when he put in another hot lap of 1’31.049, to move up four places to second. He looked good for a front row until a flurry of late activity from other riders pushed him to fourth position, on the second row.
46 Valentino Rossi
1st / 1'30.843 / 8 laps
“Getting my 50th pole position in my MotoGP career is a great achievement. It was a bit of a surprise, I didn’t expect it. I knew that I could do a good lap time because I felt really good with the bike. When I pushed the times were already not so bad, but on the last lap I was able to give a little bit extra. To get another pole position after four years is quite emotional. I like it a lot and I’m very happy, especially because it will be very important for tomorrow’s race.”
99 Jorge Lorenzo
4th / 1'31.049 (+0.206) / 7 laps
“Fourth place is good, keeping in mind that all the riders’ times are very close. I tried to do some good lap times. I did one fast lap but I made a mistake in the second and I went wide and I lost one or two tenths of a second. Valentino was behind me and he improved his lap time and went in front. This happens sometimes and you can lose some positions because of it. Our rivals are really competitive and they can take slow corners really late and exit corners very easily with a lot of acceleration, but we are not so bad. We have a great pace. The race is going to be long, so it won’t be easy but we have a lot of potential to win the race.”
“It is incredible to see Valentino on pole, especially at a place where in the past he has struggled to go fast. Jorge’s times also looked good today. He was consistently fast, so it’s a pity that he lost the first row at the end of the session as he deserved to be there. He has a good rhythm and he has won many races here, so I think we can be optimistic for tomorrow. We’re still not satisfied about the settings; compared to yesterday we made a big step in the right direction, but there are still some things that we need to improve. The race will be 30 laps, which is quite long. This is quite difficult to manage, not only physically for the riders, but also technically and tyre-wise. We’ll try to find something tomorrow morning that will hopefully give us some benefits.”
Crutchlow and Dovizioso qualify for the Valencian Community GP in eighth and ninth for a row 3 grid start
The two Ducati Team riders qualified on the third row of the starting-grid for the Valencian Community Grand Prix, the final round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship, which takes place tomorrow at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia.
Both Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso were able to complete two good free practice sessions today, easily gaining access to Q2, but during the decisive qualifying run they were disturbed by strong winds and could not put together a perfect lap.
Michele Pirro, test-rider for the Ducati Test Team, was fourteenth at the end of FP3 and then took part in the first qualifying session (Q1), finishing second. Having gained access to Q2 together with Bradl, Michele was however not able to go any higher than twelfth and as a result will start tomorrow’s race from row 4.
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 8th (1’31.359)
“I’m a little disappointed with the final outcome in qualifying: I believe we should have gone a bit quicker but we were affected a lot by the wind with our bike and I also had some problems with chatter. But overall today I felt we had a good feeling with the bike, I was a bit more confident and we were able to push a bit more, so hopefully tomorrow we can have a good race.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 9th (1’31.426)
“We have worked well all weekend, but in the afternoon there was a strong wind and I lost a bit of feeling with the front. I didn’t ride as smoothly as I did in the other sessions and unfortunately I was not able to do the times I had expected. We’ll see what the conditions are like tomorrow, but I think that for the race we should be OK.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 12th (1’32.617)
“I’m happy in any case because I managed to get into Q2. This morning I wasn’t satisfied because I couldn’t push hard and I knew I could have done better. In Q1 on the other hand I set a good time, lapping on my own, not far from the times set by the other Ducati riders. Unfortunately in Q2 I didn’t have any more new tyres to use: we did a few modifications but in the end I preferred not to take any risks.”
Front row start for Pedrosa as Marquez crashes on final lap
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa will start tomorrow’s final GP of the season from 3rd on the grid, with teammate and 2014 World Champion in 5th after a small crash on his final exit in qualifying.
Variable windy conditions once again plagued the Valencia track and finding the optimum setup has been a difficult job. Marc had a small crash this morning in FP3 but had been fastest in every session so far this weekend and both riders were in a prime position for qualifying after finishing 1st and 2nd in the final FP4 session. However, as qualifying began the wind swept in and created tricky conditions. Dani made a few small mistakes on his first exit but in his second run he was able to improve and his lap time of 1’30.999 (lap 9/9) places him in 3rd – just 0.156 seconds off pole.
On his final lap Marc was on a fast lap, with a session best first sector but lost the front coming into turn four. Unable to get back to the garage in time, Marc had to settle with his time of 1’31.144 (lap 6/6) and missed out on a front row start for the final GP of 2014 by just 0.145 seconds.
Tomorrow’s race is expected to be a closely fought battle with eleven riders within 0.643 seconds of each other. With a 29 point lead over their rivals in the Team Championship, the Repsol Honda Team could win the Triple Crown tomorrow if Marc and Dani don’t lose more that 16 points to Lorenzo and Rossi.
3rd - 1'30.999
“It was a difficult qualifying because there was much more wind than in the morning session. That made it hard to calculate the entry to corners and when to brake. As a result, I made a few mistakes and couldn't set a good lap at the beginning. Later, when I took the corners with a better line, the tyres were more worn down. At the end I was able to find those two tenths necessary to get onto the front row, so tomorrow we need to make the most of the position and have a good race.”
5th - 1'31.144
“On the one hand I'm happy, because we have a great pace and a great setup for tomorrow, but on the other hand I am a little annoyed that I made a mistake in qualifying. I apologise to the team, because we could have fought for pole position. I made one mistake on the first stint and another on the second, causing me to crash. You learn from these things and I'll go out tomorrow looking to enjoy the race, because we are ready to battle for the win.”
SUZUKI POISED FOR MOTOGP REBIRTH AFTER QUALIFYING
Team Suzuki Press Office – November 8.
Team Suzuki MotoGP will spend Saturday evening at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo going over the final plans, settings and strategies for its re-introduction to the premier class of Grand Prix racing for what will be the 18th and final round of the 2014 season tomorrow at Valencia in Spain.
Randy De Puniet improved his best-lap around the 14 curves of the flat and curling layout on the works GSX-RR by two-10ths-of-a-second compared to his fastest effort through Friday’s Free Practice sessions. Despite running into a few more small teething-troubles with the brand-new MotoGP project, the 33-year-old Frenchman was able to secure a spot on the seventh row of the grid for the 30-lap (120km) Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana on Sunday afternoon.
The GSX-RR cut through cool and cloudy air on Saturday for the second day of action at the Ricardo Tormo and as the vast stadium seating section started to fill with fans and expectation. De Puniet, who claimed victory at Valencia over 10 years ago in the 250cc class and clearly knows his way around the course thanks to 15 previous Grands Prix at the venue, hit lap-times in the mid-to-low 1 minute 32 second bracket. He was 20th in FP3 and then slotted into the QP1 group.
He posted a 32.8 on his first quick attempt and lowered the chrono to 32.5. The Saturday afternoon outing was not without interruption for the fledgling Suzuki crew but Team Manager Davide Brivio and his technicians were able to gather more information and valuable data in a ‘race setting’ in preparation for their work in the coming days (2015 test) and winter period. The first ‘moment of truth’ arrives tomorrow with Suzuki’s first Grand Prix since the end of the 2011 campaign.
Randy De Puniet:
“Not so easy today. We had a few more technical issues and we had to jump between the bikes and I couldn’t really ride like I wanted to. I’m a bit disappointed about the position because I believed I could have done much better. It’s the first race for the bike, however, and tomorrow we will try our best. I think I can ride low ‘32s tomorrow. I know I can do this and I can be consistent but we haven’t been able to show this yet. I’m ready to fight with everybody tomorrow and I would love this if we can make it happen. If we keep going in the right direction then we will have no regrets.”
Davide Brivio - Team Manager:
“A bit faster today and overall I think things are not too bad for our first race. We are encountering some issues but this is a part of being in a race environment with a project that is still young! This is why we are here; to take note of the problems we might find and the gap we have to the others. We are in the process and path we need to take. It is all about shaping our winter homework. I don’t think the performance is so bad and I can see some potential with the bike once a couple of technical issues have been solved. I think Randy is doing a good job and putting in a lot of effort despite a challenging situation. We are looking forward to the race tomorrow and I’m sure Randy will find a bit extra when he is part of the group. Up until now we are doing what we need to do and I think it is going OK.”
Iannone fights like gladiator, Hernandez commits an errer in qualification.
The Pramac Racing Team has quickly recovered from yesterday’s hard day. Andrea Iannone was fantastic in qualification, finishing in second place. Yonny Hernandez tomorrow will start from fifteenth place but has been shown to have a good pace for the race.
Andrea Iannone proves to be a fighter. Right from FP3 Andrea demonstrates that he brilliantly solved yesterday’s problems ending the session in fourth place, despite an annoying burning sensation in his injured arm. In Q2, the Italian rider crated a “masterpiece of fine art” riding in 1.30.975 which allowed him to control the group until the last moment, when Rossi in a state of grace took advantage of the last available opportunity. So Andrea in the race will start from second place. If these are the premises tomorrow’s race will be a spectacular show. Andrea has been shown to have what it takes, In the face of such evidence we can only applaud to his result.
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing) did an excellent session during FP3, putting down his best lap time this weekend. Yonny was not satisfied by his qualification, framed in his opinion, by too many errors and an annoying wind. He will be forced to start from fifteenth position. The Colombian, however, did not give up and is still confident, due to his good race pace. Tomorrow he will just have to push as hard as he can to finish in the top ten.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing)
"I am very happy to start from second place on the grid. Yesterday was a very difficult day, but I went to bed confident knowing that today was another day! This morning we worked on the bike and found the problem that prevented me to ride like I wanted. In qualifying I felt good and I was able to push even though I my arm was acing. I was able to do the best time, but right at the end Vale was slightly faster than me earning the pole. I am happy for this performance, I must say that it’s not bad for the last qualification of the year!"
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing)
"I'm not satisfied at all of my qualifications, I made mistakes that compromised me to improve on my fastest lap. Tomorrow in the race i’ll push as hard as i can to reach the top ten and finish the race in the best position possible. "
Strong second row start for Espargaro in season final qualifying at Valencia
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro will begin the final race of his debut season in the MotoGP class from the rear of the second row in 6th after a strong qualifying in Valencia. The young Spaniard started his day in superb form by completing free practice 3 with a result of 1’31.083 which saw him end the session impressively in second place and only 0.133 from the leading lap. This set him up perfectly for QP2 under gloriously sunny yet windy conditions at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. During the qualifying dash, Espargaro launched into a formidable run instantly before finishing with a best time of 1’31.307 that was set at the close of session on the last of his nine laps. The 23 year old rider’s notable efforts saw him fantastically clinch 6th in what was a strong-minded and well fought performance with his time being only four tenths from pole position. Tomorrow he will lunge forward at the start of the 30 lap race as he aims to confirm 6th in the championship standings in the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana.
Meanwhile, Bradley Smith will contest in the final race of the 2014 season one place behind his teammate, in 7th on the MotoGP grid after undertaking a strong ride in qualifying today. The British star began his day at Valencia by finishing in 10th position in the morning having used the session to complete further adjustments to the setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1. His best lap was 1’31.469 and resulted in him being only three tenths from the front row. Smith continued his forward momentum into the qualifying and concluded the 15 minute shootout with a top result of 1’31.324, leaving him at the head of the third row for tomorrow’s race. His time was a blink of an eye behind his teammate by only 0.017 and he will seek to conclude the race as the leading satellite bike in the final round.
Position : 6th Time : 1'31.307 Laps : 9
"Of course a second row start is nothing to be too unhappy about, even though after our performance this morning, I expected to finish a bit higher up the grid. However, to be just behind the four factory bikes as well as Iannone is definitely a promising position for us to be in for tomorrow. In addition, I remain convinced that we are stronger in the race than what we have shown on the single lap today. The wind was really strong this afternoon so any of the riders were lucky if they managed to have a wind free run. I unfortunately made a small mistake on my fastest lap and with these small gaps, you can easily lose a couple of positions. However, to be only four tenths from pole is a good achievement and puts us in a good place to fight from in order to end our season in sixth overall tomorrow, which is our aim."
Position : 7th Time : 1'31.324 Laps : 9
"I am pleased with the qualifying result today as it is a solid place to start the final Grand Prix from. The conditions on track were quite tough and with a lot less grip compared to last year. Plus the wind really picked up this afternoon and was quite aggressive, particularly into the first corner. I finished with a time that was close to Pol’s and I believe that is why our team works so successfully together as we have been battling since 2005 so we know each other very well. I finished 0.4 of a second from the pole and I qualified ahead of Aleix who, along with Pol, is the contender to my target of landing 6th in the championship standings. So overall, the result today leaves me in quite a promising position for tomorrow and I look forward to the battle in the 30 lap sprint at Valencia."
Aleix Esparagaro first open bike in Valencia qualifying
The last qualifying session of the season ends up with another pole position in the Open class for the NGM Forward Racing rider Aleix Espargaro. The Spaniard stopped the clock on 1.31.468, just 0.643 from the pole position and tomorrow he will take the start of the GP de la Comunitat Valenciana from the 11th position. It was a positive Saturday also for Alex De Angelis, 19th on the grid, after a heavy crash, fortunately without consequences for the rider. Despite his session was compromised by the incident, Alex is confident for the race.
“I’m happy with the work done during this weekend, even if I expected a better result for this qualifying. Tomorrow we will take the start from the 11th spot on the grid. Despite this position, we are only 0.643 from the pole position, so we are all quiet close. For the race it will be important to maintain the contact with the front guys. I aim at finishing this special season with the NGM Forward Racing Team with a good result”.
Alex De Angelis
“We did a good job in the FP3, and I was confident for the afternoon session as the feeling was good and also the pace. We made some small modifications for the qualifying, but in the FP4 I crashed badly, compromising the session. I went back on track and I succeeded to repeat the lap times of the morning. All in all, I’m confident for the race. We will continue working for the race”.
FIFTH ROW START FOR BAUTISTA AND REDDING AT VALENCIA
Alvaro Bautista and Scott Redding will start from the fifth row of the grid in the last race of the 2014 season, at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia. The Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini pair in fact obtained, the 3rd and the 4th fastest time, respectively, during the Qualifying 1 session, which means that ithey will occupy the thirteenth and fourteenth spot on the grid.
With 1’32”160, Bautista just missed out the decisive Qualifying 2 for less than 0.2 seconds: the Spaniard, slowed down by rear grip issues, replicated the lap times clocked during the free practice, showing once more the difficulties to exploit the tyres on a single flying lap.
His teammate, Scott Redding, closed theQualofying 1 with a time of 1’32”315, resulting once again the fastest rider aboard the Open Class Honda RCV1000R The English rookie will still work with the team to improve the behaviour of the front end of his bike ahead of the race.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (13th - 1'32"160)
“Our problem is always the lack of rear grip: the rear tyre looks like is cold everytime, therefore I can’t push hard. Our race pace is our limit: when I try to push to make one fast lap it’s impossible to go faster, because I lose the rear end everywhere. It’s a bit frustrating, but it’s the same feeling I had during almost all the second half of the season, and today the situation was not different. Tomorrow’s race will be again a difficult challenge: I will do my best, to try to enjoy my last race with Honda”.
SCOTT REDDING (14th - 1'32"315)
“I’m happy because today we were able to keep the same good rhythm throughout the whole day, and moreover I did my best lap alone: this is important because it means that we can be fast in the race. At the moment we are still struggling a little bit with the front: in the qualifying we used the soft front tyre and the front was pushing, so we need to keep working to fix this issue. The choice of the front tyre for the race it’s going to depend a lot on the temperature, so we will see tomorrow”.
BRADL STARTING FROM THE 10TH SPOT FOR THE ULTIMATE ROUND OF 2014
Valencia, 8 November: tomorrow’s 30-lap race at Valencia will see Valentino Rossi starting from the pole position since last time in Le Mans in 2010 followed by Iannone and Pedrosa. LCR racer Stefan Bradl will line up on the fourth row with the 10th lap time (1'31.443). The German had some trouble with the set-up in yesterday’s first outing and had to compete today for both QP1 and QP2.
Stefan: “Actually I am totally unhappy because our second rear tyre in QP2 had some chattering so, although I was pushing very hard, I could not improve my lap time. I knew that the guys would have pushed to improve in the last minutes and I wanted to do the same thing but at the end we reached P10. It’s not the perfect position for the race tomorrow but I think positive because the guys have similar pace and I have a good pace too. I believe we can easily fight for the top 6 places”.
Winner Marquez presented with 2014 BMW M Award
Marc Marquez was once again the fastest qualifier in MotoGP in 2014, earning him the coveted BMW M Award for the second year in a row. On Saturday afternoon at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana Marquez was presented with the BMW M Award winner’s prize of a BMW M4 Coupé.
The BMW M Award award, in the form of an exclusive and individually customised BMW M car, has been presented by MotoGP’s Official Car partner BMW M GmbH since 2003. Marquez’s outstanding performances in qualifying throughout 2014 saw him beat Mick Doohan and Casey Stoner’s record of 12 poles in a single premier class season, achieving 13 in total.
Marquez, who last year became the first rookie to win the BMW M Award, dominated the 2014 season from the word go. The Spaniard was also in a class of his own in qualifying, as he rocketed to his second World Championship title in MotoGP. With 398 points, the Spaniard won the 2014 BMW M Award by a comfortable 122 point margin.
The official presentation ceremony took place on Saturday at the final round of the MotoGP season in Valencia, Spain. The prize was presented by Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, and Thomas Schemera, Director of Sales and Marketing BMW M GmbH.
Marquez commented, “Qualifying is a crucial part of our strategy to win races and to win championships and my rivals always push me hard to be at the front of the grid, so every pole I get is important for me and the team. To have beaten Mick Doohan and Casey Stoner’s record this year was amazing for me and I couldn’t have done it without all the hard work of HRC and my crew. I’m very excited to have won the BMW M4 Coupé and I can’t wait to take it for a drive!”
“The presentation of the BMW M Award at the final race is always a highlight of the MotoGP season,” said Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports. “BMW M is an important and reliable partner of MotoGP, and it is fantastic that the performances of the top qualifier have now been honoured with such an exclusive, high-performance sports car for the twelfth time. In the BMW M4 Coupé, BMW M GmbH has once again provided a captivating car for the winner, which features the latest technology and perfectly combines the values shared by MotoGP and BMW M. Marc Marquez won the 2014 BMW M Award in an impressive manner. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate him on another outstanding season.”
“Congratulations to Marc Marquez on winning the BMW M Award again,” said Thomas Schemera, Director of Sales and Marketing BMW M GmbH. “Last year he came through as a rookie to defeat his more experienced opponents. In 2014 he raised the bar again with 13 pole positions. It was breath-taking to see how Marc went from one success to the next this year. As partner of MotoGP, we are delighted to once again recognise his achievements with the BMW M Award. Honouring the season’s top qualifier has become an important tradition for us, and we are proud that the BMW M Award is held in such high esteem by the MotoGP riders. They repeatedly confirm that our BMW M high-performance sports cars are much sought-after prizes – and we provided another highlight this year with the new BMW M4 Coupé.”
The BMW M Award for the best qualifier has been presented since 2003. Just like the points system for the races, riders at each Grand Prix weekend are awarded points relative to their positions in qualifying. Pole position is rewarded with 25 points, second place on the grid earns 20 points and third place scores 16 points – right down to one point for 15th. The rider with the most points at the end of the season wins the BMW M Award – in the form of an exclusive and individually customised BMW M car. Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner are the current record holders, each with three BMW M Awards to their name. In 2013, Marc Marquez was crowned the youngest ever winner of the BMW M Award, and the first rider to receive this award in his first season at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing. Marquez has now won the BMW M Award for the second time. His compatriot Jorge Lorenzo has also earned the coveted title of top qualifier twice so far. Sete Gibernau and Nicky Hayden have both won the BMW M Award once.
DRIVE M7 Aspar riders experience a significant improvement on first day times
Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama, sixteenth and eighteenth respectively, drop a second on yesterday’s times and are ready to face the final race of the season
The last pole of the 2014 MotoGP season went to Valentino Rossi, the Italian was again the fastest man in premier class qualifying for the first time in four years. After Marquez dominated the practice sessions Spanish rider emerged as the favorite for pole but he suffered a light crash in Q2. Rossi cashed in to lead the grid, followed by Iannone and Pedrosa, with Lorenzo fourth and Marquez fifth. Marquez has more pace to shoot for the win, but Rossi and Lorenzo will fiercely contest the championship runner-up spot tomorrow.
On Friday the DRIVE M7 Aspar riders both began cautiously, but today, from the morning practice session they each took a step forward, improving their lap times by over a second. Also both achieved their best times of the weekend in the qualifying session. Nicky has built up his confidence and feelings aboard his bike and finally he was ranked in sixteenth position. This is a weekend full of work for Hiroshi, who debuted the RC213V-RS on Friday. The Japanese DRIVE M7 Aspar rider has worked hard to familiarize himself with the new Honda and has gradually. He will start eighteenth in a very special race, his last with the team.
Nicky Hayden 16th 1’32.395:"Today was much better for us, we have improved the performance of the bike especially when braking. Yesterday we had some problems with the brakes, and did not understand why I was going wide and it was hard to stop the bike. But this morning we solved these problems and I lapped a second faster than yesterday. I felt comfortable and in the last free practice session on old tyres I was able to maintain a high pace in a long run. In the qualifying session, with the first tyre, we continued to improve our times, but with the second I wasn’t so lucky, I pushed hard but I found a lot of traffic. I was slightly annoyed because I wanted to have qualified a little higher, but then today we managed to improve our feelings, so we should be optimistic for the race tomorrow."
Hiroshi Aoyama 18th 1’32.449: "This was our second day riding the new Honda. The first day wasn’t easy and we had many things to try. Today we had a little more time and we’ve improved a lot, about a second. But clearly it is a completely new bike and we still need time to push. This morning we had a problem that caused us to lose valuable time. Still in the qualifying session we tried to push hard to qualify the best possible. We expected to be faster but we still need to better understand this bike in order to get higher performance. The positive thing is that in the morning warm up session, we will have more time to continue honing this new bike. Tomorrow probably I will have my last race in MotoGP, so it will be a very emotional and important day. This is the home track for my team and I was World Champion here, no doubt tomorrow will be a special day, I hope bid farewell with a big smile."
Fifth row for Redding at windswept Valencia
Valencia, Spain – 8 October 2014: Scott Redding will start the final race of his rookie MotoGP season from the fifth row of the grid, after qualifying in 14th position this afternoon at Valencia.
The 21-year-old Briton was once again the highest placed production Honda rider in qualifying, despite Hiroshi Aoyama using the updated version of the RCV1000R for the first time this weekend.
Redding goes into tomorrow’s race determined to consolidate his position as the highest placed production Honda rider in the 2014 MotoGP World Championship standings.
Scott Redding // 14th // 1’32.315
“I’m pretty happy, as we were able to maintain a consistent rhythm the whole day today, with my best time coming when I was lapping alone on track. This last point is important because it means we can be fast in tomorrow’s race. At the moment we’re still struggling a bit with the front; in the qualifying we used the soft tyre and the front was pushing, so we need to keep working to fix this issue. The temperature will dictate our front tyre choice for the race, so we will see about this tomorrow.”
Last-lap surge from Rossi results in Valencia MotoGP™ pole position
Round 18: Valencia MotoGP™ - Qualifying
Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana, Saturday 8 November 2014
Bridgestone slick compounds available:
Front: Extra-soft & Soft (Symmetric) & Soft (Asymmetric). Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 16-18°C; Track 19-21°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Dry. Ambient 19-20°C; Track 25-28°C (Bridgestone measurement)
In blustery conditions at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi seized his first MotoGP pole position since the 2010 French Grand Prix as the nine-time World Champion sets his sights on a third victory in 2014.
On his last lap in Qualifying Practice 2, Rossi set the quickest time of the weekend so far, a 1'30.843, to beat Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone to pole position by 0.132 seconds. Qualifying in third place for tomorrow’s race was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who stopped the clocks at 1’30.999 and was the only other rider besides Rossi and Iannone to lap in the 1’30 bracket in qualifying. Rossi and Pedrosa used the same combination of the medium compound rear and symmetric soft compound front slick to set their best times in qualifying, while Iannone set his best time using the soft compound rear in conjunction with the asymmetric soft compound front.
All of today’s sessions took place in fine conditions but strong winds in the afternoon created challenging riding conditions while also keeping track temperatures to a moderate level, with the peak reading of 28°C being two degrees lower than yesterday’s high. In a similar vein to yesterday, the medium compound rear slick was the most popular option in today’s sessions, with all the Factory Ducati, Honda and Yamaha riders preferring this option, as well as a few of the Open-class entrants. Front tyre choice was more varied, with both the asymmetric and symmetric soft compound front slicks being widely used, although race tyre choice will depend largely on tomorrow’s weather, with cooler temperatures forecast for Sunday.
The potential for cooler weather means that the morning Warm Up session at 0940 local time (GMT +1) will be crucial in helping the riders to decide which tyres to choose for the thirty-lap race which commences at 1400.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“After a fast start to the day with FP3 this morning, conditions were more challenging for the riders this afternoon with strong winds, but overall it was a productive day for us and the riders. The riders have a good idea of what their preferred race tyre choice is, but I believe we will need to see what tomorrow’s weather brings as cooler conditions could result in some riders re-evaluating their front tyre choice. The two soft compound front tyres, the asymmetric and symmetric options are both working well but it might take a final evaluation in morning Warm Up for the riders to see which option works best for them in cooler temperatures. Rear tyre choice looks pretty much set now, with the medium compound rear slick likely to be used by the majority of the riders.”