Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after the first day of practice at Jerez:
Positive day for injured Marquez in Spanish sunshine
Despite riding with a broken left little finger, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has had an optimistic first day in the GP of Spain finishing third in the combined times with teammate Hiroshi Aoyama placing 20th.
In this morning’s FP1 session, Marc eased back into his rhythm as he adapted to riding with his injury – sustained in a training accident last Saturday. By this afternoon’s FP2 session, Marc was back in the groove and topped the time sheets for a good portion of the session. He improved his morning time by almost half a second and finished third for the day with 1’39.428 (lap 4/16).
Teammate Hiroshi took his time reacquainting himself with Dani Pedrosa’s RC213V machine. He consistently improved throughout the day and also improved by half a second from this morning’s FP1 with his time of 1’40.678 (lap 16/18) placing him twentieth on this first day.
3rd 1'39.428 [lap 4/16]
"We can be happy that my hand has responded quite well today - as well as could be expected. It hurts a lot but at least I can put in the laps. We’ll see if tomorrow it is better if it doesn’t swell up. As for the bike, I'm feeling pretty good with it and we are working well, but we need to improve some things - especially in the afternoon - when the track temperature rises. The race will be at this time, so we have to improve the setup accordingly."
20th 1'40.678 [lap 16/18]
"Unfortunately Dani wasn’t able to return to racing at his home Grand Prix so I am replacing him again. Compared to the last two races this first day has been positive for us. Obviously we still need to improve but at the end of FP2 I had a better rhythm and was able to be faster but made some small mistakes. It’s not easy but we must progress further tomorrow as we know all the other riders will also."
Lorenzo Sets the Pace in Scorching Jerez Practice
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo is the fastest man of the first day in Jerez. Teammate Valentino Rossi started the weekend focusing on his race set up and finished ninth in the combined standings.
Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 1st May 2015
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi rode on European soil for the first time this season during today‘s free practice sessions ahead of Sunday‘s Gran Premio de España.
The teammates needed little time to re-familiarise themselves with their YZR-M1s at the Circuito de Jerez de la Frontera. Posting a 1‘39.174 lap, Lorenzo was quick to take the top spot on the leaderboard during the morning session, with Rossi not far behind in sixth, 0.698s off today‘s fastest time.
During the afternoon practice the teammates had to deal with scorching hot weather, making the track more slippery. This slowed down the times, but didn‘t faze Lorenzo. After getting used to the warmer track temperatures, the four-time World Champion quickly returned to his pace from this morning and wrapped up FP2 with a fastest session time of 1‘39.300.
Rossi used the session to focus on the set up of his YZR-M1 using the harder tyre option. He was unable to improve on his time and finished thirteenth, 1.094 from the front.
Today‘s results put Lorenzo and Rossi first and ninth respectively in the combined free practice times.
The extended imagery from today's Free Practice sessions (1 & 2) at the Jerez de la Frontera Circuit (Spain) is available on www.yamahamotogp.com
My mentality from this morning was to go for it and don‘t think too much, just try to ride according to my instinct and it worked very well, especially in the morning. In the afternoon we tried the hard rear tyre that was very bad, with lots of spinning for everyone and I decided to go back to the softer one, since that one is much better in cold but also in warmer conditions. Yamaha and I did great things together in the past. In the last two years I felt less good, but we focused on the year and now it seems we‘re coming back stronger. We will have to demonstrate it tomorrow and especially on Sunday. Yesterday was a great day for me and I am very grateful that Yamaha has faith in me even in very hard moment. I want to show my form again on the track tomorrow with my speed.
It was a difficult practice, especially this afternoon. I think I could have gotten a better position but I decided to use just the harder option and work with just that tyre, because we thought that was the best tyre for the race. Unfortunately the performance is very low and the lap time isn‘t good enough, so I think that also the soft can be an option too, but it will be difficult. With the high temperature in the afternoon the track makes you slide a lot and it‘s very difficult to control the bike. We had a lot of troubles in acceleration, because we suffer from wheel spin and the bike isn‘t stable. We are not good with the setting yet, so we have to try and improve for tomorrow morning. We have a lot of things to do; a different balance of the bike, different tyres and other options.
We did a good amount of work today and we were able to collect a lot of information for tomorrow. Compared to the morning session, the track conditions changed a lot in the afternoon. Jorge started really strongly and led both practice sessions. This will give him a good basis to work on this weekend. Valentino worked on his set up with the hard rear tyre, especially during the second practice, and didn‘t focus too much on lap times. So far the hardest compound didn‘t work as we expected. The weather forecast for tomorrow is good so this gives us two entire practices to further improve our bikes.
Iannone fourth and Dovizioso fifth after the first day of free practice for the Spanish GP at Jerez de la Frontera
Both Ducati Team riders got off to a positive start in the Spanish Grand Prix weekend at Jerez de la Frontera, with Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso notching up the fourth and fifth quickest times respectively on the combined timesheets.
During the morning session, the two Italians worked to obtain the best possible set-up for their Desmosedici GP15 machines, only making use of rear tyres with the hardest compound available. Dovizioso ended FP1 in fourth place, while Iannone finished the session in twelfth.
In the afternoon, with the air temperature considerably higher than the morning, the Ducati Team men continued with the set-up work on their GP15 bikes, and towards the end of the session, went out on track with the softer rear tyre option, setting third (Iannone) and fourth (Dovizioso) quickest times respectively in FP2. In the combined standings (FP1 and FP2) they were fourth and fifth.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1’39.511 (4th)
“To sum it up, I’d say that today we went pretty well, even though we have not yet reached an ideal set-up. Today we did a bit of experimenting, in the sense that we are trying out two quite different set-ups on my GP15, trying to understand what is the right path to follow on this track. I am still a bit undecided, but in any case the sensations are positive and the bike is working well, and above all I am sure I have a bike with a high potential also here at Jerez. In the three previous races the GP15 has always been competitive and so I am pretty optimistic about this weekend”.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’39.535 (5th)
“Today went well and I am pleased: after the good sensations in Argentina here we have a good pace and we are also quick on this track. We still have work to do, because here at Jerez the drop in the tyre towards mid-race is quite significant and it’s always very difficult for everyone to find the ideal set-up, with the aim of being constant for the entire 27-lap race. We did some major modifications and we also found some positive aspects, and now we have to get a good overall picture of the situation, but it was a positive first day for me”.
TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR POSITIVE AFTER STRONG JEREZ 1ST DAY
Team Suzuki Press Office – May 1st
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales completed a positive opening day of MotoGP™ practice at the Circuit of Jerez de la Frontera, Spain in second and 10th places respectively.
Espargaro’s combined times aboard his GSX-RR put the 25-year-old Spaniard on a provisional front-row start, just 0.049-seconds from Pole Position, while 20-year-old fellow countryman Viñales’ combined result is just 0.735-seconds down ahead of Sunday’s fourth round of the series at the Spanish circuit.
Although hotter temperatures in FP2 didn’t see improved lap-times, Espargaro was consistently in the upper-part of the classification for both sessions, finally putting his GSX-RR into second place overall with a 1’39.223 lap-time.
Viñales, who is gaining confidence with his GSX-RR at the tight-and-twisting Jerez circuit, was consistently up around 10th place throughout FP1 and FP2, setting a best time of 1’39.909.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“We had a positive day of work here at Jerez: Aleix is in provisional 2nd place, Maverick also in the top-10 and they improved their lap-times each lap. We have worked on testing our tyres in order to prepare for the race and also tried different steps regarding bike set-ups. This is mainly the normal work we do every weekend, but we have a positive feeling and we are satisfied. In the afternoon the temperatures were much hotter than in the morning, and this made it very difficult for everybody to set better lap-times, but both Aleix and Maverick were fast in both conditions. This also gave us the chance to start preparing for the race. Our objective is to get closer and closer to the top and today was certainly in this direction.”
“The day has been positive and particularly in the afternoon’s session we set a good pace. We had some improvements with the chattering on the rear and I also feel competitive in the hot temperatures. For me, tomorrow will be a good qualifying test. We will aim to be very close to the pole, but we also have a strong pace for the race. Of course it is only the first day but it’s been a good start.”
“The weekend had a positive start. At the moment we are in Q2 times, which is good, but we know that tomorrow we will have to cut times and get closer to the low 1’39 bracket if we want to be competitive. We also worked on the pace today. We still need almost half-a-second a lap, but I think we can do it. Tomorrow we will finalise some aspects of the set-up and this should make us even more competitive. We tried both tyres today and honestly there’s not such a difference between the two of them in terms of single lap performance, but we still need to test a couple of things in FP4 to make a final decision for the race. At the moment we would choose the hard tyre because it would give us more endurance for the final laps of the race.”
FIRST DAY OF MOTOGP PRACTICE AT JEREZ
Bautista and Melandri at work on two fronts: continuing development of the RS-GP bikes and preparing for the first European race
Jerez (Spain), 1 May 2015 – MotoGP arrives in Europa with the traditional round on the Jerez de la Frontera track. The entire Aprilia Racing Team Gresini worked on two fronts during the first two free practice sessions, continuing development of the RS-GP bikes and preparing for the races on Sunday.
After the first morning session which was used to determine a base setup for the V4 bikes from Noale, times improved during FP2 In the afternoon Bautista finished in 18th place, improving his times significantly. The hard work left to do, both on the track and in the technical briefings, will hopefully lead to further improvements. Melandri also improved his times (24th) compared to the morning session.
ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)
“After the conclusion of the early part of the season with the American rounds, we restarted with a setup which at this point we feel is fairly consolidated. Building around this base we began to work more on the details, even though we are still doing rather wide spectrum tests on engine management, controls and electronic strategies. In the second session we improved and Alvaro's performance shows it. Not too bad although there is still a lot of work to be done, especially on the bike's weight distribution and balance. This makes us hopeful that we'll be able to improve further.”
FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)
“Bautista's performance today is a great start to the weekend and, all told, Marco is also looking pretty much in line with the performance that Alvaro demonstrated. We weren't expecting any drastic changes but we can definitely say that the weekend got off on the right foot. We'll keep working hard and building up experience while waiting for technical changes that should arrive soon and which, I am convinced, will let us take a few more important steps forward.”
“I tested various solutions, even frame setups, in order to continue improving my general feeling with the bike. I had hoped to draw from the experience of the testing we did here in November, but the conditions are too different and the track has changed a lot. In the morning I had to do a lot of work. The changes we made allowed me to improve in the afternoon but I still have work to do, especially in the braking sections and managing the throttle. Today I'll work with the team to try and find solutions that will bring more improvements during the sessions tomorrow.”
“Today we basically started over from scratch since we found high temperatures and completely different conditions compared to the tests we did here in the autumn. That means that there is a lot of work to be done, although between the first and second sessions we were able to improve our times. Tomorrow we'll try to close the gap behind the riders ahead of us.”
SOLID START FOR FLU-HIT CRUTCHLOW AT JEREZ
Cal Crutchlow made a solid start to the Spanish Grand Prix today as he battled against flu symptoms to set some solid lap times and complete crucial set-up work in the opening two free practice sessions at Jerez de la Frontera.
After verifying his physical condition on the bike this morning Crutchlow and his CWM LCR Honda Team spent the day working largely on engine braking and tyre choice.
Riding this track for the first time on this bike and despite feeling less than 100%, the British rider was the fastest Honda on track as he lapped third fastest in this morning's opening session although he did not manage to improve his best time in the afternoon as track temperatures soared by 20ºC.
Cal Crutchlow #35 (7th – 1'39.737)
“It has been a positive first day, we've been going through the motions here at Jerez. I've not been well for the last few days with flu so firstly we had to make sure I was okay to ride today. I felt not too bad on the bike and the CWM LCR Honda Team did a great job, they're all working well again.
“This is another new circuit for me on the Honda but we were able to get a feel for it here and run through some tyre options. We also worked on the engine brake control system, which is where we need to improve the most. We will look to continue with that tomorrow and hopefully have a better day.”
Petrux sixth and Yonny seventeenth after the first free two practices in Jerez
MotoGP moves back to Europe after the first three races in as many continents including Qatar, United States and Argentina, and the friday of the Grand Prix de Espana gives soon great satisfaction to the Pramac Racing Team as Danilo Petrucci ended the first two free practices with the sixth fastest laptime. Yonny Hernandez finished in 17th position.
After having worked on the race pace in the first session of the morning, the rider from Terni entered the track in FP2 with great determination and with the hard tire he immediately managed to set the great time of 1'39.718 (registering the second fastest time in the third sector). A laptime which allowed Petrux to end up the first day of the Spanish weekend in the sixth place of the combined standings.
Following the 17° quickest laptime in the morning's free practice, Yonny Hernandez set the 12° fastest time in the FP2. The Colombian was not able to find a good feeling with the Ducati Desmosedici GP14.2 but he managed to record the highest top speed reaching 292.8 km / h. The time of 1'40.363 earned Yonny the seventeenth place after the first day of practice.
6° - Danilo Petrucci - Pramac Racing #9 - 1'39.718
"I am very happy because I set a good time at the beginning of the session fitting the hard tires. I'm also satisfied because I did a sort of long-run: seven laps in race condition at a good pace. We were looking for something to fix with the traction. I wanted to lower my quickest time with the soft tire but I felt I hadn't enough control. It has already happened in Qatar and I hope it won't happen tomorrow again. That's why tomorrow morning i'll try to set soon a fast time with the hard tyre. I feel like I move forward day by day as the feeling with the bike is growing up. We are performing good and tomorrow I hope to do well. "
17° - Yonny Hernandez - Pramac Racing #68 - 1'40.363
"I could not find a good step in this first day of practice. I hope to improve tomorrow and fight to enter directly into Q2. We will have to work a little 'on the setting because I feel I have little feeling in the front of the bike . Today was not very good but I am sure that I can do better tomorrow in order to reach the Top 10 target ".
Top ten for Redding on opening day in Jerez
Jerez, Spain – 1 May 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS MotoGP rider Scott Redding made a positive start to the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez, finishing both of today’s free practice sessions inside the top ten.
Redding received updated chassis components ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix and the 22-year-old Briton was quick to adapt to the revised bike during this morning’s first 45-minute free practice, finishing just 0.7s off the fastest time of the session.
The track temperature had risen considerably ahead of this afternoon’s second free practice and, with grip levels dropping, Redding was unable to improve upon his time from this morning, which was still quick enough to secure him tenth place on combined times.
Scott Redding: 10th – 1’40.145
“My feeling with the bike is quite good, but we’re struggling to find the time we need to progress up the timesheet and we don’t really know why at the moment. The bike is working well under braking and on corner entry, but it feels like we just lose a little bit when I first touch the throttle with the rear spinning. We’re trying to find a solution for this ready for tomorrow, but the feeling with the new chassis is already good and we just need to make small improvements for the lap time now. Overall it’s been a positive first day, but we need to continue working hard tomorrow to make sure we go straight through to Q2.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“I’m pleased with the progress Scott has made with the new chassis today. I was expecting it to take him more than a couple of sessions to adapt, but the process was very quick. This may not be reflected in his position on the timesheet, but he’s closed the gap to the front guys, so it’s all fairly positive. There is still some work for the team to do, as we need to ensure Scott has a set up for FP3 capable of putting him straight into Q2 again, but I’m confident we’ll see further improvements tomorrow, once we’ve had a chance to look through today’s data.”
Espargaro kicks off proceedings brightly under the Andalusian sun
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro opened his Jerez account with a firm finish of 8th place in the combined practice times on the first day of action at round four of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship in Jerez. The young Spaniard took off at full speed straight away in front of his fans as he lapped the legendary 4.4 kilometre circuit 19 times whilst establishing a setup for the race on Sunday. He closed the opening practice in 5th with a time of 1’39.871 that was only one tenth of a second back from third which left him primed to carry on the encouraging start in the afternoon. Here, the 2014 MotoGP rookie of the year continued his work, yet unfortunately a technical issue halted his run in the second half of free practice 2, which caused him to pull over. Nevertheless, he audaciously sprinted straight back to the pits and jumped on his second bike. He still was able to improve in the session and his time of 1’39.953 was strong enough to clinch 8th. Tomorrow the Spaniard will aim to make the most of the perfect riding conditions in Andalusia and he then will intend to seize a strong qualifying position ahead of the 27 lap race on Sunday.
Meanwhile Britain’s Bradley Smith began the Jerez round of the MotoGP World Championship with a finish of 16th place overall in today’s free practice sessions. Smith completed FP1 in 16th position as he started to refine and adjust the setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1, in preparation for race day on Sunday. In the afternoon, the young British rider pushed onwards as he aimed to cut his time further and set his quickest lap of 1’40.293 on the 17th out of 20. This performance saw him finish the first session in 11th place and three tenths of a second behind his teammate. The 23 year old rider remains fully confident of progressing and undertaking the positive setup work with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team, in tomorrow morning’s FP3 session ahead of the all important qualifying shootout.
Position : 8th Time : 1'39.871 Laps : 34
"It was a strong start to the weekend and I’m pleased with our efforts and how the first day went overall. The morning session was really positive and I was happy as we had a good feeling on the bike as soon as the wheels started moving. The lap times came quite easily too as I was comfortable and content with my Yamaha. Yet in the afternoon our plans were disrupted by a technical issue. As a result, we had to change the bike which altered our working plan that we had in place for the session and this especially impacted upon the tyre situation as we didn’t want to use too many new tyres today. So, we didn’t extract the full potential of the session however, we were able to improve the lap time and we remain close to the top riders. It was a good start to the weekend even if I had to sprint back to the pit box after my bike stopped!"
Position : 16th Time : 1'40.293 Laps : 40
"All in all, today has been quite a challenging one for me, yet despite the final position, we managed to gain a lot of valuable information which leaves me positive of improving for the rest of the weekend. The team and I tried the different front and rear tyres as well as a new setting on my second bike.
Although we didn’t discover anything hugely promising with the setup, we definitely have a clear direction to head towards tomorrow in order to have a good qualifying. Of course it will be vital to get into the top ten in the morning so that we can advance to QP2. We still have a lot of work to undertake, but I feel optimistic of a strong race this weekend as we know which areas need to be amended, so we will be ready to do better tomorrow."
The Spanish Grand Prix starts for Avintia Racing
01/05/15 Avintia Racing MotoGP – Grand Prix of Spain – FP1-FP2
The MotoGP World Championship arrived to Europe this weekend in Jerez, one of the most popular racetracks for the Spanish crowd. The sun and the warm conditions marked the first day of the Grand Prix of Spain and the atmosphere was perfect for the fans that have been pushing our riders to the top in the premier class. It was a positive day for the Avintia Racing team that keep ruling in the Open Class with Hector Barbera who was again the fastest in the morning session. In the afternoon the track temperature was very high and he wasn’t able to improve, but he is confident for tomorrow when he expects to improve his Ducati’s set up.
It was the opposite for Mike Di Meglio who suffered a lot during the morning but was one of the few riders improving in the afternoon with lower grip level. Tomorrow both riders will fight to going straight to the Q2.
HECTOR BARBERA #8 / 11st 1'39.937 (1st Open) @HectorBarbera
To be honest everything was perfect in the morning. We found a good set up quickly and I went immediately fast. In the afternoon we concentrated in the set up for the race working with used tyres and we got a good pace. The target was working for the race and I think the bike is perfect. We still have some room for improving tomorrow, but the pace is good. With 50 degrees temperature on the asphalt the grip is always an issue, so this is where we have to work, because when the tyre drops we can get an advantage.
MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 / 18th 1'40.444 (5th Open) @Mikejpp63
This afternoon was much better than the morning and I felt really well with more temperature on the track and I was able to improve my lap times in one second. I think we have in the right way and tomorrow we need to make another step forward. The main thing is that we are with the other Open bikes and we got the pace back after this morning problems. It will be crucial to make a good lap in qualifying to start the race in the best position so we can battle for a good result in the race.
Athinà Forward Racing close to Top15 at Jerez
Under the scorching sun of Jerez de la Frontera, today it took off the first European Grand Prix of the 2015 season for the team Athinà Forward Racing and its riders Stefan Bradl and Loris Baz.
After a positive free practice session in the morning, with Bradl in 11th position and 13th Baz, the riders of the Swiss team have suffered the sudden change of temperature in the afternoon and were not able to improve.
The German ended in 13th place in the combined standings, the second Open behind Barbera, with a time of 1.40.037. Despite a big crash at the start of the second round, fortunately without consequences, Bradl and is confident of being able to approach the head of its class in qualifying tomorrow.
Good start also for his teammate Loris Baz who ended up 14th in the ranking. The Frenchman, who was also the victim of a small fall in the first round, posted a good 1.40.092 that puts him close of the leading Open bikes.
“It was a difficult session this afternoon. I fell in the warm-up lap and that affected our work schedule. I had little grip on the rear and, when I started to push, I fell. We have to analyze the data to understand what happened in order to improve. I came back on the track on bike two but it had a very different setup as we planned to try different things. The track temperature between morning and afternoon has risen significantly and this made the work even more difficult”.
“Jerez is a very special track. The track conditions change rapidly from morning to afternoon. This morning the feeling was good and I was able to push. In the afternoon session instead the confidence was not the same and I was not so comfortable riding. We must continue to work to get ready for qualifying. We can improve”.
MILLER MAKES PROGRESS ON DAY ONE IN JEREZ
Jack Miller was satisfied with his first day's work at the Spanish Grand Prix today as he got to grips with another new circuit to him in the MotoGP class.
Just one year on from starting the Moto3 race from pole position at this circuit the CWM LCR Honda rookie set a competitive pace on his Open class machine in this morning's opening free practice, when he lapped just two seconds shy of what would prove to be the fastest lap of the day in 21st position.
Like the majority of riders Miller was unable to improve his lap time in the afternoon as track temperatures at Jerez de la Frontera soared from 23ºC to 43ºC but he is hopeful of continuing his progression tomorrow, as he looks to build on his Open class 'victory' at the last event in Argentina two weeks ago.
Jack Miller #43 (23rd - 1'41.201)
“I hasn't been a bad day today. It's nice to be back at a European circuit, it's a little smaller and tighter here than the last couple of tracks we have been to and we have found some problems with rear grip so we'll be looking to work on that tomorrow.
“The important thing is that we are making progress and as long as we can continue to do that I'm looking forward to picking up in Sunday's race from where we left off in Argentina.”
AB Motoracing at the is starting from the zero in Jerez
AB Motoracing is still suffering technical issues that already complicated the race in Argentina. Karel Abraham rode 21st time in the opening practice losing just 1.6 seconds to the fastest rider Jorge Lorenzo.
„There was really hot in the afternoon which is not good for us at all. We suffer some problems with rear shock absorber and unfortunately it gets more serious with increasing temperature. Actually, we are cooperating intensively in Showa to solve eliminate this issue. Even we are focused on the rear, we must not forget the front, which had been quite unpredictable today. We have also some work to be done on electronics, but nothing grave.“
Marco Grana - chief mechanic AB Motoracing
“After Argentina we must change completely the setup of the rear. In fact we were on the zero this morning. Our problems are growing ass the air gets warmer during the day and we are still not close to a solution. We tried both soft and hard tyres, but it´s difficult to compare, because the track conditions are changing from the morning to the afternoon. The track temperature reached 45 degrees in the second practice and most riders slowed down compared to the morning. We will continue to work tomorrow trying to improve also the response of the front wheel.”
Lorenzo leads the way in sizzling Friday MotoGP™ practice at Jerez
Round 4: Spanish MotoGP™ - Free Practice One & Two
Circuito de Jerez, Friday 1 May 2015
Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 19-21°C; Track 26-29°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Dry. Ambient 29-30°C; Track 50-53°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative – front), Extra-hard (Alternative – rear)
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo was quickest in both sessions on the opening day of the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, the two-time MotoGP™ champion going quicker than his own Circuit Record Lap time in the process.
In the morning Free Practice 1 session, Lorenzo stopped the clocks with a 1'39.174, a time that is almost four-tenths quicker than the race record he set during the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix and was the quickest time set all day. Second quickest overall was Team SUZUKI ECSTAR rider Aleix Espargaro whose best time of 1'39.223 was also set in the morning session. Third quickest today was Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, who despite nursing a broken finger was able to set his personal best time of 1’39.428 in the warmer afternoon FP2 session.
The opening day of practice at Jerez took place in warm and sunny conditions and although track temperatures in FP1 peaked at 29°C, the continuous sunshine saw temperatures spike in the afternoon, reaching a sizzling 53°C at the end of FP2. As is typical for the Jerez circuit, as track temperatures increased the grip level offered by the tarmac was reduced, yet some riders were still able lap at race record pace in the hot conditions of FP2.
With mild temperatures present right from the start of FP1, most riders went straight to using the medium compound front slick, with only a few riders opting for the soft compound front to assess the grip level of the track in the first session. Rear tyre choice saw a general preference for softer rear slick options in FP1, but the hotter temperatures in FP2 saw many riders evaluate their harder rear slick option; hard compound for the factory Honda and Yamaha riders, and medium for the rest of the field in FP2.
At this stage of the race weekend all three rear slick options, and the two main front slick options – medium and hard - are viable race choices depending on the particular riding style and bike setting of each of the entrants. More evaluation will be undertaken during tomorrow’s practice sessions to help each rider decide their best race tyre combination, with the next opportunity to do so being Free Practice 3 at 0955 local time (GMT +2) tomorrow.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“We had a good mix of cool and hot conditions today which enabled the riders to assess many different tyre combinations, and as is usually the case at Jerez, as track temperatures increased in the afternoon the tarmac became quite greasy. The flowing nature of this circuit requires optimal bike balance, so the way the front and rear tyre work together in braking and cornering is critical to achieving good performance. Our compound selection for Jerez, which we have changed slightly for this year, performed well in this regard. All of our slick tyre options were used today and riders were able to lap quicker than race record pace in both sessions, so I am happy that no matter what the conditions are for the race that our tyres will provide good performance to all the riders. There is no clear preference on race tyre choice at this stage, this should become clearer tomorrow as the riders continue to assess the different options available.”