Press releases from the teams, Bridgestone and sponsors after qualifying at Brno:
Fantastic Double Front Row for #MovistarYamaha #MotoGP as Lorenzo Breaks #CzechGP Record
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi delivered brilliant performances today in qualifying for tomorrow‘s Grand Prix České Republiky, Lorenzo breaking the record of fastest lap for a stunning pole position and Rossi claiming his second front row start of the season.
Brno (Czech Republic), 15th August 2015
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo put maximum effort into this afternoon‘s qualifying session, delivering pole position for tomorrow‘s race at the flowing Automotodrom Brno.
Lorenzo wasn't the only Yamaha rider on fire either as teammate Valentino Rossi put in a stunning ride to secure third, just 0.364 seconds from pole, for a first double front row qualifying result for the factory Yamaha team since Misano 2014.
After he displayed a dominant form in the third and fourth free practice session this morning, Lorenzo again confirmed he is a force to be reckoned with during the qualifying heat.
The Spaniard was the last rider to head out on track at the start of the 15 minute session to be assured of some clear space to crank out a hot lap and went to work immediately. His first flying lap delivered a 1‘55.238, smashing his own lap record and shooting him straight to provisional pole.
He hurried back into the pits for fresh rubber with seven and a half minutes remaining and was back on track in confident mood with a little under six minutes on the clock, ready to raise the level even further. He broke another record with his next flying lap, the first ever lap under the 1‘55 mark with a 1‘54.989. He had time for two more laps, but was unable to further improve upon his incredible lap time and will start tomorrow‘s race from a well-deserved pole position.
Teammate Rossi also gave a strong performance this afternoon. Having been quick in today‘s practice session the Italian made best use of the qualifying tyres in the quick fire heat. He left pit lane as one of the first riders, but headed straight back after scrubbing in his new front tyre.
He returned to the track with twelve minutes left of the session, his first lap of 1‘56.345 putting him in seventh place. He kept pushing as everyone else was changing tyres and posted a 1‘55.856 for fourth before arriving back at the box for another tyre with four minutes of the session left.
He rejoined the fight less than a minute later for a final attempt to improve his grid position as a last minute flurry of activity pushed him back to fifth. He gave his all on his final lap and delivered a brilliant 1‘55.353 for third position on the front row of the grid.
I am really proud of my two lap times, because the first one was as impressive as the second but just not enough to make the pole position. In the end I had to improve the lap time by two or three tenths to keep an advantage over Marc. I didn‘t expect my time, but I didn't expect those from Marc or even Valentino either, but everyone was pushing so much and they improved a lot. My pole position lap was very good, almost perfect, except maybe the last corner wasn‘t because I had a lot of wheel spin, but a perfect lap is impossible, so we have to be very satisfied. I am confident for tomorrow because I think we have a great base setting. We will see tomorrow what the weather is like, how our rivals are doing after some laps, but we are confident.
I think a first row start is going to be very important because Jorge and Marc will be very fast from the beginning and if you start from behind it will be impossible to stay with them, so I‘m very happy with this result, also because we worked very well with the team. Already this morning we found a good way to proceed, but this afternoon we improved the setting and were able to also have a good pace, and like I said it‘s very important to start from the front row, because it will be a very hard race.
A fantastic pole position from Jorge, his first lap was already impressive, but the second part of the session was even better. It was also a really good qualifying from Vale, we‘re happy with third place and a front row start. The set up of the bike is working very well for both riders, so we will look for some minor last improvements that we can test in the warm up, during which we will decide which tyre we will use in the afternoon. We are feeling confident that tomorrow we will see a hot race, both in temperature and in racing action.
Second for Marquez in Brno with injured Pedrosa on third row
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez will start tomorrow’s Czech Republic GP from 2nd on the grid after an intense battle during qualifying with Jorge Lorenzo, with five riders lapping under Cal Crutchlow’s 2013 pole position record (1’55.527). Teammate Dani Pedrosa who was suffering due to the injury to his left ankle after crashing in free practice yesterday will start from 9th position.
Jorge and Marc shot to the top of the time sheets immediately on their first exit. However, both riders had more to come, both improving their first exit time considerably, with Marc missing out on pole by just 0.074 seconds with his time of 1’55.063 (lap 6/7). Dani displayed true determination to fight for a good grid position and his time of 1’55.969 (lap 6/7) was just 0.032 seconds of 6th place Andrea Dovizioso in an incredibly tight mid-field.
Tomorrow’s race will begin at 14h00 local time.
"Today we can be very pleased with how the day went, yesterday we were far off Jorge and Valentino’s pace but today we are much closer. It's a good sign, but we knew it would be difficult to beat them over a single lap because it seems that they use the new tyre very well. I set a very good lap, but Jorge’s was fantastic. In terms of race pace I think they are a little better than us, but there isn’t much in it, so in the morning warmup we will try to make a step. We will give one hundred percent in the race and try to keep as close as possible and stick with them to the end."
"Today was a difficult day and I did the best I could but it was very painful on the bike and hard for me to change gears and move myself around. Although I wasn't slow, I didn't get a great position on the grid as the riders around me are very close with just a few hundredths of a second separating us. So tomorrow we will start a little further back which is always tricky as you find yourself in traffic in the early laps. However, we will try our best tomorrow, hope for a good start and go from there."
Row 2 start for Ducati Team riders at Brno: Iannone fourth and Dovizioso sixth in Czech Republic GP qualifying
Both Ducati Team riders had a good qualifying session today at the Automotodrom Brno. Andrea Iannone finished Q2 in fourth place, while his teammate Andrea Dovizioso was sixth fastest in the timesheets and so both Italians will start from the second row of the grid for Sunday’s Czech Republic Grand Prix at the Moravian circuit.
Iannone was fifth quickest in the morning’s last free practice session (FP3) and Dovizioso ninth, taking both Ducati Team men directly through into the all-important second and final qualifying session (Q2).
Following FP4, which ended with Iannone in fourth and Dovizioso in fifth, the two Italians then went out on track for the 15-minute qualifying dash. They set their best times on their second exit after fitting soft rear tyres to their Desmosedici GP15 machines.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1’55.390 (4th)
“I would clearly have loved to be on the front row, but I am in any case pleased with how today went. It would have been hard to improve on my best time because I pushed really hard and was on the limit, but in any case I tried to give everything that I could. The use of a soft rear tyre here did not help us as much as you would think and it’s not actually that much of an advantage. Now it will be important to find a few tenths here and there to improve on our race pace, which is however already good if you compare it to the last few rounds. For this reason I would like to thank all the guys in the team and the engineers: here we are suffering a lot less, and we must continue to work to arrive as close as possible to the top men and put them under pressure!”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #05) – 1’55.935 (6th)
“I am pleased to finally get back onto the second row because it’s very important in view of tomorrow’s race. On my fast lap I made a mistake that did not allow me to improve on my time, but I am pleased with the position considering the feeling I have with my bike. I couldn’t push to the limit because I was not able to be smooth out there and so tomorrow morning we will have to try and further improve the set-up of my GP15. I feel it will be an unusual race, and we will have to see how hard it will be possible to push, especially in the corners. The top guys are maybe a bit too far away from us, but I still think we can have a good race.”
VIÑALES ON THIRD ROW AFTER BRNO QUALIFYING
Team Suzuki Press Office – August 15.
The ups and downs of Brno's circuit represented the bittersweet performance in today's session for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR's riders.
Qualifying for the Grand Prix Ceské republiky saw Maverick Viñales gain seventh-place on the grid with a 1'55.954-lap while Aleix Espargaro took 15th position following his 1'56.806 lap-time.
Viñales got a good start early in the morning, running consistent lap-times for almost the whole of FP3 and eventually making a further step forward that allowed him to get the direct access to Q2 with a lap of 1’56.271. FP4 saw him a little disappointed while testing a different set-up that left him uncomfortable on his GSX-RR, but the confidence soon returned in qualifying and he ran consistently in the top-10, finally netting seventh position. The 1'55.954 lap-time that gave him the third-row is only 0.4s slower than last year's pole position and curiously there are four riders this year enclosed in the 1'55.9 bracket; all less than one-second from Pole Position.
Despite the final position in qualifying, the second day at Brno was positive for Espargaro overall: In the morning he made a positive step forward compared to yesterday's feeling and also set a comfortable pace. Unfortunately this wasn't enough to get direct access to Q2 and his performance in Q1 finally set him in 15th place on the grid. The positives of the day came from FP4 where he could test his performance in consistent pace, giving him positive feelings as he looks ahead to tomorrow's race.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“We continue to have positive feelings about our work and our development path. Today has been another positive day for us, the qualifying result may not appear so positive but considering the work that we have done I am satisfied. Maverick is pursuing his new approach to the race and this apparently also helps him to be more relaxed and self-confident. He did positive steps forward today, continuing to finalise the set-up in race conditions, finding a comfortably-fast race-pace. He could also be effective with the time attack and first place on the third row is a good starting point. Aleix also made many improvements, this morning we could give him a more comfortable machine and he immediately lowered his lap times. Unfortunately he couldn't qualify for Q2 and will start from the middle of the grid and he will have to recover positions and try to be as fast as possible from the very beginning of the race. However, the laps he did in race configuration gave positive feedback, therefore I'm expecting an enjoyable race for both riders.”
“Well I'm happy because I can see and feel that I am constantly improving my performances and this gives me a further injection of confidence. My team and I did a very good job – I want to thank my crew for this – and my GSX-RR gave me very good feelings today. We hardly tried the hard tyre, we covered more than the race distance and the performance drop on these tyres is well under control, so I feel very confident with the pace. Of course the race will be long, we still have some things to try in the warm-up just to be sure, but at this moment I feel positive. Starting from seventh place is a huge opportunity and I will need to be very fast at the start and be on the pace immediately. The start has been a weak point for me in the last few races so today we have worked on this. As a result I feel a little more competitive, but tomorrow in the race we will find out. I am enjoying this new approach because it makes me feel more comfortable, and if I feel more comfortable I can enjoy my job that much more.”
“Of course I'm disappointed for the 15th place, but overall I must say that this hasn't been a bad day. This morning we improved the bike a lot and when I tested the race-pace I felt very confident and pretty fast. Unfortunately I couldn't find a proper feeling with the soft tyre, the back pushes the front-end quite a bit, which results in a lot of chattering; and this is why I missed out on Q2. The race will be very long and the tyres’ performance drops off a lot. Of course I will need to recover some positions from the start, but according to our race-pace I think that we could get a top-10 finish.”
GOOD QUALIFYING AT BRNO FOR STEFAN BRADL, RIDING HIS APRILIA RS-GP TO THE SIXTH ROW. ALVARO BAUTISTA IS SLOWED BY TRAFFIC
Brno (Czech Republic), 15 August 2015 - The last day of practice at Brno before the race ended on a positive note for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini. Stefan Bradl rode his RS-GP to the sixteenth spot on the starting grid, less than a second behind the top-10 after showing good pace in the last practice session. The German will therefore start from the best spot on the sixth row.
Alvaro Bautista, who finished FP3 this morning with the sixteenth best time, was unlucky in the qualifiers. First a problem with chattering and then some slow riders ahead of him on the track kept him from taking full advantage of the soft tyre during his two flying laps. The Spanish rider, who is using the new frame that Aprilia introduced this weekend, finished his Saturday in nineteenth position (seventh row).
ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Director)
“Today was a prolific day in terms of development, ending with good performance in the qualifiers. We are quite pleased, especially with the time gaps, which place us just behind the points zone. Tomorrow morning in the warmup session we’ll try a few more new solutions which will hopefully take us another step forward.”
FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)
“Bradl worked methodically and in the qualifiers he put a good time on the sheets, so I’m pleased about that. Bautista also had a good qualifying session. It’s a shame that he wasn’t able to exploit his two flying laps, otherwise he could have finished with a better position. We should also remember that Alvaro is doing some tests with some changes to the chassis. As I said, now we can count on a team that works well together and the atmosphere in the garage is excellent. Now we’ll wait for the race tomorrow to continue our positive trend.”
“Today definitely went better than yesterday. We worked well, trying a few things that should help us in the more flowing parts of the track. We improved, not as much as I would have liked, but we did take a step forward. In FP4 we tried a hard tyre on the front since the medium blend left a few doubts in terms of duration. It actually seems more stable but I didn’t really get a positive feeling from it, so I think tomorrow we’ll go back to the previous solution. During the qualifiers with the soft tyre I felt some abnormal chattering that kept me from pushing to the limit. Besides that, in the second lap where I could have improved by a few tenths of a second I ran into slow traffic on the track. Tomorrow will be a difficult race because when the tyre starts to wear we always struggle a bit to maintain pace but as always we’ll do the best job possible.”
“I’m pleased with the results of the qualifiers. On my first try I got a good lap in straight away. Actually I’d like to get below the 1’57 mark but in any case we got close. Unfortunately in the second flying lap I wasn’t able to improve because I started feeling some vibrations with the second soft tyre. I’d like to thank the team for their hard work. The bike seems easier to ride now in my flying lap during qualifiers, but we still need to improve our race pace which remains our top priority. I hope I’ll be able to battle for a better placement tomorrow than the one I finished with at Indianapolis.”
Fifth row of the grid for Redding at Brno
Brno, Czech Republic - 15 August 2015: Scott Redding will line up 14th on the grid for tomorrow's Czech Grand Prix after a difficult qualifying in Brno this afternoon.
Redding found himself in a hugely competitive Q1 session and, despite making progress with his qualifying setup, was unable to make it through to the Q2 shootout.
Having struggled in the past to get the best from new tyres in qualifying, today saw the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider make a significant step forward, improving on each qualifying run and setting his fastest time of the weekend on his last flying lap. Finding the limit in the 15-minute session is a challenge for every rider and while it has taken Redding longer than expected, here in Brno he showed progress has been made in this area.
The 22-year-old Briton tried some setup changes to the front end of the bike in FP4 and, despite the changes not leading to the improvements expected, there were still positives to be found. Redding's pace in the session was competitive, with the British rider showing he had the speed and consistency to challenge the top ten.
Tomorrow's race is over 22 laps and while it will be difficult starting from the fifth row of the grid, the Brno circuit is one with many overtaking opportunities.
Scott Redding: 14th - 1’56.765
"FP4 was difficult for us because we tried some things with the front of the bike and the lap time wasn't really where we wanted it to be. In qualifying we were a bit better and we went faster, which is a positive thing for us because sometimes we've struggled to improve in qualifying compared to our FP3 lap time. We went a bit quicker and my target was to make a 56.6, which I did, but only after the chequered flag, unfortunately. We need to wait and see for the race because when I have new tyres front and rear I can maintain more corner speed and mid-corner turning. When the tyres begin to drop off I start to lose a little bit of turn in from the bike. Hopefully tomorrow I can make a good start and settle into a good rhythm."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“We are not where we wanted to be on the grid for tomorrow’s race, having missed out on a place in Q2 once again, but there are at least some positives that we can take from today. Scott has struggled in the past to improve on his FP3 lap time in qualifying, but today he managed to use the new tyres to good effect, setting his fastest time of the weekend on his final lap. It will be a tough race tomorrow but if Scott can make a good start and settle quickly into a good rhythm then I think a top ten finish is possible.”
Yonny is very fast in FP3 and directly qualified to Q2. Petrux with confidence in his race pace
The seventh quickest lap time in FP3 of Yonny Hernandez and the convincing race pace of Danilo Petrucci in FP4 (ninth quickest crono) were the high lights of OTCO Pramac Racing in the Saturday'qualifying of the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic to be held tomorrow at Brno Circuit.
Yonny found early a great feeling with his Ducati Desmosedici GP 14.2 after he succeeded, thanks to the work of his team, to fix the problems suffered in Friday's free practices. In FP3 last run the rider from Medellin managed to notch up a great laptime (1'56.351, third overall T2) that allowed him to directly qualify to Q2 with the seventh fastest time. Unfortunately, during the FP4 Yonny crashed and this prevented him from using in Q2 the bike which was performing better. The rider OCTO Pramac Racing had to settle for twelfth place on the grid with a quickest laptime of 1'56.739.
Petrux had a difficult start with the 14th fastest time in FP3 but he managed to lap very fast during the last free practice (9th time) and this enables him to look with confidence to the race. Danilo will start from the 13th position in Q1, having failed to make that small step that would allow him to access the Q2. Petrux has in fact ended up with the laptime of 1'56.713 just one tenth of a second from the qualification.
12° - Yonny Hernandez - OCTO Pramac Racing #68 - 1'56.739
I am a little disappointed because with I could not find with the bike used in qualifying the same feeling with respect to the one of the FP3. I think with the first bike I could have done much better but it was not possible to fix it in time after the crash. Lack of confidence after the crash? No, I do not think so. I tried to do my best but I failed to improve. Tomorrow I'll try to do my best to recover positions during the race.
13° - Danilo Petrucci - OCTO Pramac Racing #9 - 1'56.713
The qualifying result is not what we expected but we have improved a bit from the morning and especially in FP4 I found really a great pace. Q2 was feasible? Yes, but I would have to do a perfect lap and I did not succeed. I hade some problems in turn 3 and 13 while in T2 and T3 areas I did red helmet. Tomorrow will count a good start but I'm very confident.
Smith powers to second row in Brno qualifying thriller
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith produced his best qualifying result of the year today as he shot to 5th position in the highly intense qualifying shootout at the bwin Grand Prix Ceske Republiky. The 24 year old, who currently sits in 5th in the MotoGP World Championship standings, got straight up to speed in this morning’s FP3 practice as he delivered a top time of 1’56.195, that left him in 4th position in the combined standings. His performance saw him glide straight through to Q2 and once the 15 minute session began, the British rider jumped on his Yamaha YZR-M1 and launch into his qualifying campaign. Smith undertook seven laps at the 5.4 kilometre Brno circuit and produced an impressive time of 1’55.460 that was 0.125 quicker than last year’s pole position. In addition, his lap was fractionally behind third place by barely over a tenth of a second and tomorrow he will start the 22 lap race from the middle of the second row as he aims to clinch the leading satellite honours once again.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team pit box, Pol Espargaro undertook a fully determined qualifying effort and will start the 11th round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship from 8th position. The 2014 leading satellite rider endured a tricky time in the morning practice session as he finished with a best lap of 1’56.484. This was only three tenths behind his teammate, yet it put him in 11th and just 0.013 seconds outside the cut off point for Q2. In the first qualifying session, the 24 year old persevered and a rode a strong time of 1’56.212 that put him at the top of the pile by over three tenths of a second. Straight after that, when Qualifying 2 occurred, Espargaro waited until the midpoint of the session in order to save his only remaining set of tyres, but once on track, he attacked straight away and concluded the practice with a personal best of 1’55.955. This time was a blink of an eye from the second row by only 0.020 after he completed just three laps and we will see him begin at the Automotodrom Brno from the middle of the third row.
Position : 5th Time : 1'55.460 Laps : 7
"I am very happy with my performance today as it is my second consecutive
qualifying result on the front two rows after the summer break. This is especially rewarding because my main focus for the remaining races was to improve my grid positions as we lost too much time at the beginning of the races earlier this year. In FP4 we tried various different settings and some were positive and others were not as good but the team made a combination of these and in the end I went out on a bike in Q2 with a setting which I hadn’t ridden yet. It was a bit risky, but it turned out to be a good choice by the team and I have to thank them for their great work. I am only half a second from the pole time and again, I was fighting with the Factory Yamaha for the front row, and so I have to be happy. The top five riders were a big step above the other guys on the single lap pace, however I’m sure it will be different in the race. The important thing tomorrow will be to get a good start as it will be a long, tough one and so, tyre management is vital. We will try to make some small improvements tonight, especially for tyre preservation and I will test them tomorrow morning. However, I’m pretty sure that we have the right bike to do a good job
Position : 8th Time : 1'55.955 Laps : 3
"Without a doubt, it has been a complicated day here in the Czech Republic. We had to face different issues with the bike, which prevented us from setting up the M1 properly. As a result, we are still struggling a little bit to find a solution which will make me feel confident, especially if the grip level isn’t too high. However, to finish with a gap of just two hundredths of a second from the second row is quite pleasing especially after the challenge of going through QP1, plus with only one tyre left for Qualifying 2. Of course this is not where we want to be but I’m confident that we will adjust a few things on the bike in tomorrow’s warm up so that we are prepared for what will definitely be a tough race. Having said that, I will give my absolute all in order to come away with the best possible result after the uphill start we had so far"
Loris Baz third Open in Brno
The riders of the Forward Racing team will line up respectively in sixth and eighth row for the start of the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic. Loris Baz in fact finished the qualifying session in 18th position, Claudio Corti was 24th instead.
Baz, third Open bike behind Barbera and Di Meglio with a time of 1.57.540, will go hunting points during the race tomorrow starting from 18th place. For the Frenchman it will be important to have a good start and get as close as possible to the Spaniard, current leader of the Open standings with six lengths ahead of Baz.
His teammate Claudio Corti will race on the offensive. The Italian, which has improved by almost one second in qualifying, stopped the clock in 1.59. 145 and will occupy the 24th position on the grid.
Loris Baz - 76
"It was not a perfect qualifying but I can’t say I’m totally unhappy. The goal was to get in the Top15 and close to the quickest Open but unfortunately I could not push as I wanted especially on the front tire. Tomorrow's race will be complicated: the temperature and the weather will be the true unknowns".
Claudio Corti - 71
"I'm pretty happy with the result today considering the really high level in MotoGP this season. I lapped almost a second faster than yesterday. After just one race weekend I can say that we are on the right track, we have to continue like this. I'm confident for the race: yesterday I did some tests with full tank and the feelings were good".
Abraham said before the race that it will be difficult to endure
He broke the limit of 2 minutes and during the training he even had time under 1:59. Despite all this Karel Abraham is not optimistic before homely Grand Prix of the Czech Republic. His injured leg condition is getting worse through the weekend, which is why his team plans to decrease his rides in the warm up and save some energy for the race.
I do not feel well right now but I am still sorry for not repeating the qualification time in the morning. Yesterday, it looked like we would hardly get under 2 minutes but this morning we reached 1:58.9. The race is going to be very difficult, it realy hurts to drive with that and it is getting worse through the weekend. In any case I will do my best and I will try to endure the whole race.
chief mechanic AB Motoracing
We tried to compare our adjustment with Tony Eliase´s adjusment in the morning. It was very good for the middle part of the curve so we will use it, only with little adaptation for the front part of the motorbike, because we have the greatest problems with it in these conditions. In the morning Karel made 1:58.9 which is very good with regard to the situation. He only made it one time then we had to have a break and in the afternoon we were not able to reach that time again. We did not make it in the afternoon, it was obvious that Karel was very tired. Tomorrow we will do only make two or three rounds in the warm-up to save some energy and get trough the whole race.
Barbera straight to the Q2 and Di Meglio completes the Open one-two for Avintia
15/08/15 Avintia Racing MotoGP - Czech Republic Grand Prix - QP
The Avintia Racing team riders displayed a great show today at Brno. Hector Barbera was the surprise during the FP3 session, when he achieved the eighth fastest time. This awarded him a place in the final 15 minutes Q2 session, ahead of several factory bikes and as the first Open Class rider for the ninth time this season. Later in the Q2, he was able to improve his lap time again. With a best lap of 1’56.399 minutes, Barbera will start tomorrow’s race from 11th place on the fourth row of the grid.
Avintia Racing Team celebrated a one-two finish in the Open Class, with Barbera’s teammate Mike Di Meglio being the fastest Open rider in the Q1. Di Meglio will start tomorrow’s 22-lap-race from the sixth row of the grid and he has a fast and constant pace to try to get some Championship points.
HECTOR BARBERA #8 / 11th (P1 Open) 1'56.399 @HectorBarbera
We are doing a great job and I’m very happy because we gave our 200% with the package we have. This morning I was eighth fastest and this afternoon eleventh in front of some factory bikes, so today we have more than achieved our goal. The gap to the other Open Class riders is huge. We’ll see if we can aim even higher tomorrow, or maybe we have to be smart and think about the point standings. We are not sure about the weather and if it’s goig to rain in the race, but until today we have made a great job. Tomorrow we’ll reset to be ready for any race situation. We are well prepared.
MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 / 17th (P2 Open) 1'57.215 @Mikejpp63
Today we changed the bike set up completely, I feel much better and my race pace seems quite good. Hector’s pace is a little bit faster than mine, but apart from him, I have the best speed in the Open Class and I feel quite ready for the race. We’ll have to see what the weather will bring, as some people say it will rain in the race. I hope they are wrong, because it would be important to have to consecutive dry races to get some good conclusions about our performance. But if it rains, it will be the same for everybody and we’ll have to battle in the same way and try to bring home a good result.
FOURTH ROW FOR CRUTCHLOW AT BRNO
Cal Crutchlow came through a tough day of qualifying at Brno today to set up a fourth row start for Sunday’s Czech Republic Grand Prix. The CWM LCR Honda rider was forced to take part in the first qualifying session, with the softer tyre available to the Open class riders offering a huge advantage at the undulating Czech track, meaning the Brit finished Free Practice in 13th overall and outside the positions to pass straight into final qualifying.
Despite being up against several big rivals, the Isle of Man-based 29 year-old gritted his teeth to squeeze through into Q2, eventually setting the tenth-fastest time of the quarter-hour, and sealing himself a spot on row four for what should be a thrilling 22-lap race.
Cal Crutchlow #35 – 10th (1’56.192)
“It was a disappointing day today, qualifying tenth at a circuit that’s been kind to me in the past is not good. I honestly think that our race pace is better than tenth, so I’m not too concerned.”
“I’ve had some problems with the tendon in my bicep today. I had it yesterday, but thought it might subside by today but it’s got a lot worse. It makes the morning session difficult, but in the afternoon I seem to have fewer problems.”
“I’m still looking forward to the race tomorrow, but I still think we need to improve the bike. We can see that our bike is moving around a lot for no apparent reason, so I think we maybe went in the wrong direction a little with the setting. We’ll work on some changes with the crew tonight.”
WORK TO DO FOR MILLER AFTER BRNO QUALIFYING
Jack Miller recovered from a small crash during the morning’s free practice session to qualify in 22nd place for Sunday’s Grand Prix of the Czech Republic.
The CWM LCR Honda rider had made good progress on the first day of practice, but was caught out during the morning of day two with conditions different again.
Having dusted himself off for qualifying in the afternoon, the Australian will now need all of his race-craft to pick his way through the order from row eight at Brno, but has proved himself to be a fierce competitor in the early laps of races in his rookie MotoGP season so far.
Jack Miller #43 – 22nd (1’57.855)
“I lost a little bit of confidence after the crash in the morning - we’ve been struggling both days with the front bouncing around on the bumps out there. Qualifying was reasonable though. The position is not good, but the time was good, but it means it’s going to be a tough old race tomorrow. Everyone’s going really fast here so I look forward to some good fights, but first of all we have to get the front end sorted, we’ve got a bit more work to do on that.”
“The whole track was definitely a little bit better today with more rubber having been laid down. The top guys are half a second under lap record pace so it must be all right out there. It’s a hard track to get around, but I’ve been having a lot of fun.”
POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders set practically identical qualifying times
Saturday, 15 August 2015 17:11
Laverty and Hayden separated by just 11 thousandths of a second for 20th and 21st on the grid
Qualifying in the MotoGP class at Brno saw the grid for tomorrow’s race decided, with Jorge Lorenzo taking pole position. The Spaniard has led all but one session this weekend, and set his best time of 1.54.989 right at the start of the afternoon runout. Marc Márquez, who had been similarly dominant at the last round in Indianapolis, will start from second on the grid, after setting a time 0.074s off his rival. Valentino Rossi completes the front row for the Czech GP.
The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders have continued to improve throughout the weekend, with both their times and their feeling. All that they lacked today was a hot lap in qualifying to place further up the grid. Eugene Laverty and Nicky Hayden set practically identical times, with Laverty’s 1.57.634 and Hayden’s 1.57.645 putting them in 20th and 21st position, respectively. Despite starting from far back, both believe that their pace today can bring them good results on raceday at Brno.
20th Eugene Laverty 1.57.634: "Although we have qualified low down the order, this weekend is still positive and we continue to push forward. The feeling with new tyres was not exceptional, but our pace is consistent with used tyres. We ended up as the best Open Honda Open, which is something positive, so we will see if we can take another step forward tomorrow and keep improving. In the final practice session I completed nine laps in a row and I didn’t notice any discomfort in my left shoulder like at Indianapolis; I was able to ride quite comfortably. Our times with used tyres look better than our rivals, which is good and hopefully will allow us to be very consistent in the race tomorrow. The bike is performing correctly, today we improved the balance slightly and during the warmup session we will simply look to find a solution that provides us with a bit more grip for the rear.”
21st Nicky Hayden 1.57.645: "This morning did not go well; the feeling with used tyres was good, but with the new tyres we barely improved our times and I just did not feel comfortable. We made some changes for the afternoon that helped us improve our pace. The qualifying session did not go as expected, because I did not manage to set a fast lap. With the first tyre I set my fastest lap of the weekend, however with the second tyre I improved a lot on the first corner, but then made a couple of mistakes so the final time was not improved. We will be starting from far back again tomorrow, so we will see what happens. We've done a couple of tests this afternoon that maybe can help us tomorrow. The bike is performing better here than at Indianapolis, so tomorrow I hope to achieve a more positive result."
Brno lap record demolished as Lorenzo takes pole position in Czech Republic
Round 11: Czech Republic MotoGP™ - Qualifying
Brno, Saturday August 15 2015
Bridgestone slick options: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre options: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 - Dry. Ambient 25-27°C; Track 34-38°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP - Dry. Ambient 29-31°C; Track 41-45°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo cut half a second from the previous Brno Circuit Best Lap record to claim pole position for the Czech Republic Grand Prix ahead of his main championship rivals Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi.
Lorenzo had already beat the outright Brno lap record in Free Practice 3 this morning, but on a new set of slicks set went even quicker during Qualifying Practice 2, setting a time of 1’54.989 to beat Repsol Honda’s Marquez to pole by just 0.074 seconds. On the other factory Yamaha machine, Rossi clinched the final front row grid spot by setting a time of 1’55.353 on his final lap in QP2. All three riders that qualified on the front row at Brno used the medium compound rear slick for their fastest lap, yet while Lorenzo and Marquez used the medium compound front, Rossi set his time on the hard compound front slick. Overall, the top five riders set times under the previous Circuit Best Lap record for Brno; a 1’55.527 set by Marquez last year.
Ambient and track temperatures were slightly cooler than yesterday, with the peak track temperature of 45°C at the start of QP1 five degrees below yesterday’s high. The lower track temperatures resulted in more grip from the tarmac which in combination with more set up time for the teams helped to improve overall performance today. All three rear slick options; the soft, medium and hard compound were used today with the medium rear slick emerging as the most popular option. Front tyre choice focused on the medium and hard compound front slicks today with the medium front offering better cornering performance, while the hard front offering an advantage in braking stability. Tomorrow’s Warm Up session at 0940 local time (GMT +2) will provide the final opportunity for the riders to confirm their race tyre choice.
Similar conditions are forecast for tomorrow, although there is a slight chance of rain in the afternoon. The twenty-two lap Czech Republic Grand Prix will start at 1400 local time.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“We had better conditions today as the track temperatures didn’t reach the high levels of yesterday, and also the teams had more time to set up their bikes to get the tyres working at 100%. Our revised tyre allocation at Brno this year has enabled the riders to reach new levels of performance at this circuit, with quick, consistent times in FP4 and Jorge smashing the lap record by half a second in qualifying. While it is positive to see such quick pace over a single lap, I am especially happy that the pace during long runs is very strong on this low-grip and bumpy circuit. All three rear slick options will be used in tomorrow’s race and for the front tyre, we expect the field to be evenly split between choosing the medium and hard compound front slicks.”
bwin Grand Prix of the Czech Republic - Qualifying
KENT AND SMITH STAR IN FRONT OF MASSIVE SCORCHING BRNO CROWD
Bradley Smith and Danny Kent starred in the sunshine in front of a massive crowd in qualifying for the bwin Grand Prix of the Czech Republic at Brno this afternoon. Smith, the twenty four year old Oxfordshire Monster Tech3 Yamaha rider, produced his best MotoGP™ qualifying performance of the season around the magnificent 3.36 mile circuit and starts from the second row of the grid for the 22 lap race after finishing qualifying in fifth place. Isle of Man - based midlander Cal Crutchlow starts from the fourth row after qualifying tenth, four places in front of Scott Redding with Irish Aspar Honda rider Eugene Laverty 20th. Jorge Lorenzo smashed the lap record to grab pole and is joined on the front row by world champion Marc Marquez and championship leader Valentino Rossi.
Twenty one year old Wiltshire based Danny Kent is running away with the Moto3™ World Championship and qualified in second and starts in the middle of the front row sandwiched between Niccolo Antonelli and Jorge Navarro. Twenty one year old Scotsman John McPhee, buoyed by his second place six days ago in Indianapolis, was tenth. It was a disaster for Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes in Moto2™ qualifying. His rear suspension collapsed and he starts from the fifth row of the grid after qualifying in unlucky 13th with championship leader, Frenchman Johann Zarco leading the way.
A weekend crowd approaching one quarter of a million spectators is expected at the biggest sporting event of the weekend in the Czech Republic. Fingers crossed about the weather.
Tissot Pole Position Awards - Brno
STAGE SET FOR CLASSIC MOTOGP SHOWDOWN IN BRNO
A weekend crowd approaching a quarter of a million should witness a classic MotoGP™ showdown after a superb qualifying session for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic at the legendary Brno circuit this afternoon. In scorching conditions Yamaha mounted Jorge Lorenzo decimated the lap record to grab pole position and is joined on the front row of the grid for the 22 lap race around the 5.40kms Brno circuit by his great rivals world champion Marc Marquez and championship leader Valentino Rossi.
Lorenzo received just his second pole setting Tissot T-Touch Solar watch of the season from Vladimir Cerepkai, Distributer of Tissot Watches in the Czech Republic. It was another great session for Tissot Ambassador Bradley Smith who secured fifth place and starts from the second row after his best qualifying performance of the season. Stefan Bradl, on just his second ride on the Aprilia, was an impressive 16th with Nicky Hayden starting from the seventh row after qualifying 21st.
Moto2™ Championship leader Johann Zarco received his fifth Tissot T-Race Pole setting watch of the season as he chases his fourth grand prix win of the season to increase his 71 points lead in the Championship. He is joined on the front row by world champion, last year’s winner and Tissot Ambassador Tito Rabat and Indianapolis winner Alex Rins for the 20 lap race. Tom Luthi has run into some very consistent form and qualified on the second row as he looks to push on from his fourth place in the Championship.
Italian teenager Niccolo Antonelli secured just his second Moto3™ pole position to receive his first Tissot pole setting Quickster watch of the season after another eventful weekend. He is joined on the front row of the grid by championship leader Danny Kent and Spanish teenager Jorge Navarro for the 19 lap race.
• Jorge Lorenzo starts from pole for the second time in 2015. Lorenzo has finished on the podium on the last twenty six occasions that he has started from pole position. Lorenzo has been the first Yamaha rider across the line in the MotoGP race at Brno for the last five years.
• Marc Marquez starts from the front row for the ninth time in 2015. Marquez finished fourth at Brno last year – the only time in 2014 that he did not finish on the podium in a race where he did not crash.
• Valentino Rossi starts from the front row for the second time in 2015. This is only the 16th time that Rossi has started from the front row in his last 100 MotoGP starts.
• Bradley Smith is in fifth place on the grid – his best qualifying result since he was fourth fastest qualifier in Australia last year. Smith is on a run of sixteen successive point scoring finishes.
• Johann Zarco starts from pole for the fifth time this year. Zarco is going for his tenth successive top three finish which would be a new record for most successive podium finishes in the Moto2 class.
• Last year’s Moto2 winner at Brno, Tito Rabat, starts from second place on the grid – his ninth front row start of the year.
• First time Moto2 winner one week ago, Alex Rins, starts from third place on the grid. After his win at Indianapolis, Rins could become the second youngest rider after Marc Marquez to take back-to-back Moto2 victories.
• Sandro Cortese heads the second row of the grid, which equals his best qualifying result of the year that he achieved at the opening round of 2015 in Qatar. Cortese finished third last year at Brno – his only podium since moving up to the Moto2 class.
• Tom Luthi, the winner of the 125cc GP at Brno ten years ago, starts from the fifth place o the grid.
• Nico Antonelli starts from pole for the second time in his grand prix career; his other pole was at the final race of last year in Valencia. Antonelli is still waiting for his first career grand prix podium finish, having finished fourth on three occasions.
• Danny Kent is on the front row for the eighth time in 2015. Kent will be aiming to be the first British rider to win a solo grand prix race at Brno since John Newbold won the 500cc GP held on the road circuit in 1976.
• Jorge Navarro, who starts from the front row for the fourth time in the last seven races, crashed out of the Moto3 race at Brno last year at Turn one on the second lap in a collision with John McPhee.
• Fabio Quartararo heads the second row of the grid. A win for Quartararo this weekend would make him the fourth youngest rider of all-time to win a grand prix race, after Scott Redding, Marco Melandri and Romano Fenati.
Brno pole setters Johann Zarco, Jorge Lorenzo and Niccolo Antonelli relax with Vladimir Cerepkai after a scorching afternoon
Jorge Lorenzo smashed the lap record on his way to his second pole position of the season