Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone:
Yamaha Holds the Advantage after First Day at MotorLand Aragón
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi did not waste any time today to step up their game at MotorLand Aragón circuit. They ended first and second after the first day of practicing ahead of this weekend‘s Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi got down to business today in the first two free practice sessions for this weekend‘s Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón, and secured first and second respectively, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Bradley Smith making it a perfect Yamaha top-three.
The weekend‘s Grand Prix is the last European race on the MotoGP calendar before the three back-to-back overseas rounds. To prepare themselves for the final stretch of the 2015 season, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP tested at the MotorLand Aragón circuit three weeks ago and needed little time spurt to the top of the leaderboard.
Lorenzo was more eager than ever to score a top result and increase his chances of winning the championship. Trying to avoid traffic, he took his time getting out of the box in the morning practice. Once he hit the track he was quick to pile on the pressure, setting numerous fastest laps to finish the 45-minute session in the lead by 0.490s with a best lap of 1'48.249.
In the afternoon, the local hero again gradually upped his pace. While working on his setting he took over at the top after 20 minutes, posting a 1‘48.307 lap. He held first place for most of the session, until the hot lap shoot-out started with ten minutes on the clock.
The Spaniard decided to accept the challenge and popped on a medium compound tyre to drop an impressive 1‘47.517, the first 1‘47 lap of the weekend, pleasing his passionate home fans to no end. His time was unchallenged for the remainder of the session, moving him back up to first place with 0,683s advantage over his closest rival and teammate Rossi. As Lorenzo was also the fastest in all sectors on his stunning fastest lap, his best time is also today‘s ideal lap time.
Teammate Rossi also enjoyed a solid start to the race weekend this morning at the sunny Spanish track. He briefly topped the standings with his first flying lap of 1'51.812 and went on to improve his pace further, setting a 1'48.824 for second. He held this position for most of FP1, but was pushed back in the final stages of the session and finished in third place.
The Italian dropped some more consistently fast lap times in the afternoon as he focused on perfecting his set-up, in the final stages, he was in provisional sixth place with a best lap of 1‘48.884. The Italian put his head down and shot to the top when he set a 1‘48.200, the fastest lap of the weekend up until that point. He was ultimately pushed back one place by his teammate and wrapped up in second place.
1st JORGE LORENZO
1'47.517 / 15 LAPS
There‘s a big difference between how we have always felt here before and how we feel here now. The improvement is thanks to the work of the engineers, who improved the way the bikes work, so even at a difficult track such as Aragon we can be competitive. Our rivals don‘t sleep so, so they will be strong and tomorrow‘s pole will be fast. We need to further improve the setting to be able to make an even better pace.
2nd VALENTINO ROSSI
1'48.200 / 19 LAPS
We did a test last month at Aragón, because it‘s our test track. We decided on this circuit because in the past we suffered a lot here on the Yamaha. The start of the weekend was not so bad because we could start with a good basis setting and in this practice both me and Jorge were very strong, but Jorge was a little bit faster, so we need to continue to work and try to improve in some sectors just a little bit. After that the tyre choice for the race will be very important. You can go with the medium or the hard, right now it‘s still too early to say. Tomorrow we need to improve the setting and make the right choice for the tyres. We tried the softer tyre at the end of the session but our main rival didn‘t. If they had done so, they would have been at our level, but as long as we are able to fight with them on Sunday it‘s OK, because they are usually a bit stronger here. We have to work on braking, to be able to go deep into the corner yet have a good agility.
It was a really good start to the weekend and we are very satisfied. It has been a good decision to test at Aragón three weeks ago, because we benefitted from our previously collected data and were able to start the first free practice sessions with a good base set-up. Jorge set incredibly fast times this morning and was the only rider to clock a 1‘47 in the afternoon. Vale also posted some impressive times and showed he is on the pace. We were able to test both tyre options and finishing the first day leading the sessions is a very positive sign. There is still some room for further improvement, so we will perfect the setting for the third practice in order to be ready for tomorrow‘s track action.
Constructive first day in Aragon for Pedrosa and Marquez
Round fourteen of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship got underway today at the Aragon GP with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez finishing 4th and 5th respectively.
Dani and Marc took their time to reacquaint themselves with the 5km circuit, as unlike many other riders, they had not had the benefit of testing here. Dani experienced some setup and brake issues which limited his track time but he managed to steadily progress throughout the day. Marc was able to test a new swing arm and also improved his time from FP1 to FP2.
Towards the end of the afternoon session, the riders battled against each other in a brief time trial, with just hundredths of a second separating the top four. However, Lorenzo, Rossi and Smith chose to exit on a fresh medium rear tyre at the end of the session, but Dani and Marc remained on their used hard tyres. Dani finished the day 4th in the combined times with his lap of 1’48.358 (lap 6/17) and Marc just 0.043s behind him with his time of 1’48.401 (lap 10/19).
"Today we had some problems with the general settings and also with the brakes and so I had to stay in the garage to resolve them and we could not put in all the laps we would have liked. We were able to test the tyres -both the hard and medium compounds- although I do not know yet which will be the right choice. The medium is faster but it is unknown whether it can last the entire race. I hope that tomorrow we can have more track time, in order to continue working to improve our pace and have a good qualifying session."
"Today was a day in which we tried a lot of things out; with both the front and the rear, we ran hard and medium tyres in order to have a better understanding of their performance for Sunday. We also worked on the setup of the bike, which is an area where we still have room for improvement. We must also take into account that Jorge is riding at a high level; he rode two great sessions today and is a small step ahead of us. Dani is also riding with a very strong pace. Let's see if tomorrow we can continue to improve and get up to the same level as Jorge."
Dovizioso eighth and Iannone ninth at the end of first day of free practice for Aragón Grand Prix
Ducati Team riders, Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, ended the first day of free practice for the Aragón GP in eighth and ninth place respectively.
In the morning’s FP1 session, Dovizioso finished sixth, while his team-mate Iannone, who is still suffering with his shoulder injury, was four places behind in tenth.
FP2 in the afternoon took place in much higher temperatures than in the morning, and the two Italians went out towards the end of the session with a soft rear tyre to set their times. Dovizioso’s lap of 1’48.575 put the man from Forlì in eighth place, while his team-mate from Vasto was just one-tenth of a second behind in ninth with a time of 1’48.615.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’48.575 (8th)
“It wasn’t a very good day for us, even though there’s not much of a gap to second place. This afternoon we encountered some difficulty and we couldn’t do as many laps as we would have liked. We are working on the electronics and in particular on the mapping, but we have not yet been able to find an entirely satisfactory solution and this didn't allow us to do the usual job of fine-tuning the set-up. In any case, we are positive and so now will work to try and be more competitive tomorrow.”
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 1’48.615 (9th)
“I am not very pleased with my time, but in the end, considering also my physical condition, I think I got the best result possible today. I can’t deny that my shoulder hurts a lot, but I have already found myself having to manage this sort of situation this year and I am also aiming to do my best here as well. I didn’t take any pain-killers today: tomorrow we will see how I feel and if necessary I will take something, because it will be tough to get through the entire weekend like this. It will however be essential to improve our performance on the track, because we are a bit behind and I am not satisfied with today’s time.”
SUNSHINE ON ARAGON FOR TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR
Team Suzuki Press Office – September 25.
After a hard first session this morning for both Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales, the sunshine came out to brighten-up their day in the afternoon, with marked improvements in their performances.
Making the most progress was Espargaro who cut nearly 1.8-seconds from FP1 to FP2. This was a great improvement that paid back the huge job done by the Spaniard and his crew, overcoming an uncertain performance of the tyre in the colder morning and finding a steady confidence in the last 45-minutes of the day. This puts him in seventh place in the classification, with a best lap in 1'48.524.
It was a case of more struggles for the fellow Spaniard Viñales, who spent both the sessions trying to find a better feeling, but lacking confidence in the rear-end of his GSX-RR. This prevented him performing at his usual pace and leaving him in 16th position with a best lap of 1'49.680.
Today’s conditions changed greatly from the morning to the afternoon and demanding the riders and crews to quickly re-adapt the machine to the new ground and air temperatures. These conditions were very different from the ones in the tests and this complicated the team’s work.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“It has been a positive day for Aleix, because despite the difficulties that we found in the morning we found a proper way to improve his machine and allow him to be more comfortable. In the early session he couldn’t be as effective as he wanted, but finally we found what one of the main problems was and when we fixed it he was very effective over a single lap. Of course this means that we lost some time, but it is also experience for us. Maverick instead is struggling with the confidence with his bike’s rear-end. We know we can do a lot better with him and now we need to investigate further how to deliver a more effective machine. Tomorrow’s sessions will be crucial, we need to find a way to make him more comfortable on the bike and attempt to get into higher places in the classification.”
“It’s been a positive day in my opinion because we managed to improve a situation that seemed to be difficult. This morning I didn’t have a good feeling with the rear tyre, but talking with my crew we had the intuition that it wasn’t only a problem of set-up and we focused more on building confidence with the track and to get some other information. In fact in the afternoon, with new tyre, I could improve a lot my lap time, thus confirming that the technical direction was good. I’m happy also because we are not so far from the top, for sure having tested here helped us to have some points of reference even if the conditions are very different and we still have many parameters to set up. Electronics and set-up still have room for improvements and I’m confident that tomorrow we will make another step forward.”
“I have a strange feeling about today because my performance isn’t as good as it normally is and I have no clue yet on what could be wrong. We did test here so we have some reference and the machine is pretty-much the same we are used to, as well as the approach we took with the work, but I cannot feel confident with the machine. I have a lot of sliding from the rear of the bike and it looks like the GSX-RR has changed its behaviour even if we didn’t make major changes. For sure the machine and my own potential is much higher, we only need to keep calm, revise the data of these two early sessions and find a direction to find back our usual good performance.”
BAUTISTA AND BRADL CONTINUE DEVELOPMENT ON THE APRILIA RS-GP IN PRACTICE
Circuito de Aragon (Spain), 25 September 2015 - After the tests conducted at Misano following the last GP race, the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders took advantage of the first day of free practice at Motorland Aragon to do some comparative testing on the materials available to them. This has become the usual routine during this year which is dedicated to “in race” development of the Aprilia MotoGP project.
In the morning session Bradl finished in a positive 12th place with Bautista just behind him in 14th place. In FP2 the track conditions allowed for significantly lower times. Both riders improved with Bautista (15th in 1’49,576) ahead of Bradl (19th in 1’49,980).
ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)
“Alvaro has a good feeling so we'll be trying to achieve the best possible setup with him tomorrow, working mainly on race strategy. With Bradl, on the other hand, we're having a bit of trouble with grip, so we'll probably make some more radical changes to improve in this area tomorrow. In the meantime we're moving ahead with the material comparisons we started during the Misano tests, especially the chassis and in particular the swingarm.”
FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)
“On this first day Alvaro found his groove straight away, even putting in some good lap times. There is still a lot of work to do, but beyond the final placing we are already closer to our adversaries compared to where we have been on other tracks. Stefan, on the other hand, ran into a bit more difficulty and we're working to help him get more grip at maximum lean angle so that he can have a bike that's easier to ride and better traction.”
“Basically today we continued the work we had begun in our last tests as far as trying out different types of swingarms and bike geometries as well. It was positive because it cleared up some things for me about this track which is quite particular because of grip conditions and the way this asphalt deteriorates tyres. So tomorrow we'll have to work above all on race pace because consistent performance will count more than anything here.”
“The session this morning was positive but we knew that the afternoon session would be more significant, with higher temperatures and better conditions. We lapped more with the hard rear tyre, although later we realised that the soft one seems to work better. In general I don't have very good grip at the moment. We need more traction on the rear. We tried some different setup solutions and various swingarm lengths but we still haven't managed to take a truly significant step forward. Anyway, we have the sessions tomorrow to put together all these indications and make some improvements.”
Strong start to Aragon weekend for Redding
Aragon, Spain - 25 September 2015: Scott Redding was relaxed after finishing 12th quickest on the opening day of practice ahead of this weekend's Aragon Grand Prix. The Briton has brought the momentum of a first MotoGP podium of his career to Aragon and looked confident on his Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS liveried Honda RC213V throughout the day at the Spanish circuit.
Some traffic baulked Redding during his fastest lap in the afternoon session and cost the British rider time. However, with almost perfect conditions at Motorland Aragon the 22-year-old felt strong and comfortable on his Honda RC213V from the outset. Having been fifth fastest in the opening practice session Redding has shown that he has carried his recent form forward to Aragon.
The focus will now shift to finishing in the top ten of FP3 to ensure automatic progress to the QP2 shootout. Qualifying, or more accurately avoiding the opening qualifying session, has been a constant thorn in Redding's side this year but with his confidence on the bike growing he is well placed for a strong weekend in Spain.
Scott Redding: 12th - 1’49.007
"I'm feeling okay after today. We still have the same problem on used tyres and we're struggling for traction a little, but in the afternoon I felt good. When we put in the new tyre I was baulked a bit on my fastest lap so I'm not really disappointed because I don't feel that this final position reflects where we are this weekend. I felt quite comfortable on the bike and now we're going to try and find something to help with rear grip for free practice and qualifying tomorrow."
Chris Pike: Chief Engineer
"It's been another positive start to the weekend. We dropped outside the top ten in the second session but we were asking for a little bit too much from our front tyre with a new rear tyre fitted. But the balance of the bike is basically quite good this weekend and now we're looking to find more consistent grip because we're a little bit harsh on the tyres at the moment. We need to find something to help with that."
Smith straight back in the groove as he closes opening day in third
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith carried his notable form over from the Misano GP and concluded the opening day of action at the MotorLand Aragon circuit by superbly clinching 3rd. The day’s action began under sunny conditions and Smith wasted no time in getting up to speed as he powered to a best time of 1’49.790 which left him in 7th position at the end of FP1. During this practice, the British rider started his work by testing various settings for his Yamaha YZR-M1 in preparation for the 23 lap race on Sunday at the 5.1 kilometre track and once FP2 commenced, Smith continued his efforts. His determination shone through and he pulled the pin to speed to a fastest lap of 1’48.318 which saw him finish in third and inside the all Yamaha top three. In addition, the 24 year old also illustrated his relentless work ethic by completing 20 laps, which was more than any other MotoGP rider in the practice. He will now seek to follow up his strong start to the 14th round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship where he aims to qualify on the front two rows for the fifth consecutive time in tomorrow’s all important shootout.
Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro kicked off the MotoGP weekend in his home country by shaking down the opening practices in a positive manner and seeing out the day with a time of 1’48.445 that left him in 6th overall. The Spaniard, who intended to bounce back from an unfortunate end to the Misano Grand Prix, leapt onto his Yamaha YZR-M1 and bolted into action when the morning session began. He rode a best time of 1’49.868 which left him in 8th as he embarked on altering the setup of his MotoGP bike. When the afternoon practice started, Espargaro got straight back to work at the meandering MotorLand Aragon circuit and after pushing throughout the session, he finished in 6th. This was after completing 18 laps and in addition, he was only just over a tenth from his teammate. This encouraging start to the event leaves the 24 year old confident of a strong qualifying performance tomorrow as he aims to replicate his 2014 grid position at the front of the second row.
Position : 3rd Time : 1'48.318 Laps : 38
“It has been a positive start to the Aragon MotoGP weekend and 3rd is definitely a good position to close day one in. As soon as we kicked off proceedings this morning, I felt comfortable on the bike and I was able to quickly find a solid rhythm. Then in the afternoon, we worked more with the hard compound in order to evaluate the potential for the race. As a conclusion, the front is positive yet the rear is not quite as strong but it is still working well at this track. Moreover, we made some steps forward with the electronics regarding both the engine braking and the traction control which I am pleased about. So tomorrow, we will now work a bit more on the race pace and the setting in order to have a good performance for the whole GP on Sunday. Also, I would be pleased if we could improve the front stability in some corners, especially when braking on the maximum lean angle. Yet, to close the day in 3rd is a good start, so we will carry on our work and hopefully qualify on the front two rows.”
Position : 6th
Time : 1'49.445 Laps : 37
"I really wouldn't say that today has been the best day of the year for me, however considering the huge margin of improvement that we still have to make, a top six finish is a truly satisfying end to the opening day of action at Aragon. This morning when I got on the bike, my feeling was not the best straight away and then again in the second practice session, I struggled quite a lot with changing direction, especially in the fast corners. Yet, I remain convinced that we can rectify this situation for tomorrow morning after looking deeply into today's data as our goal is to still qualify on the front two rows of the grid.”
Barbera fastest Open Class rider on the first day in Aragon
25/09/15 Avintia Racing MotoGP - Grand Prix of Aragon - FP1 - FP2
The Grand Prix of Aragon has started in a positive way for the Avintia Racing Team riders. Hector Barbera finished the day as the fastest Open Class rider with a best lap of 1’49.225 s and he felt good on the bike from the first time out although he suffered a small crash at the end of the morning session. Avintia Racing and Ducati started they collaboration one year ago here in Aragon, which is to Hector’s advantage because he and his team can fall back on information from last season and he also has his reference points around the track with his Ducati Desmosedici. Tomorrow he’ll try to fight to get in the Q2, but he knows that it won’t be easy with all the factory bikes on track.
For Mike Di Meglio, the day was not so good. In the morning he lost valuable track time due to some technical issues. Although he made a step forward this afternoon, there are still many things to improve on the set-up of his Ducati.
HECTOR BARBERA #8 / 14th (P1 Open) 1'49.225 @HectorBarbera
Today was a positive day as we were able to test two different bikes. It was okay, but at the moment I don’t feel really confortable riding the bike, I can’t brake deep into the turns and I feel stiff on the bike. But even so, we were the best Open Class bike, lapping almost half a second faster than the next one. This means that things are going in a good way. We are racing at home, the motivation is high and we are determined to recover some points. It was a good first day, but we have some more stuff to try tomorrow to refine the set-up.
MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 / 20th (P4 Open) 1'50.039 @Mikejpp63
The first day here in Aragon was a little bit difficult for me. We had some technical problems inside the garage and I could not ride the bike as much I would have liked to. In the morning, I only did six laps and this afternoon, I lost almost ten minutes because I could not use my second bike. But things happen and tomorrow we have to make sure everything is ready to get the maximum amount of track time. At the end of the afternoon session I felt quite good, but we need to keep working in order to improve rear grip as the bike spins too much when I try to open the throttle.
CRUTCHLOW UPBEAT DESPITE DIFFICULT START IN ARAGON
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow remains optimistic despite a rather frustrating opening day of the Grand Prix of Aragon race weekend. The MotoGP world championship is back in Spain for round 14 and Crutchlow is hoping to go well again at a circuit at which he finished on the podium last year.
The Briton made a solid start in the morning session as he went eighth fastest, but he slipped back in the afternoon and eventually ended down in 13th spot – a second and a half behind Jorge Lorenzo who set the pace on Friday. However, Crutchlow believes he and his team have made some valuable strides and is now hopeful of considerable improvement in Saturday’s qualifying.
Cal Crutchlow #35 (13th - 1'49.064)
“It was a terrible day position-wise, but we got some things done. We went into the race weekend with a plan and, to an extent, I think it worked, but we definitely need to look at the data tonight to see where we can improve. We have to try our best tomorrow because we need to qualify well for Sunday’s race.
“I think I will be more optimistic tomorrow morning and afternoon hopefully. The team is working well, I’m pleased with how we are working together - we just need to improve the lap time and also my feeling with the tyre as today it was not great with the rear tyre.”
MIXED OPENING DAY FOR MILLER IN ARAGON
LCR Honda rider Jack Miller experienced a mixed opening day to the Grand Prix of Aragon weekend at the Motorland Aragon circuit. The MotoGP roadshow has headed back to Spain for round 14 of the world championship and the Australian was hoping to build on his encouraging showing at Misano last time out.
Miller enjoyed a positive start on Friday and finished the morning’s free practice session as the 15th fastest rider with a lap time of 1’50.287. However, after making a few changes in a bid to improve further in the afternoon, he lost momentum and ended the day down in 21st position on the timesheets. Miller, though, insists he remains optimistic for the days ahead.
Jack Miller #43 (21st - 1'50.157)
“We had a real positive start today with the feeling of the bike, but we went backwards a little bit this afternoon as we were trying to look for a couple of things that didn’t quite come off. But we’ve got some more ideas coming through to test so it’s positive in general and we look forward to tomorrow and doing a good job then.
“We were focusing on the harder tyre today, so tomorrow will be more about the soft and doing the qualifying lap. We were looking for a bit more front stability this morning and we struggled with the heavy braking on the back straight, so we looked to fix that but we just ended up creating a couple of dramas in another area. So we took a little step backwards, but we’ll try and improve on things tomorrow.”
Positive start for Baz and Elias at Aragon
The first day of work is over for the riders of the Forward Racing team who this weekend will be racing on the MotorLand track of Aragon hosting the fourteenth race of the 2015 season. Loris Baz finished in 17th in the combined standings only behind Barbera among the Open bikes. Toni Elias, debuting on the Yamaha Forward, is in a positive 24th place.
Good start for the Frenchman, who is returning on track after the great result at Misano. Baz has made the most of both rounds of practice to fine-tune the set-up and try new solutions for the race. With a time of 1.49.700 he is sitting on 17th place, second best between Open, with a gap of just under half a second from Barbera.
Good start for his new team-mate Toni Elias who has lowered his lap-time by almost 2 seconds compared to this morning. The Spaniard, with a personal best of 1.51.162, is 24th in the combined standings closing in on his opponents.
Loris Baz - 76
"It was a day of work. Aragon is a track that I know well: here I raced many times when I was in SuperBike, but riding a MotoGP is pretty different. I have to be less aggressive, especially when cornering, to be quick. I did a good lap despite the traffic using soft tires; overall I’m positive. I tried two different settings on the bike and some new solutions. I am the second Open behind Barbera, a little less than half a second. Tomorrow in qualifying we can make a big step forward".
Toni Elias - 24
"As it’s only the first day on a new bike, I am satisfied. At Indy, after free practice, I was six seconds behind the first. Here the gap is thinner and I’m positive for qualifying. First impressions are good: I get on well with the engine and electronics, but I have yet to find the right feeling with the front and a little of rear grip. I will have to do as many kilometers as possible to adapt the bike geometry and suspension to my riding style, but I have already made a step forward by more than two seconds since this morning. I can’t wait to get back on track tomorrow".
Discreet start for POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders in Aragón
Friday, 25 September 2015 18:17
Eugene Laverty eleventh fastest this morning but loses pace as temperatures increases, Nicky Hayden 22nd after technical issue
With just one victory in six years the Motorland circuit is said not to favour Yamaha machinery but that didn't look to be the case today as Jorge Lorenzo dominated both of the opening two free practice sessions at the GP of Aragón. With an advantage of seven tenths over his team-mate and title rival Valentino Rossi, Lorenzo made his intentions clear today as he closed in on the lap record (1'47.187 - Marquez) and established himself as a clear early favourite for victory on Sunday.
Eugene Laverty made the ideal start to his weekend with the eleventh fastest lap of the opening session this morning but the change in track temperature this afternoon had a negative effect on the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider's feeling and he dropped to eighteenth. However, the Irishman is happy with the performance of his bike and he is confident his team can find a solution to make him more competitive in the afternoon heat tomorrow. Nicky Hayden was able to ride today despite suffering a fractured thumb just a week ago in a training accident. The only setback today for the American was an engine problem that forced him to switch bikes and lose vital time and feeling in the second session.
18th Eugene Laverty 1.49.769 (36 laps): "It was a different track from this morning to this afternoon but this circuit is like that. It's a bit like Jerez, the surface really changes with the heat. This morning we were in good shape with a bike that didn't have the perfect setting, just some spinning which we fixed for the afternoon, but then with the change in track condition the side grip completely went away. We had a similar issue at Jerez and we managed to work around it so we have something in mind to try tomorrow afternoon. I have ridden this circuit before in Superbikes, the only difference is the final corner but I much prefer this layout - it's a proper third gear corner with two apexes, where the harder you go in the better. It's a lot of fun! In general I felt this track would suit our bike and it has proven to be the case, even more than I thought because the first gear corner is not as tough for us as I expected compared to the other bikes. We have had a strong Friday for the last few rounds now, the bike is the complete package and I can follow the factory Hondas in the majority of places. I think we are doing a reasonable job."
22nd Nicky Hayden 1.50.462 (33 laps): "This morning the bike didn't feel so bad and we were able to start the weekend without big problems, we just had to make some small changes to the setting to improve. This afternoon things were more difficult for us because we had a technical issue right at the start. That meant we had to switch everything over to the other bike, which didn't help the rhythm of the session. We're struggling a lot with edge grip, I think a lot of people are having the same problem. The traction when the bike is picked up is not bad but in the long corners we're having a lot of sliding. I didn't make good use of what we had today because my ideal time is about half a second faster than my best lap, so I think maybe we are a little bit better than the position looks. Also of course my hand today didn't help the situation but it's not the only reason why we are where we are. It's not nice but I can ride and I hope to do a lot better tomorrow."
Petrux (10th) confirms to be in great shape. Yonny (11th) with confidence
Thanks to an amazing T4 (7th intermediate quickest time) Danilo Petrucci confirms to be very competitive even in dry conditions and finishes in Top 10 first day of practice at the Circuit of Motorland. Yonny Hernandez ends up with a precious 11th place, which give confidence for saturday's qualifying.
Petrux managed to overcome the difficulties of the morning when the track was not in the best conditions also due to the low temperature. In the afternoon the rider from Terni found a better feeling and run consistently with very interesting laptimes. In the last run of FP2, the time attack with the soft tire produced the 10th laptime (1'48.829).
Same situation for Yonny who has managed to lower by almost a second his quickest laptime of FP1 ending up the FP2 with the crono of 1'48.955, exploiting in the fourth sector (as well as his team-mate) the whole power of his GP14.2 desmodromic engine to finish eleventh place, one tenth of a second behind the top 10.
10° - Danilo Petrucci - OCTO Pramac Racing Team #9
It was a positive day even though things did not go well this morning: we had some problems especially for the cold temperature of the asphault that forced us to put the soft tyre in the front and this is not a solution that I really like. In the afternoon we found a good feeling. We were in front for most of the FP2. With the soft tire unfortunately I didn't manage to do the best that could be done but it was enough to finish 10th. Tomorrow we will need to cut some other tenths to stay in the Top 10. I am a little bit worried about the tire consumption that makes the bike difficult to ride. We'll have to work on this. All thing considered this is has been good friday.
11° - Yonny Hernandez - OCTO Pramac Racing Team #68
We have made progress since the morning. We found a good set-up that gave me a lot of confidence. I hope tomorrow we can be in the mood to stay in the top 10. Where can we improve? We are faster than last year but we still have margin. I think it's all about small details.
Morning was good, the evening worse. The team is fighting against temperature difference in Aragon.
Satisfaction after morning session resulted in a good 22 th position turned out to be a disappointment. Good setting of the bike in the morning did not work very well in the evening session, probably due to high temperature. The limitation is still the not fully recovered foot.
“At the end of the morning session, rear of the bike was working perfectly. However in the afternoon we were not able to set the bike properly. Now we are trying to find the reason why. It is possible that it is due to temperature, we will see tomorrow in the afternoon. I´m still struggling with the foot, unfortunately I have a feeling that there is no improvement respect to the last weekend.”
chief mechanic AB Motoracing
“We had found good setup in the morning session and Karel was quite happy about it. However, the situation changed dramatically in the afternoon as the temperature grows. At most, we were suffering by lack of grip on corner entries. We tried to change front and rear springs and we use different tyre pressure, but it hadn´t help as we expected. We will use new engine tomorrow, which gives us little bit more power. However we are still limited by Karel´s foot, we must do only short runs to save the rider for QP.”
Lorenzo lays down the marker in Aragon MotoGP™ Friday practice
Round 14: Aragon MotoGP™ - Free Practice 1&2
MotorLand Aragon, Friday September 25 2015
Bridgestone slick compounds: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft (Symmetric), Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 16-19°C; Track 17-21°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Dry. Ambient 26-27°C; Track 37-40°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Jorge Lorenzo was in another class in Friday Free Practice at MotorLand Aragon as the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider ended both sessions half a second quicker than his closest rival, ultimately setting a personal best lap time that was just three-tenths off the outright circuit lap record.
Having comfortably topped the morning Free Practice 1 session, Lorenzo continued his impressive pace in FP2 this afternoon and set a best time of 1’47.517 to end the day 0.683 seconds ahead of teammate and closest challenger Valentino Rossi who set a 1’48.200. Third quickest overall was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith whose best time of 1’48.318 ensured that Yamaha machines occupied the top three positions on the timesheets today. All of the top three riders set their quickest laps using the combination of the medium compound front and rear slicks.
Sunny and fine conditions persisted today, yet at the start of FP1 the track temperature was a chilly 17°C which resulted in all riders heading out on softer option front and rear slicks to ensure they had the best warm-up performance and grip on the cool asphalt. In the afternoon FP2 session track temperatures reached a peak of 40°C which saw a corresponding shift to riders using the medium compound front slick, as well as evaluation of harder rear slick options. The medium compound rear slick was the preferred rear tyre option in today’s sessions, offering a good balance between cornering grip and durability for the more powerful machines, while the open-class riders found the soft compound rear the better option. All the factory Honda and Yamaha riders evaluated the hard compound rear slick in FP2 and although this option couldn’t match the medium rear slick in pace over a single lap, it did provide good consistency and could be an option for Sunday’s race. Today’s sessions also revealed that the performance of the 2015-specification slick tyres at Aragon is exceptional, with the top seven riders on combined times going quicker than the current Circuit Record Lap time of 1’48.565.
Similar weather conditions are forecast for tomorrow with an almost zero chance of rain. The next MotoGP session is FP3 which starts at 0955 local time (GMT+2).
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“Conditions today were good at Aragon and after a cool start in the morning the warmer ambient and track temperatures this afternoon provided an opportunity for the teams and riders to experiment with our different compound options. The medium compound front tyre has already shown to be a good performer here at Aragon as it warms up quickly and offers a good balance between braking and cornering performance. No riders tried the hard compound front slick today, but I expect it will be assessed in tomorrow’s practice sessions by a few riders who want more stability while braking and cornering. For the rear tyre, all of the factory Honda and Yamaha riders evaluated the hard compound rear slick in FP2 and although it doesn’t offer the single lap performance of the medium rear, it did provide strong and consistent pace. The medium compound rear was preferred by most riders today, while the soft rear slick proved to be quite popular with the open class riders. Currently, all three options could be used for the race and we will know more after the riders do more race simulation work tomorrow.”