Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after the first day of practice at Valencia:
Season finale gets underway in Valencia
The final race of 2015 has begun in Valencia today with Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa finishing the first day 2nd and 3rd respectively in the combined times.
This first day was spent with the riders reacquainting themselves with the Ricardo Tormo circuit, working to find the best setup for their bikes. In the afternoon session, ambient temperatures rose from 20ºC to 26º and the track temperature jumped from 18º to 29º with the majority of riders improving with the warmer conditions. It was a closely fought first day with the top twelve riders within a second of each other.
Marc – who led this morning’s FP1 – was one of the top riders who did not improve his morning time of 1’31.250 (lap 17/20) – as he opted not to put on a fresh tyre at the end of FP2 – and he finished 2nd for the day just 0.139 off fastest man Lorenzo. Dani – 3rd fastest in FP1 – was able to improve his time this afternoon with 1’31.377 (lap 19/21), remaining 3rd in the combined times.
"I'm happy because I went out on track and got back to enjoying myself riding; it was important and something I was really looking forward to doing. It's been a positive day because we did a good job with the setup of the bike. In the second session we worked hard with Sunday's race in mind, riding with used tyres and also testing the hardest compound. We are pretty clear about how we can continue to improve tomorrow, because the track temperature increased a lot and if it stays like this, we will have to concentrate on the durability of the tyres."
"Even though we finished third for the day, it’s not been a great start to the GP. My first feeling when I went out on track this morning was that we needed a bit more grip with the rear. We spent most of the day working on this issue and we must continue to work on the bike setup tomorrow to solve this small problem and to be faster for qualifying. I’m not sure how the race will play out at the moment, I’m just focusing on improving for tomorrow."
Yamaha Starts Action at Spanish Showdown
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo put his Yamaha YZR-M1 in provisional first place during the first practice sessions for this weekend‘s Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana. Teammate Valentino Rossi was also quickly on the pace at Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo and posted the fifth fastest time of the day.
Valencia (Spain), 6th November 2015
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi came out of the starting blocks strongly during the first practice sessions in Valencia ahead of this Sunday‘s championship showdown.
Lorenzo made a great start this morning and set multiple fastest laps in the Spanish sunshine. Happy to be riding in front of his home fans, he worked hard as the times dropped and posted a 1‘31.434s just past the midway stage and led until the final minutes, before settling for second place just 0.184s from the front.
The Spaniard kept his form in the baking afternoon session that followed. He had a solid start, scoring fifth place on his first lap, and then steadily improved his lap times to move up the order into the top three. Despite the hot conditions he set a best time of 1‘31.111s to claim provisional first place and continued to push out low 1‘31s as he completed the day at the top of the combined free practice times.
Teammate Valentino Rossi also needed little time to get back into the swing of things for the final European round of the season. He was looking competitive while he spent the first half an hour of FP1 trying to find the perfect set up, before dropping under the 1’32s mark with a 1'31.665s lap. He wrapped the session up in fifth position, 0,415s behind the leader.
The nine-time World Champion also wasted no time in the afternoon and immediately took provisional second place on his first lap to take over the top spot with a 1‘31.851s on the very next try. He continued to better his time as he and Marquez battled it out for provisional first. Throughout the session he worked through a couple of set up changes and ultimately set a fastest lap of 1‘31.475s for fourth and secured fifth position in the combined session times, 0,364s behind his teammate.
1st JORGE LORENZO
1'31.111 / 19 LAPS
The day started positively and we improved the bike a lot in the afternoon. The bike is working really well and I feel strong, with good concentration. I‘m riding well, but the bike, to be honest, is working very well for me to keep a high pace, even with old tyres, so I‘m very happy about the beginning of the weekend.
5th VALENTINO ROSSI
1'31.475 / 20 LAPS
When I‘m riding I‘m more relaxed and I‘m quite happy about these two first practices, because already this morning my pace was not so bad and I was also quite competitive with the used tyre, which is very important for the race. I‘m also happy that in the afternoon we tried something different that made me increase my rhythm and improve my lap times. I used the hard tyres and it wasn‘t so bad and after I tried the soft to make a comparison and make the right choice for Sunday. It‘s true that we have to decide our strategy now, because I think it will be difficult to use the 15 minutes of qualifying like a free practice, so I think maybe I can do the normal procedure anyway.
We‘ve made a good start; both our riders are looking strong, so we can be content with the performance we delivered today. Jorge and Vale are also quite satisfied. Jorge showed a good speed and pace and added another step in the afternoon when he rode a stint of low 1‘31s. Vale also looked competitive since the beginning of the first free practice and made a good progress in the afternoon with a best lap of 1‘31.475s. We will continue to put in our maximum effort to smooth out the areas of the bike where there is some room for further improvement.
Iannone fourth and Dovizioso seventh in Valencia GP free practice at Ricardo Tormo circuit. Michele Pirro in thirteenth
The first two free practice sessions for the Valencia GP took place today at the Ricardo Tormo circuit at Cheste in warm sunny conditions, and Ducati Team riders, Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso, finished the day in fourth and seventh places respectively in the combined (FP1 + FP2) standings.
In the morning Dovizioso ended FP1 in fourth place, after setting his best time on a soft rear slick, while his team-mate Iannone preferred to use a medium rear throughout the session, ending up with seventh quickest time.
In the afternoon’s FP2 run, Iannone and Dovizioso both fitted soft rear tyres towards the end of the session, finishing respectively in third and fourteenth, but on combined times they ended the day fourth and seventh.
Michele Pirro took to the track at Valencia for his third race in 2015 as wild-card rider. The Italian tested some new detail parts and solutions on the Desmosedici GP15 of the Ducati Test Team and finished the first day of practice in thirteenth place.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 4th (1’31.444)
“In the end it was a good day, but to be honest I expected to struggle less and be a bit closer to the leaders. In any case I am quite satisfied because the weekend has just begun and we managed to improve from this morning by only making a few small modifications, which were very beneficial. We got closer to the front and so we will continue in this direction to gain some more tenths, in order to be ready for Sunday.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 7th (1’31.642)
“It was a very difficult afternoon in that there was not much grip on the track and it was very difficult to control the bike. I was not able to do even one clean lap, because I made several mistakes which were caused by lack of grip. The rear tyre also showed an odd pressure drop so we now have to try and understand the reason why. In any case we must improve my feeling with the bike for tomorrow and so we’ll be working in that direction.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 13th (1’32.399)
“It wasn’t an easy day, because I still haven’t found a good feeling with the bike and I wasn’t able to be as fast as I would have liked. We worked on both bikes, testing some new detail parts and now we have to analyze the results to see what we need tomorrow in order to improve our times. My goal is to get inside the top ten and directly into Q2: my bike is going strong and so it’s only a question of feeling, but tomorrow I’m sure we’ll manage to find it.”
TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR CONFIDENT AT VALENCIA CIRCUIT
Team Suzuki Press Office – November 6.
The final MotoGP™ round of the year at Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste, near Valencia will be very emotional for the two Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders as it is the final round of their first year with the newly-returned Suzuki factory in MotoGP™ and it is also on home-soil for both the Spaniards and not far from their home cities.
Today’s first free practice sessions saw Aleix Espargarò and Maverick Viñales confident with the circuit, having at their disposal information from last year’s race, which was the very first appearance of the newly-born Team SUZUKI. Since then, the conditions have changed and the two Factory GSX-RRs are much improved. Due to this, the riders felt these early laps around Valencia were the closure of a first chapter in this new story.
Espargarò found a good feeling with the circuit quickly, starting to lap in the top-10 from the very beginning. In the morning session, a lack of confidence with the front gave him some trouble, but in the afternoon some changes in the set-up gave him better feeling. His best lap of 1'31.678 gives him the provisional ninth place in the combined classification.
Viñales also had some troubles with the front this morning, meaning that the improvements done with the GSX-RR throughout the season have been important, as the feeling with the bike is different since previous testing here. He improved his performance in the afternoon after the needed changes in set-up were made. His job focused on the finalisation of the race set-up, which still leaves room for improvement. His best lap of 1'31.986 sets him in provisional 11th place.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“A positive first day, both our riders could make some improvements and our work is proceeding well. Both of them had some troubles this morning in finding a proper feeling, but then in the afternoon things went much better. Aleix in particular was fast in both the single lap and in the long runs, his feeling with the soft tyre is already good and the race-pace is giving important feedback. Maverick in the early session had a minor crash so we had to change his plans, it took some time for him to finalise the electronics settings, but in the afternoon the changes in set-up and the configuration gave positive improvements. Both riders had positive feedback after the sessions and this leaves us positive for tomorrow.”
Best lap: 1'31.678
“It’s been a positive day, it’s good to start from a base and improve from there. This morning I struggled a little with the feeling at the front: I didn’t feel I could make the GSX-RR turn as I wanted, but in the afternoon things definitely went better. We are trying many different set-ups and the path we are on is pretty positive. With the softer tyre I had already a good fast lap and with a used tyre also the pace is consistently fast. I’m very confident with the soft tyre, usually the first attempt with the soft is pretty cautious but here I could immediately find a good feeling and be fast straight away.”
Best lap: 1'31.986
“This morning I went out to the track with too much enthusiasm and unfortunately I had a minor crash on the very first lap; my brakes were not at the right temperature and in turn 8 I went into the gravel. This changed our program for the day, we had to recover and to do everything quicker, but finally we made good improvements. This morning I struggled a little with the electronics and the traction, but in the afternoon the feeling was definitely better. With a new set of tyres I could lap very fast, improving a lot the lap times I did last year in testing. Since we lost some time today, I have the feeling that we still have room for improvement; tomorrow we will try to be more consistent and cut some more tenths. The electronics can be improved I think, as well as the set-up and my lines. I’m confident that we can improve a lot.”
MOTOGP - APRILIA RS-GP ON THE TRACK FOR THE FIRST FREE PRACTICE SESSIONS AT VALENCIA
BRADL AND BAUTISTA PROTAGONISTS OF A GOOD FP1 SESSION
Valencia (Spain), 6 November 2015 - The first day of practice was one of ups and downs for the Aprilia riders at Valencia. In the first session both Bradl and Bautista took a good approach to the Spanish track, finishing FP1 respectively in 11th with 1’32,514 and 14th with 1’32,725. But neither one of them were able to improve in the second session, closing out the combined standings in 16th (Bradl) and 20th (Bautista).
However, both of the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders say they are confident that they'll be able to resume fine tuning the RS-GP machines in the first session tomorrow since for both of them the afternoon session today was characterised by tests conducted on different solutions which did not provide any real advantages and, for Bradl, a technical problem.
ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)
“Overall this was a good Friday even if we missed the mark just at the end of FP2. When we needed to put a good time on the sheets both riders ran into something that slowed them down. For Alvaro it was simply a different chassis adjustment that didn't provide the results we had hoped for, so that just means that we need to go back to the setup which worked before. Stefan, on the other hand, had a technical problem with engine brake management. But we had good feelings right from the start in the morning so we'll have time tomorrow to improve.”
FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)
“After a good start in the first session this morning we had hoped to achieve something more in the afternoon. In any case we are working hard and we're optimistic for tomorrow. In this last race we are still focused on the development work that we have been moving forward throughout the season and we would obviously like to finish with a good result. We're confident. Tomorrow we'll try to pick up where we left off in the best possible way.”
“We did well in the morning, even with our times and a good feeling. In the afternoon we worked on the bike to improve performance, especially going into turns, but I didn't do as well as I had expected and we weren't able to improve our times. Evidently the change we made was not effective, but that's fine. It's important to always have something new to try and in any case we have time to improve tomorrow.”
“In general the weekend started off well. I'm quite pleased with how the first free practice session went in the morning because we started from the setup we had used in Malaysia and everything worked well. In the afternoon the conditions were better to be able to try the harder front tyre and we also continued to do some tests with the soft rear to work on race pace. Unfortunately, however, in the last run we were slowed by a problem with the engine brake which cost us a few places in the combined standings for the two sessions. In any case I am optimistic for tomorrow. Once this problem is solved we'll be able to be fast again.”
Disappointing start to Valencia weekend for Redding
Valencia, Spain - 6 November 2015: Scott Redding endured a difficult start to his Valencia weekend, with the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider ending the day only 23rd fastest and two seconds off the pace.
The 22-year-old Briton struggled to find a comfortable setting with his Honda RC213V today. With the rear spinning and pumping under acceleration Redding was robbed of his confidence and was unable to push for a fast lap. Despite the team trying a variety of set up options on both bikes, the problems remained.
Redding will sit down with his crew tonight to try and find a solution ahead of tomorrow morning’s third free practice session.
Scott Redding: 23rd - 1’33.143
"Today was the most difficult day I’ve had on the bike. It just felt like the bike wasn’t working for me and I spent all my time fighting with it rather than riding it. It was spinning and pumping at the rear and the front felt like it was going to close all the time, more so on the softer option tyre, which should have better. I couldn’t put two laps together because of having to fight the bike in every corner and when I pushed harder I was making mistakes and running wide. We tried a few things but they didn’t give an improvement. We need to look for a solution tonight; maybe the electronics can help us, but we need to find something.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"It was a difficult first day that we finished two seconds off the front guys. We tried a lot of things in these two sessions but we haven't been able to find anything to help Scott. He isn't feeling a big difference between the two bikes, the settings or the tyres that we've tried. When this happens it makes our life difficult to find a solution for tomorrow, but that won’t stop us trying.”
ValenciaGP - Stunning 6th place for Petrux in FP2. Yonny with good feeling
#TheGrandFinale started great for OCTO Pramac Racing celebrating a fantastic 6th place for Danilo Petrucci and the good feeling of Yonny Hernadez who set the 13th fastest time during Friday's free practices.
During the last Friday of the 2015 MotoGP the rider of Fiamme Oro feelt great with the set up of his Ducati Desmosedici GP14.2. The prologue of the afternoon has been a twelfth time in FP1, without fitting the soft tire allthough many riders did it. Petrux ended with laptime of 1'31.575, just one tenth of a second behind the first row thanks to a stunning T4 (5th intermediate to a tenth from the best of Jorge Lorenzo).
Yonny started well after the difficulties of the three Asian events. The rider from Medellin has earned the Top 10 in FP1 exploiting as better he could the soft tire. Even in the afternoon he managed to lap fast recording the time of 1'32.464 which earned him the provisional 13th position on the grid of the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana.
6° - Danilo Petrucci - OCTO Pramac Racing Team #9
With the soft tyre we set a good time but we were competitive even with the harder one. We want to improve tomorrow even if we are already very close to the limit. It will be hard to do better but we are already working on the details to try to lower the crono. I'm confident because Valencia is a track I like, the one where I did more kilometers in my life therefore I know it well.
13° - Yonny Hernandez - OCTO Pramac Racing Team #68
Good Friday. I have a good feeling, certainly better compared to the three races in Asia. With the soft tire in FP2 I could do well but I lost a lot in the T3 and T4. I hope to have more speed tomorrow to try to get a better laptime to qualify directly to Q2 .
Solid start to the final race for Espargarounder the Spanish sun
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro concluded the first day of action at the season finale in a positive manner by finishing in 8th position overall. The young Spaniard kicked off the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana event at the 4.0 kilometre Ricardo Tormo Circuit with a strong run to 6th in the morning shake down session. When the practice started, he got onto his Yamaha YZR-M1 as he began making the initial alterations to the setup of his bike for the highly anticipated race on Sunday, despite still suffering with his neck injury. After completing a total of 20 laps, his best time of 1’31.892 left him only three tenths back from third and confident of a strong performance later in the day. Espargaro’s solid run continued when the second free practice session got underway and he carried on undertaking the setup changes with his Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team. By the time the chequered flag fell, the 2014 rookie of the year had powered to a quick time of 1’31.647 which saw him just half a second from the top of the field. The Spaniard now focuses on the all important qualifying practice tomorrow, where he will intend to clinch a competitive grid position for final race meeting of 2015, in front of his passionate home crowd.
Meanwhile, Bradley Smith endured a challenging opening day, at the last round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship, which he concluded in 15th overall despite a thorough effort. The 24 year old began proceedings by launching into the setup work for his Yamaha YZR-M1 to suit the Ricardo Tormo circuit. He plugged away throughout the practice as the sun shone brightly overhead and completed a total of 21 laps before finishing the first session of track action in 17th. In free practice 2, the English rider pushed onwards as he sought to set himself up for the season finale on Sunday and focused on creating a strong setup which meant that he completed over a full race distance on the same rear tyre. Nevertheless, on his penultimate lap out of 22, Smith rode a 1’32.508 which put him in 15th position in the session as well as overall. However, he remains fully confident of battling to a solid grid position tomorrow and then completing his third season in the premier class in the top satellite position in the world championship standings.
Position : 8th Time : 1'31.674 Laps :37
"It has been a very positive first day and I am pleased because it has been quite a long time since we had such a strong start to the weekend. I was able to ride my time fairly easily and the tyres are working really well here, especially the rear which has a lot of grip. This is certainly also thanks to the high grip level of this circuit, which I like riding at and that I know very well. Therefore, I enjoyed being on my Yamaha today and to see the lap times being strong straight away is a really good feeling after this tough season. Now we will see how the weekend unfolds with the changing grip levels and the weather conditions, but we will do our best and try to continue this positive momentum until Sunday's race."
Position : 15th Time : 1'32.508 Laps : 43
"Today was not great in terms of the end result, but I am fully confident that we can progress more tomorrow and get back to where we should be. Throughout the day, we improved gradually and made some small steps forward but we wanted to be as ready for possible for the GP and so we did a lot of laps on the rear tyre in order to get a good race setup. Anyway, we started to find a good direction in FP2 and I am sure that we will be much more competitive with new tyres when we get going again tomorrow. The main area where we have to improve is sector four which is the part of the track that I am struggling with and which also prevented me from setting a stronger lap time. Yet, I’m convinced that the team will work hard tonight and we will surely be back inside the top ten tomorrow morning.”
First practice day for Broc Parkes at Valencia
Valencia, November 6, 2015 - The Australian rider Broc Parkes began his work aboard the Team e-motion Iodaracing ART Aprilia machine in the first day of free practice for the Grand Prix of Valencia.
Parkes, who replaces Alex De Angelis in the last race of the season in 2015, took back is confidence with a MotoGP bike that he had not used since last year.
In the two free practice sessions which were held on Friday, Parkes has steadily improved its time trying to work with the team searching for the best setup possible for your driving style.
The best time of day for Broc Parkes to Valencia was 1.34.839 obtained in FP2.
BROC PARKES - MOTOGP RIDER # 23 - 1.34.839 - 26th IN FP2 - "For me the team is working well and the bike is almost good. I must say that is a long time that are not on this type of bike so I need time to stay in the group, moreover, all the guys in front of me are already very fast, so my timing may not seem too promising than it really is, but everything is going well. I cannot wait to do much better position than we have right now, my goal is to stay with Honda Open bikes in front of me. I am sure we can do our tests and especially the race with them".
Baz third Open in Valencia free practice
It was an intense working day for the riders of the Forward Racing team who will be competing in the last round of the 2015 season at the Valencia Circuit. Loris Baz and Toni Elias spent the whole day improving the set-up of their bikes and they closed the practice sessions in 18th and 24th place respectively in the combined standings.
Baz, still fighting for the Open title, posted a positive 1.32.597 on the Spanish track which earned him the third place in the category at just over half a second behind the leader Barbera. The Frenchman focused on finding the right setting for his Yamaha Forward, and is convinced he can do well in qualifying, where the goal is to get the Open Pole.
Positive feelings also for Toni Elias, 24th in the standings with a personal best of 1.33.411. Back on track after the points at Sepang, the Spaniard has found a positive feeling and a good pace. He is confident for the race on Sunday.
"I am pleased with what has been done today: it was a good day of work. The overall feeling is positive and I lapped for most of the session with worn tires. In the end, I used fresh tires to improve my lap-time and I'm confident for tomorrow's qualifying".
"It was a very positive Friday’s practice. I think I can still lower my lap-time, but I'm satisfied with the work done. I already have some clear ideas for the race and I am confident for it. The pace is good and the feeling is positive even with worn tires. The goal for qualifying is to close the gap with the other Open bikes".
Strong start for Barbera at his home Grand Prix
06/11/15 Avintia Racing MotoGP - Grand Prix of Valencia - FP1 -FP2
Hector Barbera, the only MotoGP rider born in Valencia, made a strong start of the Valencian Grand Prix weekend, finishing 12th in the combined time sheets with a margin to improve further tomorrow. The Avintia Racing rider has one single target this weekend, which is to finish on top of the Open Class every day, and today, he did it. Nicky Hayden, the second fastest in Open Class, was 17th and more than 0.5s behind Barbera.
Mike Di Meglio was the fastest Open Class rider in the morning session, but he tried some set up changes in the afternoon and was not able to improve his pace. But it was a positive start and he is confident on making one step forward tomorrow to get a good qualifying position for Sunday’s race.
HECTOR BARBERA #8 / 12th (P1 Open) 1'32.044 @HectorBarbera
We had a great start to the weekend. This morning we had some electronic issues, but mainly because the references we had from last year were very different, which we could see from the first exit. But once we fixed the problem, I was fast and I had good feeling with the bike. We missed the Top Ten by only a short margin and we are quite satisfied. We are close to the fastest riders and we tried many things for the race with positive feelings. I have to think of my championship. I’ll give my best at Valencia to be the fastest Open Class rider every day and to win my race, because although we are close to the factory bikes, Pirro is a wild card entry with another factory Ducati and it will be hard to get some points on Sunday.
MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 / 21nd (P5 Open) 1'32.797 @Mikejpp63
Today was an interesting day. This morning we started very strong and I was fast quite easily. In the afternoon we made some changes to try different settings, but although we used new tyres, I was not able to improve my lap times. But I think that was because we have an engine with more kilometres in my second bike, which should affect the pace. But I’m happy, because we have seen some things that could help us to improve tomorrow.
CRUTCHLOW AMONGST EARLY PACESETTERS IN VALENCIA
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow made an encouraging start to this weekend’s Grand Prix of Valencia – the final round of the 2015 MotoGP world championship season. The Briton maintained his excellent recent run of form as he put himself amongst the leading riders on the opening day of racing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Having posted the eighth fastest time in the morning session, Crutchlow improved again in the afternoon and – although he would end up in ninth spot on the timesheets – he finished the day under half a second behind Dani Pedrosa in second position. The 30-year-old is hopeful of further progress in Saturday’s qualifying and admits he is looking to sign off the campaign with a similarly impressive result as he managed in Valencia 12 months ago.
Cal Crutchlow #35 (9th - 1’31.803)
"Overall I’m happy enough, we used the hard rear tyre for a long time in the afternoon session and it was not so quick, but I was working a lot on the set-up. Then we put in the soft tyre and we managed to get in a really nice lap time, even though I found a couple of guys on the track on my fast lap, so I’m positive going into tomorrow.
“I’m happy enough with how the season has gone, but although it’s the last round we have to treat it like any normal race weekend and do our very best for myself and the team. Everybody likes to finish the year on a good note and I did last year with a fifth place here and I hope to try and do the same again.”
MILLER SATISFIED WITH START IN VALENCIA
LCR Honda rider Jack Miller made a solid start to this weekend’s Grand Prix of Valencia – the final round of the 2015 MotoGP world championship season. Ahead of what will be his last race for the team, the Australian finished the opening day at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in 18th position on the timesheets.
Miller was 20th quickest in Friday morning’s session, but then shaved nearly half a second off his time in the afternoon as he posted a best lap of 1’32.599 to improve by a couple of places. He acknowledged afterwards that there is still plenty of room for improvement ahead of Sunday’s race, but was satisfied by his start in Spain.
Jack Miller #43 (18th– 1’32.599)
“Today was not too bad, it could have been a little better. The bike was alright, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do, that’s for sure. We’re struggling with the braking and also to get a bit of grip, so they will be our main focuses for tomorrow although the times were okay.
“We’re improving each time we go out on the bike, it’s just the other guys are as well! We’re very close to Nicky (Hayden) so we’re doing okay, it’s going to be a close one this weekend, but it looks like our bike will be competitive here so hopefully we can keep improving and have a good race on Sunday.”
Newly-crowned MotoGP Legend Nicky Hayden laps seventeenth fastest on day one
Friday, 06 November 2015 17:31
Hard work as usual on special day for POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider in Valencia
After all the talk and controversy surrounding the leading protagonists in the MotoGP World Championship in recent days, it was back to business today as the GP de la Comunidad Valenciana got underway in perfect conditions at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. Marc Márquez did his talking on the track with the fastest time in the opening session, whilst Valentino Rossi showed that he remains focused with some fast lap times despite confirmation yesterday that he will start Sunday's race from the back of the grid. However, the headlines today went to Jorge Lorenzo, who pulled out 0.139 seconds over Márquez at the end of the second session, to finish the day on top.
MotoGP World Championship organisers Dorna chose today as the day to honour POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider Nicky Hayden, who was officially inducted as a MotoGP Legend, adding his name to some of the most iconic in the history of the sport. The 'Kentucky Kid' aims to sign off from his Grand Prix career in style at the circuit where he won the premier-class title back in 2006. Hayden has started out in good form, lapping just 1.484 seconds shy of the fastest lap of today, finishing up in seventeenth position. He will look to make improvements tomorrow, specifically to edge grip and his anti-wheelie system. His team-mate Eugene Laverty made a strong start this morning, quickly lapping inside the times he set in winter testing last year, although he suffered grip issues in the afternoon and dropped back to 22nd.
17th Nicky Hayden 1.32.595 (37 laps): “Today wasn't spectacular but compared to the other races it's not so bad. This afternoon were quite competitive with the guys we normally race with so we need to keep improving from here. We need to stop the bike from wheelying a little bit and improve the edge grip, which is important here in some of these long corners. I think we have a good direction with the bike. We need to qualify well - the last few races qualifying has been my weakest point so it would be nice to get a decent grid slot and try to have some fun on Sunday."
22nd Eugene Laverty 1.33.097 (42 laps): “Today was tough. The first session was okay, I immediately went half a second faster than I managed when we tested the bike for the first time here. That was positive but then in the afternoon the asphalt felt more slippery and that made my problems worse. We need to find a solution to our rear grip problems because we are having issues here that I haven't had with this bike before. It is lacking grip even off the gas, so it's sliding in corner entry and then continues to slide on the gas. It's the first time I have ever had this feeling so we need to improve this tomorrow. We have to discuss the best way because it is a very peculiar problem."
Lorenzo leads Valencia free practice to seize initiative in MotoGP™ title fight
Round 18: Valencia MotoGP™ - Free Practice One & Two
Circuito Ricardo Tormo, Friday 6 November 2015
Bridgestone slick compounds: Front: Extra-soft, Asymmetric & Soft; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 18-21°C; Track 22-29°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Dry. Ambient 24-25°C; Track 32-33°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo was the quickest rider on the opening day of the MotoGP™ season finale at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit, the Spaniard stopping the clocks with a 1’31.111 to seize the initiative in the title fight against his teammate Valentino Rossi who finished fifth fastest today.
Lorenzo was one of five riders to lap under race record pace at Valencia today and his quickest lap in this afternoon’s Free Practice 3 session ensured he ended the day 0.139 seconds ahead of Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez on combined times. Third quickest overall was Dani Pedrosa on the other Repsol Honda Team RC213V machine, his best time of 1’31.377 leaving him just a tenth of a second behind his teammate. Overall, today’s practice sessions were extremely competitive with the top ten riders split by just 0.692 seconds on combined times.
Both of today’s practice sessions took place in fine and dry conditions, with persistent sunshine helping track temperatures reach a peak of 33°C during FP2. The frequent corners at the Ricardo Tormo circuit require a good bike setting and efficient tyre usage for optimum performance, so the riders took advantage of the good conditions to evaluate a wide range of tyre combinations. All three of the front slick specifications available at Valencia, the extra-soft, soft and asymmetric options were assessed by riders today. While the asymmetric tyre was an excellent all-round option, in the high track temperatures this afternoon the soft compound front slick proved to be the most popular choice. All rear slick options were also evaluated today, with rider feedback indicating that all options are viable race choices at this stage of the weekend. Further tyre evaluation in race simulations tomorrow will be critical in deciding which tyre combinations each rider will use in Sunday’s thirty-lap race.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“It was a typical opening day at Valencia, with the cool track temperatures in the morning increasing throughout the day which resulted in variable grip levels between the morning and afternoon sessions. All of the slick tyre options in our allocation were evaluated by the riders today and overall we’ve had good feedback from the riders on their performance, the challenge now is to work with the teams and riders to identify which tyre combinations work best for each machine and rider combination. The asymmetric and soft option front slicks worked particularly well today, while the medium compound rear slick was favoured by the majority of riders due to its good combination of performance and durability. The pace is already very quick and the top ten on combined times are split by just 0.7 seconds – a very good sign that we will have a close race. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Valencia Circuit Best Lap record beaten in Free Practice 3 tomorrow morning if conditions are favourable.”