Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after qualifying for the final Grand Prix of the year at Valencia:
Lorenzo Stuns with Perfect Pole in Spain
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo set today‘s already hot qualifying session at Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo on fire, taking first place with a scorching 1‘30,011s lap, a new circuit best lap record. Though team-mate Valentino Rossi will be starting tomorrow‘s Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana from the back of the grid, he put in a solid effort until a small crash ended his session, leaving him in twelfth place.
Valencia (Spain), 7th November 2015
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo left no confusion this afternoon about his intentions of winning this years‘ MotoGP World Championship, setting a magnificent lap for pole position at the last qualifying session of the year. With no pressure to get a front start in qualifying, team-mate Valentino Rossi was steadily improving his pace throughout the session, but suffered a small crash at the final stages and ended the day having set the twelfth fastest time.
Fully focused on the task ahead, Lorenzo was calm and collected as he emerged from pit lane as the last rider to head out in the last 15-minute Q2 of the season. Once out on the relatively empty track, he stayed true to usual form and immediately dropped under the 1‘31s mark with a 1‘30.996s for provisional third position.
With a little less than nine minutes of the session remaining, he hurried back to the pits to start his second time attack a minute later. His next flying lap was a sensational 1‘30,011s for pole position, enough to break the circuit best lap record, creating nearly half a second margin to his closest rival.
Lorenzo quickly headed back to box for a second stop, but neither he nor any of his competitors were able to come close to his superb lap time.
Team-mate Rossi took a moment at the start of the session before he mounted his Yamaha YZR-M1 and had his first attempt of setting a hot lap. The Doctor clocked a 1‘32.840s on his first try and bettered his time to 1‘31.471s in the second before returning to the pits for a fresh rear tyre.
Back on track with five minutes remaining, he used his third flying lap to warm up his tyres to be able to push to the maximum on the next lap. Having picked up the pace, the nine-time World Champion had set a new personal best time for the first two sectors, but a small slide down the track meant the end of his session.
Though he set the twelfth fastest time, Rossi will be starting the race from last place on the grid, having collected a total of four penalty points on his racing license.
1st JORGE LORENZO
1'30.011 / 8 LAPS
Today‘s goal was to qualify on first row, but there was a lot of tension. I expected that Andrea Iannone‘s bike with the soft tyre could steal the first row, so I put in the maximum effort at the track with the three tyres and that is what I did. I wasn‘t very satisfied with the first one, 1‘30.9s wasn‘t the lap time I expected, but with the second one the bike worked perfectly with the grip, the braking, the corner speed and the acceleration. I rode better than on the previous lap and I got pole. It probably was my best lap in all my life and I‘m very proud, but the important thing is to start from front row, make a good start tomorrow, don‘t make any mistakes and avoid problems on the first laps and try to get the World Title. Today they didn‘t give out points, the contest is tomorrow and it‘s going to be a difficult, long and stressful race.
12th VALENTINO ROSSI
1'31.471 / 6 LAPS
I‘m OK, this is the most important thing. The day was not so bad, especially in the morning I was strong, but in the afternoon I suffered a bit more with the grip and I struggled a little bit more with a higher temperature. After, in qualifying, we didn‘t have the pressure to try to set the best lap so we tried something else. Some modifications I didn‘t like so I came back in and on my last lap it wasn‘t so bad, my first sections were quite fast, but unfortunately after that I made a mistake and I crashed, but this doesn't make a big difference for tomorrow because I will start last. We have to improve the grip to improve the race pace. If it‘s cool, lower degrees can change a lot of things about the grip in comparison between a Yamaha and a competing bike. Maybe, if the temperature is a little bit less, I can go a bit faster. It will be very hard, the bad news for the race is that Jorge rode to pole position, because we hoped he wouldn't start first, but fortunately we don‘t have to think about that, it‘s not our problem, I just have to recover as much as possible.
It was an incredible pole lap! Jorge‘s times have looked good all weekend, but I think he even surprised himself with the incredible performance he gave today. Valentino struggled a little bit with grip in the afternoon free practice. It was a pity he suffered a small crash, because he was on his way to setting a personal best lap. It will be a very unconventional race for us tomorrow with one rider starting from the front and one from the back of the grid, whilst both of them are in contention for the championship win. These last 30 laps will be decisive.
Double front row start for Repsol Honda in final race of 2015
Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa will start tomorrow’s Valencia GP from second and third on the grid as they look to finish the season on a high note with victory after winning the last three races.
Marc secured second place behind Lorenzo after completing three runs in qualifying and taking provisional pole early in the session with his time of 1’30.499 on his first flying lap. Dani opted to make only two exits and improved on his second run with a lap time of 1’30.516 on his final flying lap, placing him alongside Marc on the front row, just 0.017 seconds off his teammate.
The final race of 2015 will commence tomorrow at 14h00 local time.
"It's all very close on the time sheets with regards to race pace and I think it will be a tough race tomorrow; there is not much between us. We need to see what happens with the tyres and how the bike responds after ten consecutive laps. We are on a par with Dani and Jorge and I will try to get on the podium and and hope to fight for victory at this last race of 2015!"
"We'll see how it tomorrow goes and hope to be in the fight for the victory. Yesterday we had some problems but today we took a step forward and are in better shape. We'll have to start the race very focused and I'm looking forward to racing at this track, in front of the home fans. I’ll push 100% because it is sure to be a hotly contested race; Marc and Jorge have a strong pace so let’s hope for a good race!"
Row 3 starts for Iannone (7th) and Dovizioso (9th) after Valencia GP qualifying. Pirro (13th) starts from row 4
At the end of the second day of the Valencia GP at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste, the two Ducati Team riders were only able to qualify on row 3. Andrea Iannone set seventh quickest time in Q2, while his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was ninth. Michele Pirro, racing as a wild-card entry with the Desmosedici GP15 of the Ducati Test Team, recorded third quickest time in Q1 but he will start from row 4, moving up one position due to Rossi’s penalty.
Iannone lapped at a good pace in the morning’s FP3, and then set his best time after fitting a soft rear tyre at the end of the session. Dovizioso finished in eighth place, also moving straight into Q2, while Pirro was unable to go any higher than seventeenth.
Iannone was fifth, Dovizioso thirteenth and Pirro fifteenth in the FP4 session in the afternoon, and then Q1 got underway. The test team rider was third quickest in 1’31.780, but he failed to make the cut into Q2 and had to settle for row 4.
In Q2 both Ducati men adopted a three-exit strategy and they set their best times on their third run. Iannone was seventh in 1’31.056 with Dovizioso two places behind with a time of 1’31.245.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 7th (1’31.056)
“For some aspects it was a positive day, with me setting quickest time in FP3, but then we didn’t exactly do the best qualifying session of the season. In the afternoon we struggled quite a lot and I was not able to improve my lap time. We’re a bit off the pace of the quickest riders and now we have to improve something to try and do the race with the others tomorrow. For sure, we’ll make every effort to do so.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 9th (1’31.245)
“Unfortunately my crash in FP4 bothered me a bit and in fact I was unable to push hard in qualifying. I don’t have a great feeling with my bike and when the time came I was unable to be smooth and quick, especially in the middle of the corner, something that is essential for a good time. With a good start tomorrow we can gain some vital positions, even though we’ll probably have to fight for the whole race.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 13th (1’31.780)
“I am not very happy with my result today, mainly because I didn’t ride as well as I would have liked, and I was only able to take my GP15 to the limit in the afternoon. In the end in Q1 I rode quite well but it wasn’t enough for me to go through into Q2. In any case I’m starting from row 4 and I hope to do another small step forward tomorrow in the warm-up in order to improve my pace and be able to fight with the other Ducati riders.”
ESPARGARO FOURTH IN VALENCIA QUALIFYING
Team Suzuki Press Office – November 7.
Warm and sunny weather has welcomed the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders today at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste, near Valencia, for the last qualifying session of the 2015 World Championship. The day has been excellent for Aleix Espargarò who took fourth place on the grid with a brilliant performance in Q2. Positive improvements for his team-mate Maverick Viñales were made as well, as despite a crash in Q1 he classified 11th for tomorrow’s grid.
Espargarò worked hard through the morning to improve his time, after the good progress he made yesterday. Unfortunately his 1m'31.606s in FP3 wasn’t good enough to grant him direct access to Q2, being the 11th time in the combined classification. The job done by his crew granted him a positive feeling after FP4 allowing him to be immediately the fastest in Q1 and keep the lead until the end of the session. Q2 marked another step forward for the Spaniard, who improved his lap time lap-after-lap and could finally mark the 1'30.917 lap that gives him the lead of the second row of the grid.
The morning session saw Viñales struggle a little to find a good feeling with his GSX-RR, although his work in preparation for the race gave some positive feedback. His attempt to get direct access to Q2 failed as his 1'31.824 was the 13th fastest time, but the job done in FP4 led him to further improvements, delivering a basis for the race that he feels comfortable with. In Q1 things got a little more complicated when he had a crash; he didn’t suffer any major injuries but the highside was pretty big. Luckily, he could get back to the garage immediately and take to the track again with his second machine with which he gained access to Q2. His will to compete pushed him to overcome the pain and he could finally hit the 1'31.340 lap in Q2 that gave him 11th place.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“At the end I’m happy with today’s job, for many reasons: first of all Aleix was very good in getting the fourth place, especially with the hard tyre. I want to see this as superb training for the next season, when we will have the same tyres that other teams will have. It is good to see that our potential is high even when we have the same weapons as the others. Maverick recovered excellently from the crash, he immediately got back on his GSX-RR and lapped even faster. Maybe in Q2 he could have been even faster but after all that, it was a positive qualifying. We still have some little things that can be improved and finalised for tomorrow, the pace is not bad for both to stay with the group. Maverick will have to struggle a little more to make a good start while Aleix is starting already from a good position, let’s hope for a positive end of this 2015 season.”
“I’m really happy, maybe more that in Catalunya when I made the pole position, because I had to go for the Q1 I had no more tyres for the Q2, therefore for the time attack I went out with the hard tyre, which was the only new tyre I had. Incredibly, it performed better than the soft. It is good that I am in fourth place on the grid thanks to the same tyre I will use in the race and the same tyre that other top riders used. We have to be proud of it; it is a good feeling. Here we had some troubles with the soft tyre, but we tried to persist, because normally when the temperature goes up in the afternoon we always improve. This morning I felt very bad but I know that with the increasing temperature, it always gets better, but at the end the hard proved to be much more effective for our GSX-RR’s configuration. Now I am very happy for the day and I feel confident for the race, we still have the chance to get into the top 10 of the Championship and I would like to end the season with a positive race.”
“I am OK after the crash, I feel a little disappointed because I have the feeling that I could be between fourth and sixth position but finally I couldn’t push so hard because we had no tyres left. The most positive thing is that we did a very good job in FP4 and I feel very confident about the pace. We still can improve in some turns both in the machine’s configuration and in my riding, so we have some room for improvement. The strategy will be simple; to make a good start and try to catch up as soon as possible the positions in front of me. Again, the feedback we had from FP4 says that with a completely worn tyre my pace is still consistent and this leaves me comfortable for the second part of the race.”
GOOD QUALIFIERS FOR BRADL ONCE AGAIN, FINISHING AMONG THE BEST IN Q1 AND RIDING HIS APRILIA RS-GP TO THE FIFTH ROW. BAUTISTA TO START FROM THE SIXTH ROW
Valencia (Spain), 7 November 2015 - Stefan Bradl confirmed the good performance he has demonstrated in recent races today in qualifying, finishing the Q1 session in fourth place astride his Aprilia with a time of 1’31,824. It was a time that kept him out of Q2 by just 3 tenths of a second and earned him the 14th spot on the grid, on the fifth row. Alvaro Bautista, a bit behind his Aprilia Racing Team Gresini team mate in search of the best setup, finished ninth (with 1’32,282), which places him in the 19th spot on the starting grid.
For both riders the grid position will be bumped up by one place due to Valentino Rossi starting from the back of the grid. Bradl will therefore start from 13th place, still on the fifth row, whereas Alvaro moves up to the sixth row and the 18th spot on the grid.
ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)
“Thanks to Bradl we are confirming a good qualifying standard, especially on a track which is quite demanding for us given the agility required of the bike, speaking of which, the RS-GP pleasantly surprised us in that area. Alvaro had a bit more difficulty finding a good setup but I'm certain that there will be time for him to improve performance as well tomorrow and therefore do well in the race.”
FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)
“Stefan did very well in qualifying today and his race pace is also encouraging, whereas we tried various setups for Alvaro without managing to improve, so we'll try to use the warm up session to figure out what the best solution for the race might be. In any case, the results today show that we are getting closer to our rivals and this is very important.”
“These were difficult qualifiers because I was only able to test the settings this afternoon which I then used in Q1. Now we need to see if this setup will work well for the race. We'll also need to read all the data well, figure out what is positive about these settings and then make the right choices for the race. We will need to work in the warm up session as well, but both yesterday and today I did better in the morning - when I was able to put in my best times easily - than in the afternoon, and obviously the risk there is that the pre-race session may not be very significant.”
“I'm pleased with the result today, although at the beginning of qualifiers I was a bit worried because on my first attempt at a flying lap I wasn't able to be very effective. On the second try, however, I was able to be more aggressive and in the end a good time came out of it and also a good starting position. I'm also pleased because in FP4 I consistently maintained a good pace. We tried different details in terms of suspension which unfortunately didn't work, so we went back to the previous setup which is what we'll use in the race tomorrow. I have a good pace and maintaining it until the end will be important because 30 laps are a lot. I'm confident because we've been working well and we feel like we're ready.”
Nicky Hayden to start MotoGP farewell race from sixteenth position
Saturday, 07 November 2015 17:35
POWER ELECTRONICS rider will contest his last race in the premier class tomorrow, and hopes to end his 13-year stay with a positive result
Today saw the starting grid for the final race of the season decided in Valencia. Pole position went to Jorge Lorenzo, one of the World Championship contenders in the Spanish showdown, with Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa accompanying him on the front row. The other title contender, Valentino Rossi, will start the race from the back of the grid as a result of a penalty. Andrea Iannone and Márquez set the fastest times in the last two practice sessions for the Valencian round, but in qualifying Lorenzo set what he described as the best lap of his life: A 1:30.011. Nobody could better the Yamaha rider's time, and he will start from pole for what should be a spectacular race.
The race will also be an emotional one for Nicky Hayden. The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider today took part in his final qualifying session as a MotoGP rider. On a day that was more positive than recent Saturdays, the American was able to consistently set times in the 1:32 range -although he was still left without a perfect lap that would have taken him further up the order. Despite believing that he still needs to find a little more grip with the rear, The Kentucky Kid is convinced that he will be able to enjoy his MotoGP swansong with a good result. Teammate Eugene Laverty had a difficult start to qualifying, crashing at Turn 4 and having his plans thrown out of the window as a result. He will start from 23rd tomorrow, after setting a best time of 1:33.066.
16º Nicky Hayden 1.32.083: “I think it's the best qualifying session we've had in the last few races. We were finally able to take a step forward in qualifying that we hadn't been able to do in the last few races. I did a 1:32.0 on my first tyre and the next lap I had to avoid Viñales' bike. Thankfully he's ok after a big crash. I went out with my next tyre and was able to improve on a section, riding in the low 1'32's, but wasn't able to get into the 1'31's. Two tenths would have made a nice difference and moved me up a row or two. We're still trying to find some grip; the bike is spinning too much in the long corners and we can't get the drive. We're going to need some good work from the team tonight.Tomorrow I've got my last ride in MotoGP, so let's try to enjoy it.”
23º Eugene Laverty 1.33.066: “I crashed on my first qualifying lap and that really set the tone for the session in a way. Every time I went for a flying lap, the right side of the tyre was cold and spinning. The crash just destroyed the session for us, as I had to get the scooter back to the pits and there wasn't much time. Yesterday was bad, this morning we made a lot of progress and then qualifying was a disaster with the crash. The track is tough for us and we've had a difficult weekend so far; the rear grip wasn't good yesterday, and you can see marks on the track from where we've been slipping and sliding into the corners. It's been tough. I would have liked a much better weekend so far, but we'll do what we can tomorrow because we've still got this race to contest before the season comes to an end.”
Smith to charge from the second row at MotoGP season finale
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Bradley Smith will battle from the second row of the grid after a spirited performance during qualifying today. The young British rider began his day with a run to 4th in FP3 which equalled 5th overall in the combined practice times and saw him pass directly through to qualifying 2. During the vital 15 minute session, Smith leapt into gear and produced a lap time of 1’31.012 that was only half a second from the front row. Tomorrow, he confidently seeks to seize a strong finish in order to clinch the leading satellite honours for the 2015 season.
Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro will kick off the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana from the third row after a solid effort in qualifying. The Spaniard continued the positive momentum from yesterday by sealing 7th in FP3 and when the qualifying shootout started, he charged forward. Espargaro ultimately completed the session in 8th with a lap time which was a blink of an eye behind his teammate by just 0.068. The 24 year old will now intend to close the season with a notable result by finishing inside the top six in tomorrow’s race.
Position : 6th Time : 1'31.012 Laps : 9
"Obviously, I am very happy with my qualifying position for the last Grand Prix of the year. It was a really great performance by everyone involved and this was highlighted by the fact that we improved one and a half seconds from yesterday. As soon as we got going this morning, I felt much better with the bike and I was able to run consistently. In FP4 we tried three different options for tomorrow’s race so we have a good idea of which direction we need to head towards with the hotter conditions. At this circuit, especially in the morning, the track grip and bike performance is different compared to when we run in the afternoon. Anyway, for qualifying, I’m really happy with what we achieved as to be on the second row is important at such a tight and twisty track like this one. Furthermore, the lap times were close today and for sure, they will also be in tomorrow’s race. So all in all, I am pleased and the result in qualifying sets us up with a great chance to end the season in a positive way.”
Position : 8th Time : 1'31.080 Laps :8
"Overall, the result is not so bad, but I can’t hide my disappointment as our potential was much higher than the final grid position. I wasn’t able to put together an ideal lap as I made a few slight mistakes and there was also some traffic. I couldn’t make the most of the opportunity, which is a shame as I was just 0.163 back from 4th, which was definitely within reach today. Nevertheless, our race pace is very promising, even though it won’t be an easy task as it is really challenging to pass here due to the track layout. Still, we worked on the front tyre during FP4 and we have made the choice for the race, so despite the fact that we need a good start, I am still really confident for the last race of the 2015 season."
Seventh row start for Redding in Valencia
Valencia, Spain - 7 November 2015: Scott Redding continued to struggle at Valencia with the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider only able to qualify 19th for tomorrow's final race of the season.
Having set the 20th fastest time in qualifying Redding will be elevated one position following Valentino Rossi's back of the grid penalty. This was the worst qualifying performance of the year for the Briton but having found over seven tenths of a second from yesterday there were clear improvements made today.
A significant change to the electronics settings helped improve the feeling on the bike and while the grid slot will handicap Redding considerably tomorrow he feels that he has a more consistent feeling with the bike ahead of the race.
The 30-lap race will be a challenging end to the year for Redding but it is possible to move through the field at Valencia with numerous overtaking opportunities in the heavy braking zones.
Scott Redding: 20th – 1’32.448
"We made some big changes to the electronics and some to the chassis and they've helped us compared to yesterday. We had a small crash in FP4 and I had to use my second bike in qualifying. I didn't have a great feeling with that bike but the main thing was that we improved from yesterday. I feel better and more consistent so we'll have to see what we can do in the race, which is gong to be tough whichever way you look at it."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"There was some improvement compared to yesterday but it looks like it will be a difficult race tomorrow. Maybe even scoring some points will be challenging. It's difficult to understand why this is happening this weekend and why we're so far off the pace. We've been having some good races in the second half of the season but I think that we have to accept that this is happening this weekend and we have to push to make our best result possible tomorrow."
Baz second Open in Valencia
Loris Baz will start tomorrow from 15th position on the grid aiming for the Open title in the last race of the 2015 season with Forward Racing at the Valencia circuit. His teammate Toni Elias will start in 24th, ninth row of the grid.
Baz, after struggling in the first day of practice, this morning tried some new solutions and was able to find the right grip for qualifying. With a good 1'31.856 he snatched second position among the Open bikes just a whisker away from Barbera and will start from the 15th place on the grid. The Frenchman, currently second in the Championship, 5 lengths off the lead, is aiming for the class win.
Toni Elias had a more complicated qualifying session, with a time of 1'33.092 he will start from the 24th place. The Spaniard suffered the lack of confidence with the front but remains confident for the race. The target is not to lose contact with his direct opponents and get in the points-zone.
"I'm happy of what we achieved today: it was a positive qualifying and I’m close to the Open pole. I found more grip and was able to push. I am close to my opponents and I can do well in the race tomorrow".
"I'm glad of what we have done so far this weekend: the pace is good and I am confident we can fight during the race tomorrow with the other Open. In qualifying I had little feeling with the front and I could not push as I wanted. The goal is to start well and keep close to the other Open bikes at the start of the race".
Broc Parkes made a good progression at the Valencia's QP
Valencia, November 7, 2015 - The Australian rider Broc Parkes, who replaces the injured in Valencia the IRP rider Alex De Angelis, has proven to be fast in the last race of the season's QP.
Parkes has lowered his lap times in the practice sessions today and in the Q1 of approximately one second compared to yesterday, finishing just under half second from the first by the last open bike in front of him.
At the end of the qualifying session, valid for the composition of the starting grid, Broc Parkes has clocked his best lap in 1.33.577, and for the penalty imposed on Valentino Rossi after the Malaysian GP, he will start from the twenty-fourth box of the ninth row.
BROC PARKES - MOTOGP RIDER # 23 - GP COMUNITAT VALENCIANA - Q1 - 1.33.577 - "I am very happy to be so close to the other riders. I'm only half second far from the Open bikes in front of me. Of course I wanted to do better but to be at this level after only a day and a half on this bike is very good. We were able to work well with the team, the bike is now much easier to drive what we still lack is the rear grip, a better feeling for turning and therefore we'd need to be faster. In these days we worked on the chassis, trying to adapt the bike to my needs and the fact that I went better and better with in every exit is a good sign, for tomorrow we will try to make another step in the electronics during the warm up."
Petrux in Top 10 after Saturday qualifying. Yonny will start 18th
Danilo Petrucci wins a stunning Top 10 in qualifying for the Grand Prix de la Comunitat Valenciana Comunitata which will close tomorrow the 2015 MotoGP season. Yonny Hernandez has instead had to settle for 18th position due to a mistake that did not allow him to exploit the most of the soft tire in the time attack of Q1.
After a very good Friday marked by an extraordinary sixth place in FP2, Petrux managed to lap very fast even on Saturday winning the direct qualification to Q2 and keeping a good race pace in FP4 (seventh quickest). In Q2 the positive laptime of 1'31.292 (5 cents from the third row and 2 tenths from the second row).
Yonny failed to make the most of his time attack in Q1 when he made a couple of errors ending in 18th place with a time 1'32.142. Not a bad the race pace held by the Colombian rider who turned 5 tenths of a second behind the Top 10.
10° Danilo Petrucci - OCTO Pramac Racing #9
I'm very happy. In qualifying I did my best but I'm especially satisfied for the race pace. In Valencia the gaps are minimal and make difference in qualifying is difficult so we are happy for what we did. We still have to fix things, but we have great confidence. I think the most important thing is to start well because overtaking is difficult and the first laps will be crucial.
18° - Yonny Hernandez - OCTO Pramac Racing #68
I had a good feeling with the bike but unfortunately I made a few mistakes that did not allow me to do a good time for qualifying. I thought I could lower some tenths but I did not manage to make it. I need to start well tomorrow to fight to score points in the last race of the season.
CRUTCHLOW ON THE SECOND ROW IN VALENCIA
LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow produced a superb ride to qualify in fifth position for Sunday’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 on the second row at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Crutchlow admitted afterwards that he continued to experience problems with his front tyre throughout Saturday’s qualifying session. But he did not let it affect his performance as he finished less than half a second behind Marc Marquez in second spot. The 30-year-old is now determined to end his season on a high with a positive result in Sunday’s eagerly-anticipated race.
Cal Crutchlow #35 (5th - 1’30.948)
"We had a bit of a concern with the front tyre yesterday, it seems to have got a little better today but I expect tomorrow is going to be really difficult, 30 laps with a soft front tyre. But I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be a long race but an enjoyable one, especially as it’s the last one of the year.
“Hopefully everyone can have a good clean battle and some fun out there as well. It’s a big race for the championship obviously, but I need to ride my own race and do my own things and give my all for my team as always.”
MILLER TO START FROM THE SEVENTH ROW IN VALENCIA
LCR Honda rider Jack Miller will start from the seventh row of the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Valencia – the final round of the 2015 MotoGP world championship season. The Australian endured a rather frustrating time in qualifying having made encouraging progress earlier in the day.
Miller was 18th quickest in the morning practice session and posted a fastest lap of 1’32.227. However, after tweaking his set-up in a bid to improve further in qualifying, he was unable to better that time and had to settle for 21st position on the timesheets. But he remains upbeat ahead of his final race for the team and is targeting a good start in tomorrow’s showpiece at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Jack Miller #43 (21st – 1’32.564)
“The weekend so far was good right up until qualifying, we were working hard but then tried something in qualifying which didn’t work out for us and we went backwards. It’s a bit of a shame but we’re still looking forward to the race tomorrow.
“As we know my starts are normally pretty good, so we’ll try to get away well and get up to Hector (Barbera) or around there as soon as possible. It’s not going to be an easy race tomorrow, but I will try to do the best I can in my last race for the LCR Honda team.”
Barbera, fastest Open Class rider at Valencia
07/11/15 Avintia Racing MotoGP - Grand Prix of Valencia - QP
Avintia Racing and Hector Barbera had another great day at Valencia, with the Spanish rider securing his 13th Open Class pole position of the season. Barbera finished in 15th place after qualifying fourth in the Q1, but he will step up one position following Valentino Rossi's back of the grid penalty. The target for tomorrow is to finish the race ahead of Loris Baz and secure the Open Class title. The team and the rider have been working hard during the weekend and they are all set for the final 30 laps of the 2015 season.
Mike Di Meglio struggled with grip issues and a lack of feeling for his tyres in his first time attack during qualifying. But the French Avintia Racing rider is confident with his race pace and he is looking forward to finish his second and last season with the team in style.
HECTOR BARBERA #8 / 14th (P1 Open) 1'31.851 @HectorBarbera
I’m really happy because I’ve been the best in my championship during all the weekend and we start the race from a good place tomorrow. I’m quite confident. The bike set up is perfect, I have the pace, everything is clear with the tyres, so we are ready to race. I hope to do a great race on my home track. I enjoy riding on this circuit a lot and I am determined to finish my job tomorrow and achieve our goal for this season. The atmosphere is incredible. Even though it is awesome at all Spanish races, this track is very special for me. I race at home and I can feel the support of the fans in every corner.
MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 / 21st (P5 Open) 1'32.716 @Mikejpp63
Today was a hard day for me, mainly in qualifying practice. It was really strange because with the first set of tyres, the grip level was worse than with used tyres in the FP4. Then with the second tyre, there was a big mess on the track and I had to do my lap alone. But the main problem is the turning of the bike, it’s really difficult to do the corners the way I would like. I need two tenths to be more competitive in the race. Tomorrow I will try to enjoy and I hope to finish the year with a good result.
Lap of the gods lands Lorenzo on pole position for the MotoGP™ season finale
Round 18: Valencia MotoGP™ - Qualifying
Circuito Ricardo Tormo, Saturday 7 November 2015
Bridgestone slick compounds: Front: Extra-soft, Asymmetric & Soft; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 - Dry. Ambient 17-21°C; Track 21-26°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP - Dry. Ambient 24-25°C; Track 32-32°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo rode the quickest ever lap around Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit to claim pole position at what promises to be a spectacular finale to the 2015 MotoGP™ season tomorrow.
Lorenzo decimated the old Valencia Circuit Best Lap during Qualifying Practice 2 and his new benchmark lap time of 1’30.011 was also half a second ahead of his nearest competitor, Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez whose personal best time was a 1’30.499 which secured second place on the grid. Fresh from his impressive victory at the previous round in Malaysia, Dani Pedrosa ensured there will be two Repsol Honda machines on the front row at the last Grand Prix of the season as he set a 1’30.516 to finish as the third quickest rider in qualifying.
Conditions today were a carbon copy of those experienced in yesterday’s practice sessions, with dry and fine weather and a peak track temperature this afternoon of 32°C; just 1°C cooler than yesterday’s high. The grip level of the circuit improved slightly and this factor, combined with more setup time resulted in the majority of riders being able to find a setting which extracted optimum performance out of their tyres. In the cooler conditions in the morning, the asymmetric front slick was widely used, yet in the warmer afternoon sessions including qualifying, the soft compound front slick was preferred by almost every single rider. The wide operating temperature range of the medium rear slick made it the favourite choice in every condition today, although some open class riders were able to extract greater performance from the soft compound rear slick, with no penalty to durability. Not only was a new Circuit Best Lap record set today – the thirteenth new outright lap record from eighteen races this year – but many riders were also able to lap under race record pace during their race simulations in the practice sessions.
Slightly cooler conditions compared to today are forecast for tomorrow’s thirty-lap Valencia Grand Prix which is set to start at 1400 local time (GMT +1). Before then, the teams and riders will have one final chance to finalise their setting and tyre choice for the race during the twenty-minute Warm Up session at 0940.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“Stable weather conditions, a slight improvement in grip from the circuit and more time to work on bike settings all contributed to most of the riders managing to extract better performance out of our tyre allocation today. The pace over a single lap and during race simulations indicates that our tyre options are working well for all manufacturers, now that everyone has had time to adapt to the conditions we have here this weekend. The medium rear, soft front slick combination has emerged as the favourite for almost every rider, and given the weather conditions forecast for tomorrow I expect this combination to be used by the vast majority of the grid. In qualifying we witnessed a truly special lap from Jorge, and I am happy that in our final qualifying session of our MotoGP tenure yet another outright lap record was set on Bridgestone tyres. We now look forward to a thrilling conclusion to the season tomorrow afternoon.”
THE LAP OF HIS LIFE
Jorge Lorenzo completed the lap of his life to decimate the lap record to take pole position for the showdown of the decade tomorrow – the final round of the MotoGP™ World Championship at the Grand Prix of the Comunitat of Valenciana in Spain.
While Lorenzo celebrated by receiving the pole setting T-Touch Expert Solar watch from Tissot President Francois Thiebaud, his team-mate and Championship rival Valentino Rossi limped away from a crash at the end of the 15 minute qualifying session round the 4.005 kms Ricardo Tormo circuit. Rossi leads his Yamaha team-mate by seven points in the Championship but starts from the final place on the grid after receiving three penalty points following his clash with Marc Marquez at the previous round in Malaysia. Lorenzo is joined on the front row of the grid for the 30 lap race by the Hondas of World Champion Marc Marquez and the in form Dani Pedrosa.
Fresh from his fourth place in Malaysia, Tissot Ambassador Bradley Smith qualified an impressive sixth on the Yamaha as he fights to stay in sixth place in the Championship. Stefan Bradl continued his progress on the Aprilia in 13th place. Former World Champion Nicky Hayden signed off his final MotoGP qualifying session in 16th place after having to stop when Maverick Viñales crashed in front of him.
Tissot Ambassador Tito Rabat signed off his Moto2™ career with a pole position after missing the last three grand prix with a broken arm. The 2014 World Champion received his Tissot Pole setting T-Race watch before his final Moto2 race. He starts his MotoGP career at the Valencia test with Honda on Tuesday. Fellow Ambassador Tom Luthi won the race last year and starts from the second row in fourth place.
Twenty one year old Scotsman John McPhee received Tissot Pole setting Quickstar watch after his first official Moto3™ Pole position. Championship contenders Miguel Oliveira and Danny Kent had mixed fortunes. Kent, who leads the Championship by 24 points qualified down in 18th place after being caught in a hectic traffic jam in the last ten minutes. His only contender for the Championship Oliveira starts from the second row in fourth place.
Jorge Lorenzo starts from pole for the fifth time in 2015. This is Jorge Lorenzo’s first pole position at Valencia in any of the three grand prix classes. He is aiming to become just the third rider to overturn a points’ deficit at the final race of the year to become premier-class world champion, alongside Wayne Rainey and Nicky Hayden.
Last year’s MotoGP winner in Valencia Marc Marquez, starts from second place on the grid – his 11th successive front row start.
Taking the final place on the front row is Dani Pedrosa, who will be aiming to take back-to-back MotoGP wins for the first time since Jerez and Le Mans in 2013. Pedrosa has won six times previously at Valencia (3 x MotoGP, 2 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc).
Bradley Smith, who has qualified in sixth place on the grid has scored points at all seventeen races so far in 2015 and needs another top ten finish to become the fourth rider to have eighteen points scoring MotoGP finishing a single season.
Tito Rabat starts from pole for the second successive year at Valencia; he finished the race second last year – his first grand prix podium finish at the circuit.
The 2015 Moto2 world champion Johann Zarco starts from second place on the grid. If he finishes the race in 12th place or better he will set a new record point’s total for the intermediate-class of grand prix racing.
Alex Rins is in third place on the grid – the tenth time in his rookie season in the Moto2 class that he has qualified on the front row.
Thomas Luthi, the Moto2 winner in Valencia 12 months ago, starts the race from 4th place on the grid, the same qualifying result as last year.
John McPhee is starting from pole for the second time in his grand prix career. His previous pole was three weeks ago in Australia when he was second fastest in qualifying but then got promoted to pole position when fastest in qualifying Danny Kent received a grid penalty.
Romano Fenati is in second place on the grid, which is just the fourth time in his grand prix career he has qualified on the front row.
Efren Vazquez takes the final place on the front row, equaling his previous best grid position of the year in Australia.
Heading the second row of the grid is Miguel Oliveira who has finished either first or second at the last five races.
Championship leader Danny Kent, the winner of the Moto3 race in Valencia three years ago, has qualified down in 18th place on the grid. Kent can clinch the world title by finishing 14th even if championship rival Oliveira wins the race.
Valencia pole setters Tito Rabat, Jorge Lorenzo and John McPhee celebrate the final session of the season with Francois Thiebaud
Jorge Lorenzo celebrates the lap of his life with Tissot President Francois Thiebaud
Tissot Ambassador Tito Rabat bows out of Moto2 with a piole position