Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the second day of free practice:
MOVISTAR YAMAHA RIDERS STRAIGHT THROUGH TO Q2 IN QATAR
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi worked their way through a challenging second and third free practice session ahead of the Grand Prix of Qatar. The teammates finished in first and tenth place respectively in the combined times.
DOHA (QATAR), 24TH MARCH 2017
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team was impatient to hit the Losail International Circuit at the start of the FP2 session today. With the weather remaining clear after a rain shower earlier in the day, which slightly lessened grip on track, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi lined up their YZR-M1s intending to perform once again, taking first and tenth place respectively in the combined free practice results.
Viñales kicked off the session showing his usual quick and consistent pace. A small slide down the track, ten minutes into the session, cost him a bit of time, but it didn’t do any damage to his placement in the provisional rider rankings. Having posted 1’55.378s earlier, he held first place in the provisional standings for most of the session, until the pace quickened at the very end. The young Spaniard escaped any injuries and rushed back to the pit box to continue his practice schedule, but was unable to improve on his time and ended the session in fifth place, +0.293s from first.
The Yamaha debutant showed his mental strength in the second 45 minute session and continued work as if the incident had not taken place. At the end of FP3, he reclaimed his place at the top of the timesheets. Proving the earlier slip-up didn’t affect him one bit, he set a fastest time of 1’54.834s on his very last lap. However, that was not enough to beat his own stunning 1’54.316s lap from the day before, which sees him sail through to Q2 on his first Yamaha race weekend.
Teammate Rossi needed a little more time in the late afternoon session to find his pace, as he continued testing various bike settings. Towards the end of FP2 his feeling with the bike improved and he decided it was time to put in a softer tyre. The Italian then made a late charge to the front of the standings, in order not to risk finishing outside the top10 and having to go through Q1 if it rained during FP3. He set the provisional second fastest time, but a last-minute flurry of activity saw him end up in sixth place, +0.329s from the front.
The Doctor's cunning strategy paid off just like he planned. His improvement in time in FP2 saw the nine-time World Champion take eighth place in the combined standings and with the temperatures dropping later in the evening, little improvement was made in FP3 until the final stages. Initially Rossi had planned a time attack at the end of the session, but an issue with a sensor caused him to make an extra pit stop and lost him time. Back out on track in the last minutes, he still pushed to the maximum, posting a fastest time of 1'55.790 for 13th place in the FP3 rankings, 0.956s behind the frontrunner, but it was his 1’55.414s from FP2 that earned him a spot in Saturday's Q2.
Tomorrow the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will again be out on track in the evening under the floodlights. The teammates will attend the FP4 session at 19:55 – 20:25 (GMT+3) and the Q2 session at 21:00 – 21:15 (GMT+3).
Today has been an eventful day for us. The bad weather earlier in the afternoon somewhat affected the track conditions and this made it very difficult for the riders to improve their times. Nevertheless, Maverick was fast earlier today. He only made a very small mistake and the ‘punishment’ was a bit out of proportion. He missed the race line, got onto the dust and had a minor fall. Fortunately, he was OK and there was little damage to the bike, so we were able to get everything ready for FP3. Though he didn't better his time from FP1, he was again the fastest rider in FP3 and it was a productive session, as it allowed him to focus on the race pace. Valentino bettered his feeling with the bike a bit in FP2, thanks to the changes we made overnight, but there was still room for improvement, because it wasn’t as good as he wanted it to be. Unfortunately, when he went out to try to do a time attack the bike had a problem with a sensor that interfered with the electronics strategy. He had to stop his lap and come back into the pits and lost some time. This issue prevented Vale from improving his lap time. Tomorrow we will use FP4 to get everything ready for the qualifying session.
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER
The crash in FP2 was a big mistake on my part. Honestly, I was pushing and ran a little bit wide and it was at that point where you have to decide to run wide or try to go into the corner and I tried to go into the corner and lost the front. It was my mistake and I was angry with myself because I can’t tolerate mistakes, but I’m happy anyway because we had a really good pace today, even when the track conditions were not as good as yesterday. It was very slippery but finally, when we got the tyre to work, we set many consistent 1’55 laps, so I’m quite happy about that. I didn’t feel so good on the bike on the soft tyre, so I didn’t push to the limit. I was trying to keep up a good pace. The bike is working great, we just have to improve the grip a little bit. Maybe today’s weather conditions and the rain added a bit of dust on the track, so we will have to check that tomorrow, but I’m happy overall, apart from the stupid mistake.
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER
Today we started in a good way, because in FP2 I wasn’t doing so bad and I set my best lap time. We still needed to improve, but in FP3 I suffered from a lack of grip and was more in trouble. At the end, I also had a problem with a sensor. We had to change the rear suspension for another one with another setting that wasn’t fantastic. I did just one lap and I wasn’t able to improve my time of FP2, but the good thing is that we stayed in the top10, so tomorrow we can start from Q2 and we’ll see. We have to work: I’m still not able to enter the corners fast enough and I suffer a bit, so we have to try to make that better. I think for me personally it will be difficult to do the whole race on the softer tyre, so we are now more open to using the medium tyre.
Work continues for Repsol Honda Team on night 2 in Qatar
A mix of rain and hail fell in the early afternoon of the second day of free practice in Qatar, adversely affecting the level of grip during both the FP2 and FP3 sessions.
Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa continued working on the general setup of their bikes for the race, and on selecting the appropriate Michelin tyres. By the end of the evening, Marc and Dani had both earned direct passage into tomorrow’s Q2 session, the former with a 1’54.912” time set in yesterday’s FP1, and the latter with a 1’55.113” mark in today’s FP3.
Tomorrow, a 30-minute FP4 session and the 15-minute Q2 session await the Repsol Honda duo, at 7:55 p.m. and 9 p.m. local time, respectively.
3rd 1'54.912 (in FP1)
“Today the track was a bit different from yesterday and it was more demanding to find the pace and a fast lap. Yesterday I had felt very good, but today we made many changes to the bike, looking for more grip and to improve on corner exit, but we didn’t get the results we were hoping for. So now we’ll re-check everything, and tomorrow we’ll take a little step back with the settings. A positive point from today is that we again found the confidence in the front that was missing yesterday. Also, the feeling on used tyres this afternoon wasn’t bad. Anyway, we still have work to do to improve our rhythm to be able to fight for the podium on Sunday.”
7th 1'55.113 (in FP3)
“In today’s first session we started making some little changes to the setup to continue improving our feeling. However, the day wasn’t the best for getting good feedback because the rain and sand made the surface very dirty and the grip very low, especially during the earlier session. In the end we just decided to not change the setup so much and to wait for the track to improve a little bit in FP3, when we worked for the race. Tomorrow we’ll see what weather we have, as we’d like to improve the mapping and the bike’s general setup a little bit more, besides trying to make a good tyre choice.”
IANNONE SECOND AFTER QATAR FP3 AS RINS STILL LEARNING
Team Suzuki Press Office – March 24.
Andrea Iannone: 2nd - 1'54.848
Alex Rins: 18th - 1'56.179
A sensational penultimate lap at the end of the third free practice session allowed Andrea Iannone and Team SUZUKI ECSTAR to get second place of the session during the tonight’s MotoGP™ practice at Losail International Circuit in Qatar. His 1’54.848 lap-time, only 0.014s from the best in the session, is also the second best in the combined classification, granting him direct access to Q2.
This gives a quick injection of confidence for tomorrow’s qualifying, as it comes as the result of corresponding improvements in the machine’s setup after the difficulties encountered previously. The hard work done by Iannone and his crew, testing many different solutions, finally gave him the needed confidence to ride.
Alex Rins made improvements with regards to the feel of his bike, but couldn’t really improve yesterday’s lap time. Unfortunately, he found himself in some traffic during his last attempt of the time attack when he was improving on his best time. He ended the session with a best of 1'56.249 (15th of the session) but his place in the combined classification is 18th owing to the 1'56.179 time he posted yesterday.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“At the end of the session, in the last lap, Andrea managed to put in a fantastic lap that got him second place. In a session where it was really hard to improve on yesterday´s times, he had an astonishing performance. I hope that although this was only a single qualifying-style lap, it is also a sign of a renewed feeling for the machine, and overall improvement of the whole package. Now we will have to confirm that we can also have a good pace in the race configuration, but maybe this is a good starting point. Tomorrow’s FP4 will be very important, as well as qualifying, but for the moment we are happy for the extraordinary performance of Andrea. We are pleased about the job done by the crew in finding some solutions after a situation that made yesterday really hard. Alex couldn’t improve his time because, once again, this is only our first GP weekend and he is still learning the riding technique for MotoGP. Tomorrow’s FP4 will be important for him to find a comfortable pace and then in Q1 he will give his best, so we’ll see what it brings.”
“Already in FP2 today we were able to improve a little the feel of the bike and things went better and better, little by little. At the end, we tried a new setting as a result of all the information we had gained and it proved to be effective. We are very satisfied with the result we achieved, but that´s it, because the most important thing is the race. We still have to work on finding a confident pace. With the soft tyre, now the machine is behaving well, I have a good feeling that it will pay off. We still have some little issues we can improve on and so we will work on these areas to prepare the race distance.”
“In the end it looks like we are struggling more than expected to find the pace. Every time I went on the track I gave 100%, but I have the feeling that I’m not yet taking advantage of the full potential of the bike and the tyres. Anyway, we are also here to learn and we are making steps forward with improvements. So, we are still very positive and tomorrow we will try new solutions with renewed enthusiasm.”
Andrea Dovizioso fourth and Jorge Lorenzo ninth on day 2 of free practice for Qatar GP, but Ducati Team riders fifth and twelfth overall
Two free practice sessions for the Qatar GP were held today at the Losail circuit in Qatar.
After finishing second in FP2 with a time of 1’55.185, Andrea Dovizioso improved in FP3 to record a lap time of 1’55.042. This result put the Italian into fourth place on the day and fifth in the combined free practice sessions, and it means that he will take part in Q2, which is scheduled for 21.00 local time.
Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo had a tougher day today, and after going eighth quickest in FP2 with a time of 1’55.604, he finished FP3 in ninth despite improving to 1’55.461. The rider from Mallorca finished the first two days on aggregate in twelfth place and tomorrow he will have to take part in Q1, the top two riders going on into Q2 immediately after.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’55.042 (today 4th, overall 5th)
“Even though today’s conditions were not as good as those we encountered in the recent tests, we were able to get through a lot of good work to try and get the best set-up for the race. It’s not easy to find a set-up that is suitable for the little grip on the track, and now we also have to decide whether or not to use the medium rear tyre for the race. So, if the track is dry tomorrow, we will probably try the soft tyre again as well. At any rate, in both sessions we were always amongst the top riders, and we showed we have good speed.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 1’55.461 (today 9th, overall 12th)
“Today we tried to change a few things from yesterday and we used a setting that allowed us to improve our pace on race tyres. Nevertheless in some parts of the circuit we were unable to go any quicker, and this configuration was not enough to allow me to do a very quick lap in view of qualifying. Our aim for tomorrow is to search for the best compromise possible to be able to make another step forward. On the one hand I am happy with my pace, but I can’t be satisfied with the time I set on new tyres.”
GOOD RACE PREPARATION FOR THE APRILIA RS-GP MACHINES AT DOHA
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ HAS A FAST PACE, SAM LOWES CONTINUES TO IMPROVE
The second day of practice in Qatar had the MotoGP riders busy in the last two sessions valid for qualifying, focused both on preparing for the race and trying to go through directly to Q2.
Speaking of pace and consistency on used tyres, Aleix Espargaró has something to feel confident about. The Spanish rider found a good base setting, confirmed by his time on a long run taken during FP3 where he finished in tenth place. Taking full advantage of his Aprilia RS-GP's potential on the flying lap with new tyres, on the other hand, proved to be more complicated for Aleix, a condition where he improved his performance but not enough to go straight through to Q2. His 1'55.634 in FP3 earned him a spot in the top 10, 8 tenths behind the best rider of the session.
Sam Lowes and his team were hard at work in the garage, shaving more than a second off their times from yesterday and finishing today's two sessions with a best time of 1'56.854 (1'57.887 in FP1). The Aprilia Racing Team Gresini rookie tried various setup solutions on the 2017 RS-GP that he began using in the last tests right here in Qatar. The assessments made today will allow the English rider to prepare for his first MotoGP race in the best possible way, with the stated goal of aiming for the points zone.
“I am rather satisfied with my race pace and the bike's settings. Compared to the first session we were able to take a clear step forward. We worked especially on the front, which is where I was not very confident in FP2, and in FP3 I was able to ride a lot better. As for pace, we are at a good level, not too far from the best, whereas I struggled more with being incisive on the new tyre. It is something we need to figure out. We can definitely improve in this area. Track conditions today were not comparable to those of the tests. I found a lot less grip. With respect to the forecast, which called for rain, we can consider ourselves lucky.”
“Yesterday was not a very encouraging start, with the mistake in the opening laps that conditioned our session, but today we got in some good practice. We were able to work on the 2017 RS-GP, trying different solutions, especially trying to understand the reactions of the front wheel in different load conditions in order to identify which direction to go. With the data collected today, we will be able to set up our FP4 well to be ready for the race. To be honest, I prefer spending a few laps doing checks and experiments during practice, but having a good setup for Sunday and that is what we managed to do.”
Zarco blazes through to Q2 in 4th after delivering a superb performance - Equally impressive Folger close behind
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 rookie pairing of Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger shone on the second day of action under the floodlights by producing two deeply impressive displays to both qualify for Q2 in their first MotoGP event. Johann Zarco kicked off the day with a superb run to 4th in FP2, and he then increased his pace in the third session to notably finish in 3rd and a mere 0.174 from the top with his time leaving him in 4th overall. Whilst Jonas Folger continued to highlight his quick adaptation and talent on the Yamaha YZR-M1 by completing FP2 in 3rd, which saw him clinch 8th in the combined times. Both riders now set their sights on sealing two strong qualifying positions tomorrow with FP4 taking place at 19:55 local time and then the all important Q2 shootout beginning at 21:00.
Position: 4th - Time: 1'55.008 - Laps: 35
"I am very happy with our performance today. The work that the team and I did was really good and going straight through to QP2, and being ready for it, is important for many reasons, but also because we can save some tyres. In all honestly, I was not completely confident on the first day due to the track conditions, even though my position was positive. However, today my confidence increased and I was a bit lucky because in the final session, whilst I was using the soft tyres, I followed Maverick and I learnt a lot from him, plus I improved my lap time. It was a job well done for today and now I will keep focused for the qualifying. Additionally, I will prepare for the race as much as possible because I think that if I am strong for 22 laps, then I can finish with a big smile on my face on Sunday."
Position: 8th - Time: 1'55.208 - Laps: 29
"Today went very well for me and I was able to lower my lap time from the first practice. However, in FP3, I went out on used tyres and I tried to reach the limit but then I fell. This was a shame, but we are not far from the fastest time and we have a good bike for tomorrow so I am sure that we can do a solid job. I would be really happy if I could qualify in the top ten, yet my main target is to produce the lap time that I managed to ride in the test. This means that I have to improve by 0.4 of a second, but we will have to see what happens with the weather because there may be rain. However, it does not matter if it comes, as we are ready and I am happy with everything so far."
Miller and Rabat chase speed ahead of Qatar qualifying
Low grip levels and a gusting wind meant Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Jack Miller and Tito Rabat were unable to demonstrate their full potential on the second night of practice at the floodlit Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
Heavy rain and a surprise hailstorm in advance of tonight’s two 45-minute sessions left Miller and Rabat facing a slick and slippery surface when FP2 got underway at 6pm local time.
Despite the tricky and constantly changing track conditions, the two Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders both ended FP2 full of optimism after making big improvements in the second session. Australian Miller improved his pace from night one by an impressive 0.5s, which left him just under 0.4s outside of the top 10.
Confident he could mount a strong challenge for the top 10 to secure automatic passage into tomorrow evening’s Q2 session, Miller was unable to further improve his pace in the decisive FP3 session.
A strong wind blowing in from the surrounding desert landscape made it an incredibly complicated challenge to lap faster than the earlier session, with less than half of the 23-strong field able to improve their pace in FP3.
Rabat’s evening was a carbon copy of Miller’s experience, with a big improvement coming on a dirty and greasy track in FP2 before he was unable to find more crucial tenths in FP3. The Spaniard finished just 0.4s behind Miller on the combined rankings and he is optimistic he can beat his previous best premier class qualifying result of 18th in tomorrow night’s action.
Jack Miller: 16th - 1’55.958
“Grip has been the main issue throughout the whole weekend but I don’t think my lap time in FP3 reflects my feeling on the bike or where I think we should be. I feel we have got a lot more speed than I showed. In FP2 I felt really good and I could improve my pace by a substantial margin, even though track conditions were a lot worse than last night. I was confident I could improve again in FP3 but when I put in a new soft rear tyre I felt it lacked a little bit of grip. And it was hard to improve the time because the wind had drastically picked up. Managing the bike became a lot harder and it has not been ideal for lap times but I felt with last night’s crash I’d blown my chance of challenging for Q2 a little bit when the track was in its best condition. I’ll keep pushing and hopefully I can come through Q1.”
Tito Rabat: 19th - 1’56.368
“I feel quite strong on the bike but the issue is that in the second session you start to see some humidity on the visor. And then you see some crashes and it makes you be calmer. I feel we have made good progress throughout the weekend so far but we know we have to improve further. I understand in my head where we can improve and that was not the case for most of last season. Last year I had so many crashes and sometimes it is better to take a step back to try and be calmer and cleverer to be more competitive. If I can find more pace in turns 12, 13 and 14 then I know we can make a good race and be fighting in a strong group.”
Diego Gubellini: Chief Engineer – Tito Rabat
“Tito is aware that it is easy to crash in the very difficult conditions like we experienced in both sessions tonight, and that is the last thing he needs after the big crash at the first test in Sepang. He has done a great job in fully understanding the conditions before he felt comfortable to try and push for a lap time. His physical condition is still not back to 100%, so he can’t push at his normal level, particularly in the fast changes of direction here. In FP3 he couldn’t improve his lap time but there are still plenty of positives for us to take into qualifying tomorrow night. We are working hard to make him as comfortable as possible on the bike and to help find a good set-up for him after he missed some of the pre-season testing with injury. I am sure we can take another decent step forward tomorrow night.”
Reale Avintia Racing riders keep working in Losail
Reale Avintia Racing riders Hector Barbera and Loris Baz kept working in the second night of free practice at the floodlit Losail International Circuit. The forecasted rain came just before the action started, and although it was dry for FP2, the circuit surface got really slippery compared to yesterday night. With this conditions the teams had to work on the set-up because yesterday settings were not useful any more.
Baz and Barbera were not able to improve their pace from the first night at Qatar, and both lost some places in the combined timesheets. Loris Baz dropped down from sixth to 14th place with a best lap of 1’56.501 in FP2. While Barbera, who still struggling with his collarbone, also was not able to make a better lap, and his best tonight was 1’56.934.
Both riders expect to improve their feeling during the last free practice session tomorrow night, and then push harder in Q1 to get the best possible position on the grid for the first race of the season. But for sure it will be a tough qualifying session.
Loris Baz | 1'55.624 | P14
“Here the track condition always changes from one day to the next. The rain came this afternoon and we also have strong wind that left a lot of sand in the circuit. We had to change the setting of the bike and also I had to work in my riding style to suit the new conditions, but we didn’t do it so good as some other riders. But in the end has not so bad, my lap times with race tyres are pretty good. In addition I’m not able to use the soft front as in the test, and this complicated things a little more, because we have to adapt the bike to the hard tyre. At the end of FP3 I tried to push harder triying to improve the lap time I did yesterday, but the bike shaked with violence and the airbag system of my leathers activated, so I was not able to complete the lap.”
Hector Barbera | 1'56.725 | P20
“It was a difficult day, as things are going worse than expected. Maybe we are behind the others because we didn´t test as much. I simply don´t feel comfortable on the bike and I have to fight it in every corner. As a result, we are more than two seconds off the pace. We have to keep working, because this is not a good result. My collarbone keeps bothering me, maybe I am too careful because of this injury. But our real limit is not the collarbone, it´s our lack of track time on this circuit. Tomorrow we will try to improve the bike in FP4 in order to get the best possible lap time in qualifying. It´s tough when things are not going your way, but we will grit our teeth and keep working hard.”
CRUTCHLOW THROUGH TO Q2 IN QATAR DESPITE TRICKY CONDITIONS
PRESS RELEASE: 24 March 2017 | Qatar Grand Prix Day Two
The second evening of MotoGP action at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar saw two free practice sessions take place in tough conditions, following heavy rain during the day that left the desert track in a worse state than on the opening night.
Coupled with the strong winds that picked up throughout the evening, it was hard going for the LCR Honda Team and Cal Crutchlow, but in his own unique fashion the Brit was one of the few riders to improve his lap time. Setting the ninth fastest time of the weekend so far, he sealed passage straight through to Saturday’s qualifying shootout.
Crutchlow subsequently suffered a spill at the treacherous second corner, one of many to be caught out already this weekend. However, having thankfully emerged unscathed he will hope to seal a good grid position during qualifying, with his pace looking decent for Sunday night’s race.
Cal Crutchlow – 9th
(1’55.211 – lap 15 of 16)
" The second session tonight saw really bad conditions, the wind was really bad and it was difficult for anyone to go faster, but I knew that I had to. I then crashed at the end of the session and I’m absolutely raging about it. Firstly, because I got baulked on my fast lap by riders trying to follow others, then it happened again on the lap before I crashed, which meant I had to roll off and my tyres cooled right down.”
“Apart from that I felt good and felt strong in the later session, we were actually sixth quickest in that practice alone, but we still have work to do. The Honda is difficult to ride at the moment, but we are knuckling down and I feel the team is doing a good job and I’m riding well.”
“I honestly don’t know what to expect from qualifying because it’s so difficult to go fast here. It seems that when we do more laps put together then we’re better than on a one-off lap.”
Pull&Bear Aspar riders to fight tomorrow for Q2 place
Friday, 24 March 2017 21:02
Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham just a few tenths off direct access to the fight for pole
After a 45-minute aperitif to the Grand Prix of Qatar with yesterday's opening practice, the MotoGP riders were back on track for two further sessions tonight as the first ten positions were decided for tomorrow's Q2. Maverick Viñales heads the combined standings thanks to his 1'54.316 from yesterday, a time he was only able to get within four tenths of today. Andrea Iannone and Marc Márquez complete the top three, followed by rookie Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco. Andrea Dovizioso finished as the top Ducati in fifth place ahead of Scott Redding and Dani Pedrosa. Jonas Folger, Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi make up the ten direct qualifiers to Q2, which will be preceded as usual by FP4 and Q1 tomorrow night.
Álvaro Bautista finished just 0.167 seconds shy of a place in Q1, the Spaniard blaming the lower grip levels tonight as he struggled to make improvements from yesterday. Bautista racked up thirty laps tonight, the best of which being a 1'55.581, and will continue to work hard tomorrow night with the aim of a top two position in Q1 that would take him into Q2. Karel Abraham lies in seventeenth position overall, even though he has been in the top fifteen in each session. The Czech is looking for more feeling from both the front and rear ends of his bike in order to bring him closer to the lap times he set here in the test at the start of this month.
13th Álvaro Bautista 1:55.581 (31 laps):“The track was a little different to last night, it was more difficult because there was less grip. We suffered a little with the bike and I didn't manage to establish a good feeling in corner entry, in the middle or in exit. I feel like I am lacking grip compared to the tests. We tried to gain some grip by making some modifications but didn't find anything that helped. After the second session I was in a position that would have sent me through to Q2 but FP3 didn't go so well, the bike wasn't working how I wanted and with the feeling I had it was difficult to go any faster. We will try to improve the feeling tomorrow and progress from Q1 to Q2 to secure a good position for the race.”
17th Karel Abraham 1:56.003 (31 laps):“I don't think it's been a bad day, but it wasn't 100% positive. We had a few problems with the front end and the rear has been sliding in some corners since yesterday. I am lacking feeling from the front, I can't tell if I am close to the limit or not. We have been in the top fifteen in every session, setting good laps. Tomorrow if it doesn't rain we will try some modifications in FP4. I can see that there are a few guys who were in the same boat as me but suddenly pulled a really good lap time out. Hopefully tomorrow with a bit more work we can improve the response from the front and rear end and get back to the lap times we set in the test. I think Viñales has set a similar lap time to the test but the rest of us have gone slower. We'll see what happens tomorrow.”
Stunning Friday for Scott: 1st in FP2 and 6th overall. Petrux very close to the Top 10
The second day of free practice at the Losail circuit has given great emotion to Octo Pramac Racing. Scott Redding has qualified directly to tomorrow’s Q2 thanks to a sensational FP2 while Danilo Petrucci ended up only 21 thousandths of a second from the Top 10.
Scott has made a real masterpiece in the first practice of the day notching up the fastest lap-time (1'55.085) that allowed him to easily defend the qualification to Q2. The british rider could not improve his crono in FP3 due to a crash without consequences.
After encountering some difficulties in FP2, perhaps due to the different track conditions after the rain fell in the afternnon, Petrux seemed likely to be able to center the Q2 but a bit of traffic on track slowed him. As a result the italian rider had to settle for 11th place with a time of 1'55.435, very close to Valentino Rossi’s tenth place.
6th - Scott Redding – 1’55.085
“I am very pleased with the work we have done today. The feeling is very positive and it gives me a lot of confidence. The crash? I was still trying to improve and I knew that the only way to improve was to push harder in turn-2 but I crashed. Fortunately it was a crash without particolar consequences. I'm happy for this and also for having gained a precious Q2”.
11th - Danilo Petrucci – 1’55.435
“I can not be happy. Yesterday I left the circuit very happy and convinced that I could have done very well today. Unfortunately the track conditions were completely different. In FP2 struggled a lot. We worked hard on the set up in FP3 but we could not find the ideal conditions and the crash at the beginning session slowed our work. I hope to be able to do better in tomorrow’s Q1”.