Massive Brno MotoGP Qualifying Wrap – Quotes from all riders – Images – Results – Notes
Repsol Honda front row split by Rossi’s Movistar Yamaha as qualifying sets the scene for a scintillating Czech GP
MotoGP 2017 – Round Ten – Brno
Reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) will have the best seat in the house for the start of the second half of the season, taking a stunning pole position to just edge key title rival Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in qualifying for the Czech GP.
Marc Marquez – P1
“I’m very happy with today because I knew that making the pole would be tough, as I normally struggle at this track, but I tried for it anyway. The test we did here was useful. I felt good already with the first tyre, even if I nearly crashed as I was pushing very hard. I tried to ride smoothly but still brake hard. With the second tyre, I gave it all I had and we got this pole. I’m very, very happy. Tomorrow we’ll see what weather conditions we have, as it looks a bit unstable and not as warm. It will be a long, hard race but we should be able to fight for the podium in either the dry or the wet, so we’re looking forward to it and to enjoying the race.”
Valentino Rossi – P2
“Today I tried to brake later and open the throttle early. I already felt good on the first run, but the first lap is always a bit difficult. I knew I had a good potential and on the second run I was in the right position, with clear track in front, and I rode well. I was able to push without making any mistakes. It‘s a shame for the pole, because we were close, but the second place is a very good result and front row is a good place to start the race from tomorrow.”
Equally close to the top duo is Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), who led for the first part of the session before being deposed from provisional pole to P3.
Dani Pedrosa – P3
“I’m happy today because qualifying went well. I usually struggle a bit in qualifying but today I did four good laps and I really enjoyed myself, as I was able to ride
as I like. I’m just over one tenth off of Marc, which is very positive as he’s very strong on pole; it was a fantastic job from my team. Now I just look forward to tomorrow. We have to wait and see what the weather will be like, as that will be a key for the race along with the tyre choice. It should be cooler, so we must be very to the point with the tyre choice and be ready for whatever situation we have to deal with.”
Day 1’s fastest Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) followed up his Friday heroics with another good result in qualifying, gearing up for the Czech GP at the head of the second row in P4.
Andrea Dovizioso – P4
“I’m very pleased with everything we’ve done this weekend: the track is very difficult but in any case we’ve managed to work well, making progress session after session. We did quite a lot of laps with used tyres in FP4 in the afternoon to try and get ready for the race, and our pace was not bad at all. I think that there are five or six riders with a similar pace and so we’ll probably see some racing in a group. However we’ve really got a good base and I believe we can do a good race tomorrow.”
Crutchlow went sixth fastest in FP3, but also endured a nasty crash into the trackside air-fence after skidding on fluid that had come from Alvaro Bautista’s Ducati. The LCR man had an initial X-ray at the circuit that proved inconclusive and opted to continue riding, going on to also finish sixth in FP4. He would go one better in final qualifying but then headed straight for hospital after qualifying to get a definitive verdict on his vertebrae injury and was given good news as a scan revealed no fracture, meaning he will be able to line up in Sunday’s race.
Cal Crutchlow – P5
“I had to qualify, I didn’t feel anything too bad when I was riding. Of course, I had some pain from this morning’s crash, but as we know it was an unfortunate situation as myself and Marc (Marquez) were the next two along when there was something on the track and that meant I crashed at more than 150 kilometres an hour. I’m sorry for the team as Marc’s bike had two scratches on it and ours barely had two wheels left on it after the crash! I feel good, in fact I’ve felt great all weekend so far. Yesterday we had some problems with the set up, but I felt we just needed to work in a different area and today I thought we did a really good job.”
Joining him on the second row is Jorge Lorenzo. Despite an earlier fast lap being disallowed for the ‘Spartan’, he hit back quickly.
Jorge Lorenzo – P6
“Today we managed to improve several aspects of the bike and we were able to lap all day in dry conditions to get a better idea of the new fairing. Even though we lose a bit of top speed, I’m still very satisfied with the way it performs: I need more downforce at the front and this new aero package makes me a lot more confident. Despite the fact that they cancelled my first time, we did a good qualifying session, and so on my second run I couldn’t risk as much as I would have liked while trying to go for an even quicker time. The second row is OK for me, but the most important thing is that we have a good race pace, as we did at Jerez. We’ll have to see what the weather is going to be like tomorrow but, even if it were to rain, I think we can fight for the podium.”
Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took P7, and will be looking to move forward quickly to get in the battle with his key rivals for the Championship – with the weather another factor to consider for all those on the grid, as Sunday forecasts remain mixed.
Maverick Vinales – P7
“It was very difficult in qualifying, because we didn‘t find a good set-up and I couldn‘t make the bike turn the way I wanted it to. We still have time to deeply check the information we collected today and try to prepare a different set-up for tomorrow‘s warm up. I think I can make some steps forward in the race. My race pace is not so bad, but anyway we have to improve.”
Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) and Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) both put together solid laps in Q2 after having moved through from the first qualifying session. The Italian – as he was in Q1 – was just ahead, and the two line up in eighth and ninth respectively.
Danilo Petrucci – P8
“If I have to be honest I am more happy for this eight place rather than the first row in the last 3 Gp’s. This morning we complicated our life during FP3, by trying our new fairing and maybe also by making some mistakes on the set up. During Fp4 the feelings were not good also because the asphalt was very hot. However, in the qualifying we did very well. We remained all focused and things went well. Tomorrow? Hope the temperature is a bit lower”.
Álvaro Bautista – P9
“This morning we had problems with one bike, which was losing a little oil and even though I saved the crash I had to jump off before I hit the wall. Unfortunately Marc Márquez and Cal Crutchlow then crashed behind me so I am very sorry about that. I took the second bike out with a different set-up, which didn’t work well enough to put us directly into Q2 but it is what we had. We worked on improving under braking and our corner speed at maximum lean, because we are missing a little grip on the rear. We still need to take a big step although we did make some progress with the electronics. Tomorrow is a case of being patient and finishing the race.”
Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), after a slightly more challenging weekend for the French rookie so far, completes the top ten.
Johann Zarco – P10
“Overall the qualifying was a bit tricky but I am ready for anything tomorrow. I was pleased with my lap time in FP3 and happy to be in the top ten which put me through to Q2. Then this afternoon, I felt positive on the bike, and the control was good, but I was missing some drive on the exit of the corner. I was able to follow some riders and the corner entry and speed was positive, yet, there was a bit too much spinning at the exit. Maybe it was too hot, but I wanted to be on the first two rows. However, 10th is not a disaster because the work that we did in FP4 was solid. Here, I was the only rider who stayed on the used tyres, and I could understand a lot of things and create a good feeling in case of a dry race tomorrow. It doesn’t matter what happens with the weather as I will be ready if it rains, because we had a test in the wet on Friday morning. If it is damp, then I know that I will have to get on the pace quickly to be fast in the race. Yet, if it’s dry, I think that, when compared to the guys in front, I can be more consistent after ten laps, even though I was not able to be really fast on a single lap this afternoon. We will have to fight anyway, but I am confident.”
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) suffered a crash towards the end of Q2 to put paid to his final chances, ending the session in eleventh ahead of Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing), who lines up P12 after an impressive performance in FP3 to graduate straight to Q2.
Aleix Espargaro – P11
“The track was very slippery today due to the high temperature and the imperfect asphalt, a bit like Jerez or Barcelona. Our biggest problem is that when I release the brake, I struggle to find grip on the front. In FP4 we tried a few changes to the geometry, but without finding any benefits. In qualifying I gave 100%. I was finishing a good lap, but I crashed right at the last corner. Despite everything, our pace is good. I think that there is very little difference between the riders from fourth to tenth place and that is a sign that it will be a very hard race. Managing our strategy well will be important tomorrow. If it is a dry race, the final laps on worn tyres will be crucial, whereas if it is wet, anything could happen. Personally, I would prefer the first option, but we did not do too badly with the rain either.”
Loris Baz – P12
“It is always positive to be inside the top 12 and even more when you do it in dry conditions. When you get straight in Q2, it is always easier and although I would like to be one row closer to the front, it was not possible to go faster today. It was too hot and the issues we had in the morning increased with the heat. But anyway I’m happy and I’m looking forward to race. We are not so bad in dry conditions, but obviously I would prefer a wet race. I have very good memories from last year when I finished fourth and I’m highly motivated for the race, as this bike is incredible to ride in wet conditions.”
Alex Rins (Team Suzuk Ecstar) just missed out on Q2 by 0.006 and lines up in P13, ahead of a tough result for Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) after the German had been second fastest on Friday.
Alex Rins – P13
“Finally I was able to run a qualifying session in full dry conditions and the truth is that I really enjoyed it. I finished very close to the Q2. Missing it is a shame, but it’s also a positive point as it means I am improving session after session. Indeed, we were able to make a lot of progress here, not just here but also in all of the last races since I got back. Every time I jump on my GSX-RR I learn something new and our performances also improve. I feel totally recovered from my injuries and I’m therefore very confident for tomorrow’s race.”
Jonas Folger – P14
“I am disappointed with today’s result because I was very close to getting into Qualifying 2. At the end of Q1, the last lap that I set was my fastest, but time ran out two seconds before I completed it and I thought I had another lap available because I didn’t see the chequered flag. I went even quicker, yet unfortunately, the session had already finished. This is a shame because our target was to have a strong qualifying today and we couldn’t achieve this, plus we can do much better. Now we have to wait until tomorrow, but we understand that we are quite strong, yet, I don’t feel completely comfortable on the bike, so we need to do a bit of work to find some solutions for the setting. I hope we can make a step, and I will give it everything that I have got.”
Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) locks out the top fifteen. In a fiercely competitive Q1 session in baking hot weather conditions Miller missed progressing to the Q2 session by just one tenth of a second. The Australian rider is primed for a strong showing in the 22-lap race as he continues his transition back to MotoGP after racing a Honda superbike in the Suzuka Eight-Hours. The switch back to Michelin tyres and the Honda RC213V MotoGP bike has seen Miller struggle with front-end feel through the fast curves of the stadium section of the 5.4 km Brno Circuit. Miller missed this race through injury in 2016 and lost crucial dry track set-up time with the wet conditions of Friday morning’s FP1 session.
Jack Miller – P15
“The fifth row of the grid is not ideal but I’ve started further back and had a strong race so I’m up for the challenge. Just one tenth of a second would have got me into Q2 but that’s racing. My race pace is pretty good and I am just working to get my rhythm back on the MotoGP bike after racing the superbike. It’s good to be back in MotoGP and race day is what counts so I’m looking forward to it.”
Hector Barbera – P16
“It was a shame, because yesterday we were very strong and today we had the pace a well. In FP4 we were fast and consistent, but we wasted one soft tyre this morning trying to get in Q2. We missed that tyre in the afternoon because we just had one left. Things didn’t work as we expected and the bike had a lot of chatter. But we won’t give up, me and my team are highly motivated and we are determined to start the second half of the season stronger. I’m working had to adapt to this bike and tomorrow we will fight in the race to recover and score good championship points. Our goal will be the top ten in dry conditions, but if it rains, everything can happen. We will see what we can do tomorrow.”
Karel Abraham – P17
“Today we had a good day on track, it was nice and sunny, maybe a little bit too hot, but we were able to work really hard on trying different tyre and set-up combinations and it seemed like it paid off because we managed to improve in the areas we were losing out yesterday. In qualifying I have to say I am really happy to have done a 1’56.7, which is a really fast time around this track. Unfortunately, I missed out on one final lap because I took the chequered flag a second too late but anyway I am happy. We have taken a big step with the bike, the team and myself and I think we have a very good base for tomorrow. The lap times are very close and we only narrowly missed out on Q2 so we have to fight even harder tomorrow!”
Pol Espargaro – P18
“Me and my crew chief Paul (Travathan) talked about the reality of getting through from Q1 to Q2 after this morning’s session. We were there and we knew we could do it, and even though I fell when on the fastest lap of the session at that point, we’ve shown we can do it. The weekend was going so well as we were closer than we expected at this long track that could’ve shown up some of the weak parts of the motorcycle but actually we’ve turned it around and we’ve been really good. We’ve been within one second of the fastest time in both dry free practices today and this is a real high point of the season for us. In qualifying I was on a very hot lap but maybe I over-cooked it, but we were on it to be fastest to the halfway point of the lap. The front was chattering and I lost it on turn 11, the uphill right hander at the bottom of the hill. But don’t forget, with this bike you must play on the limit, but the more you push and the more you risk, the better lap time you get. Overall we are happy as we have a good rhythm. Whatever happens tomorrow I think we are ready, we are enjoying the weekend because for the first time we are confident to be competitive. We tried many things at the Aragon test including testing my riding style but we have new things that are working good and that has shown this weekend.”
Bradley Smith – P19
“Overall we have to be happy with our Saturday performance. Yesterday was a little bit of a struggle but certainly we found some good direction today and I’m starting to feel more and more comfortable on the bike as I’ve tried some new WP front forks today. I was pleased with the lap time although it would’ve been nice to see a (1m) 56 but that’s being fussy after doing a 59.3 yesterday, so 2.5 seconds in one day is a great job by the KTM team. In terms of race day tomorrow, the tyre selection is quite clear but of course it’s going to be very weather dependant; it could rain but we’ve ridden in all conditions here this weekend and my wet setting felt good so let’s see what tomorrow brings with a mistake free race to get us to the end.”
Andrea Iannone – P20
“Until this morning things went pretty positively. Yesterday I was able to get a good feeling with the bike and in FP3 I made some improvements. We were pretty confident for FP4 and Q1. In FP4 we tried some different configurations in the setup that gave me further confidence. So I tried to push more, but unfortunately I lost the front in a slow corner and consequently lost the availability of the bike. In Q1 I was pretty confident I could replicate the time scored in the morning and even improve on it, but I couldn’t do it in the first run. Then we had to give up due to a technical problem, which was a minor issue, but it was an oil leak so we preferred not to risk my own safety or to affect the track. It’s a shame because of my position, but my feelings remain positive as I believe we can still make use of more potential from the machine. With a good start and a consistent pace it’s reasonable to aim to the get into the top ten, which would be a good result.”
Tito Rabat will start 21st for the tenth round of the MotoGP World Championship. The Spaniard struggled for confidence and his best pace in the hot conditions.
Tito Rabat – P21
“In FP4 we worked on a set-up using the hard rear tyre because of the hot conditions and this will be valuable information in case the conditions are the same for the race. But then in qualifying I made a small mistake in my first run and could not improve riding alone for my final time attack. So not an easy session but I will be pushing to score points in the race and if the weather is cooler this will be OK for me too.”
Sam Lowes – P22
“The first lap in qualifying was rather good. In the second run I crashed as I was improving. Unfortunately, with these track conditions, both Aleix and I struggle to find the right feeling with the front. This evening we’ll talk during the technical briefing and try to find a solution. Tomorrow the forecast calls for a lower temperature and that would be positive for us, whereas if it rains, on one hand I know that I’m fast, but on the other, I would like to achieve a good result in “normal” conditions. The goals is the points zone. We are all very close and my pace was consistent today, so we have good chances of battling for a good position. The foot I injured yesterday limited me a bit this morning, but already in the afternoon, things improved and I don’t think that it will be a big problem tomorrow.”
Scott Redding – P23
“I struggled a lot with the front. I’ve never been able to find the right feeling. We have also tried with the hard tire but chattering was to strong. The crash of this morning did not allow me to find the right feeling. It’s a difficult Saturday but the week end is not over. I will start form a very difficult position but the race is tomorrow and I will try to recover some positions”.
Now all that remains is to race, with the lights going out for the tenth battle of the year at 2200 AEST.
MotoGP 2017 – Round Ten – Brno – MotoGP Qualifying Results
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team 1’54.981
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 0.092
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team 0.138
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team 0.460
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda 0.508
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team 0.571
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 0.682
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Octo Pramac Racing 0.757
- BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team 1.046
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1.094
- ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1.374
- BAZ Loris 76 FRA Reale Avintia Racing 1.643
- RINS Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’56.460 Q1
- FOLGER Jonas 94 GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’56.540 Q1
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’56.543 Q1
- BARBERA Hector 8 SPA Reale Avintia Racing 1’56.685 Q1
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team 1’56.786 Q1
- ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’57.034 Q1
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’57.042 Q1
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’57.245 Q1
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’57.288 Q1
- LOWES Sam 22 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’57.465 Q1
- REDDING Scott 45 GBR Octo Pramac Racing 1’57.517 Q1
Moto2 – Mattia Pasini (ITA) will start his 200th GP from pole
Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) brought an almost ten year pole position drought to an end in qualifying at Brno, setting a fast lap early on and holding on at the top until the end – meaning he will start his 200th race from P1. Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Miguel Oliveira took a close second, with Championship leader Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completing the front row.
Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) kept his impressive pace rolling in qualifying for P4, with fellow rookie Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and FP3’s fastest Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) joining him on Row 2. The 2014 Moto3 World Champion is returning from injuries sustained in the German GP.
Luca Marini (Forward Racing) had a good session for seventh, ahead of Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) in P8 and Speed Up Racing’s Simone Corsi in ninth. 2016 Moto3™ World Champion Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completed the top ten, bouncing back from a tough early season of injury problems and further surgery during the summer break.
Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40) had some solid pace in P11, ahead of Championship challenger Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) as the number 12 took P12, leaving him work to do on Sunday.
Khairul Idham Pawi (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) impressed for thirteenth, outpacing veteran teammate Takaaki Nakagami, who lines up fifteenth. Axel Pons (RW Racing GP) split the two Idemitsu Honda Team Asia riders for P14.
MotoGP 2017 – Round Ten – Brno – Moto2 Qualifying Results
- Mattia Pasini (ITA – Kalex) 2’02.611
- Miguel Oliveira (POR – KTM) + 0.032
- Franco Morbidelli (ITA – Kalex) + 0.050
Moto3 – First ever pole position for Argentinian Gabriel Rodrigo
There had never been a lightweight pole position for an Argentine rider before the Czech GP, but that’s now a stat from the past as Gabriel Rodrigo went from gravel to glory in the space of a lap. Following an early crash in the session, the Argentina rider managed to get back out on track with enough time to push for just a single lap – but he more than made it count, as the one-lap wonder in the final seconds of the session saw him take pole by a tenth and a half.
The man he deposed was Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers), who was second fastest after having proved the pacesetter for much of qualifying, with second RBA BOE Racing rider Juanfran Guevara completing the front row after an emotional rollercoaster QP for the team with a definitively happy ending.
Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) will be launching his hunt for the win from fourth on the second row, ahead of Saturday morning’s fastest Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46). Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is also set up well for Sunday, taking P6 to complete Row 2.
Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) built on his FP3 to qualify seventh, ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and Livio Loi (Leopard Racing). Südmetall Schedl GP Racing’s Philipp Oettl completed the top ten.
It was an impressive performance from SIC Racing Team’s Ayumu Sasaki to take eleventh, with Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse), QP crasher Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (Honda Team Asia) completing the fastest fifteen.
Two frontrunners who suffered in the session were title challenger Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), whose best lap put him P17, and 2016 Brno winner John McPhee (British Talent Team), who faces a fight back from P19.
Remy Gardner will start from the ninth row of the grid after a tough afternoon in the Czech Republic. A small crash halted his progress as he battled relentlessly against heat and grip issues, but despite the result, the young Australian remains fully confident for the race as he aims to close the weekend in the points.
Remy Gardner – P26
“I am pretty disappointed with the outcome of this qualifying, and I was definitely expecting a lot more. FP3 went really well so I had high hopes for this afternoon, yet it wasn’t meant to be. The track was hot and I didn’t have a good feeling plus, there was a lot of spinning and sliding. It’s not a great starting position and it’s certainly going to be a hard race tomorrow, however, anything could happen with the weather so we will see, but I will give it my all like always.”
MotoGP 2017 – Round Ten – Brno – Moto3 Qualifying Results
- Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG – KTM) 2’08.571
- Romano Fenati (ITA – Honda) + 0.150
- Juanfran Guevara (SPA – KTM) + 0.303