Practice Results – MotoGP 2011 – Round 13 – Misano
Lorenzo leads San Marino opening day
The hot and humid weather on the Adriatic coast produced rain drops in the final minutes of the afternoon session at the Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini on Friday, but the weather had held off long enough for all but one in the MotoGP field to better their times from the morning session. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) topped the field with a 1’33.929 on lap ten of 22, bettering his time from the first practice outing by 1.213 seconds and the only rider to break below the 1’34” mark.
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) made a run for the front with his best lap of 1’34.005, just missing the top spot by 0.076s to rank second for the day. The Australian out paced team mate and last year’s race winner at Misano, Dani Pedrosa, by 0.2s.
Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) posted a 1’34.444 to place him fourth in the order for the day. Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) was the only rider unable to improve his time from the morning session, posting a time one-thousandth of a second slower in the afternoon meet which placed him fifth overall.
Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) took the sixth spot with a time of 1’34.989, ahead of Rizla Suzuki’s Álvaro Bautista who suffered engine problems at the start of the session, but switched bikes and posted a time of 1’35.023.
Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar ) posted the eighth quickest time with a 1’35.111, while Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) ranked ninth of the day with a 1’35.282 lap time on his penultimate lap.
Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) took the tenth spot of the day in the timings, Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) in 11th with a time of 1’35.331, 0.087s ahead of Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing).
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) was 13th, followed by Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing), Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Loris Capirossi (Pramac Racing) and Toni Elías (LCR Honda).
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’33.929
2 Casey Stoner Honda AUS 1’34.005
3 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’34.205
4 Marco Simoncelli Honda ITA 1’34.444
5 Ben Spies Yamaha USA 1’34.469
6 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 1’34.989
7 Alvaro Bautista Suzuki ESP 1’35.023
8 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1’35.111
9 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda JPN 1’35.282
10 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 1’35.301
11 Valentino Rossi Ducati ITA 1’35.331
12 Randy De Puniet Ducati FRA 1’35.418
13 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1’35.419
14 Karel Abraham Ducati CZE 1’35.423
15 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1’35.622
Viessmann Kiefer Racing rider Stefan Bradl responded to the challenge set by Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) by clocking a lap time of 1’38.461, five tenths quicker than the Spaniard’s FP1 time that led the field in the first outing and nearly a second quicker than his own FP1 time. Márquez’s lap of 1’38.902 had remained fastest of the day until Bradl pulled out his fast lap in the final two minutes, bumping the Moto2 rookie into second for the day.
Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40) set the second quickest lap of the session with a 1’39.011, a three-tenths improvement on his morning session time, but still 0.109s behind Márquez for the day, placing Espargaró in third.
Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) grabbed the fourth spot with a time of 1’39.045, ahead of local rider Mattia Pasini (Ioda Racing Project) in fifth. Frenchman Jules Cluzel (NGM Forward Racing) ranked sixth, Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project) seventh, and younger brother to Aleix, Pol Espargaró (HP Tuenti Speed Up), was eighth.
Italian rider Michele Pirro (Gresini Racing) took up the ninth spot in the field, with Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing) completing the top ten in the combined times.
Twelve riders in the field of thirty nine did not improve on their earlier times, including local San Marino rider Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) who ranked 11th in the combined times and Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing) in 14th.
Bankia Aspar’s Nicolas Terol lead the 125cc field in the second practice session of the day in Misano, posting the fastest time of the day with a 1’44.139, four-tenths quicker than his earlier practice time and two-tenths ahead of team mate Héctor Faubel. The latter of the two had led the charts with nine minutes to go, finally posting a time of 1’44.333 to rank him second in the combined times.
Red Bull Ajo Motorsport’s Danny Kent was third, the British rider’s time of 1’44.479 was almost a second faster than his morning practice time. Johann Zarco (Avant AirAsia Ajo) crashed in turn 10 in the final four minutes; his time set on lap 13 of 1’44.513 put him fourth in the timings.
Efrén Vázquez (Avant-AirAsia-Ajo), who has placed in the top ten in every race he has finished this season, continued to push at the front of the pack, leading the timings early and holding the top spot until the last ten minutes. His best lap of 1’44.573 placed him fifth in the combined times. Sergio Gadea (Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing Team) followed in sixth, with team mate Maverick Viñales 0.043s behind in seventh.
The third Bankia Aspar rider, Adrián Martín posted a time of 1’45.091 to rank him eighth, ahead of Sandro Cortese (Intact Racing Team Germany), who will be trying for his third straight podium this weekend, in ninth. Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) was the final rider in the top ten.
– Repsol HRC Report
Casey Stoner, second, finished 76 thousandths away from the fastest time, followed by Dani Pedrosa, third, and Andrea Dovizioso, sixth, in the first free practice sessions held at Misano
Five days after the last race that took place last Sunday at the United States, the Motorcycling World Championship crossed the Atlantic to celebrate with little time to rest the San Marino Grand Prix, of which the first free practice sessions took place today. Casey Stoner, who was the fastest in the first session, finished just a few thousandths away from the fastest time of the day, set by Jorge Lorenzo. Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, who improved their times in the second session, finished in third and sixth position, respectively.
A searing heat welcomed the riders of the Continental Circus, that today took the Misano track showing a very high level. The Repsol rider Casey Stoner led the morning session, after 18 laps where he set a fastest time of 1 minute, 34 seconds and 180 thousandths. In the second free practice session, the Australian of the Repsol Honda Team improved his time by 175 thousandths after 19 laps, which he finished 76 thousandths behind Jorge Lorenzo, who set the fastest time of the day.
Behind Stoner finished Dani Pedrosa, who after 20 laps in the first session and 22 more in the second, concluded 200 thousandths behind his team mate. After the first tweaks in the set-up of his Honda RC212V, Andrea Dovizioso finished sixth, improving his morning time slightly although still with a good margin to improve for tomorrow, when the third free practice session will take place, as well as the Qualifying, which will determine the starting grid for Sunday’s race.
FP1 – 1:34.529, 20 laps, 85 km.
FP2 – 1:34.205, 22 laps, 93 km.
“We had a good start in the morning, I felt quite comfortable from the beginning, but in the afternoon we didn’t improve as much as I would have liked.When Bautista’s engine blew in front of me I thought the track would become dirty, so I did some slow laps to check and I lost some time and rhythm. We have to keep working with the suspension to get better traction and stability under hard braking, so we will focus on this tomorrow. I tried both tyre compounds, the hard one only this afternoon, and we still don’t know which one will be better for the race”.
FP1 – 1:35.011, 22 laps, 93 km.
FP2 – 1:34.989, 22 laps, 93 km.
“Today we worked on the general set up of the bike and in the afternoon we made some changes to the rear setting but we didn’t achieve the results we wanted. We need to continue working on the set up to reduce the pitching in the front and the rear. This is a slow track but with many hard braking areas and strong acceleration so we will analyse the data to understand the most critical areas where I am losing time. It was very hot today but the track conditions were ok. We rode with both soft and hard tyres and I felt good on the bike, so now the first thing to do is to study the data and evaluate the best direction to follow in preparation of the qualifying and race. I’m confident that we can recover the gap from the front riders”.
FP1 – 1:34.180, 18 laps, 76 km.
FP2 – 1:34.005, 19 laps, 80 km.
“We made a pretty good step this morning, everything felt pretty good and the bike was working well.We tried a few things this afternoon, but had a slight problem with some air in the brake line which cost us some time. Then we did race distance on the soft tyre and got some good data from that, we’re doing some reasonably competitive times but not good enough yet, we’ll go away tonight and work in preparation for tomorrow. We still need to get the bike feeling a little more comfortable in the middle of the corner and on the exit, with traction as well as turning. If we can improve these areas then I’m confident we can also improve the lap time quite a lot”.
– Ducati Report
The first day of practice sessions at the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini featured sun, very high temperatures and high humidity levels, making quite conditions very challenging for all the riders.
Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden worked to find a setup that will work with the fairly slippery asphalt and, toward the end of the second session, the Italian managed to have a decent run with the soft tyre. Tomorrow, both riders will work to improve their setups for the qualifying session.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 11th (1:35.331) – “Fortunately, I managed to do two or three good laps at the end of the session, and to make up a few positions. We struggled because we wanted to ride with the hard tyre in order to work for the race, but unfortunately, following a promising start, I found it more difficult as the pace steadily improved. We lacked rear grip, especially with the bike leaned over, so we mounted the softer tyre at the end of the session. Today I did a ’35.3, but tomorrow we’ll try to cut at least half a second, working to also improve the feeling with the front under braking. We’ll start with the base setting from Brno and Laguna, and we’ll try some difference changes on the second bike.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 13th (1:35.419) – “This obviously isn’t how we hoped to come out of the gate here. I like this track okay, but it seems like every time I come here, it’s very hard to get up to speed. Basically, I’m pushing the front on corner entry and can’t get it stopped. My ideal time is ’35.0, but I can’t be consistent and put laps together. The track isn’t bad, but it’s hot and slippery and a little bit bumpy, and those things really don’t favor me on this bike. We’re definitely up against it but we’ll try a different solution for tomorrow.”
– Yamaha Report
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo wound up today as the pacesetter in the first day of practice for the Grand Prix of San Marino. The reigning World Champion struggled to find top form in the morning practice but worked hard with his crew to make key set up changes over the lunchtime period. The afternoon session saw the improvements fire him almost immediately to the top of the time sheets where he remained unchallenged for the entire session, leading at times by over second.
Lorenzo’s team mate Ben Spies was one of the men to beat in the morning session, clocking some impressive lap times. He was the fastest rider until the last seconds of the session; ultimately finishing up in second, just 0.286 from first. The afternoon practice was spent trying a number of different set ups for rider position, the Texan ending in fifth 0.54 seconds from Lorenzo in first.
Jorge Lorenzo – Position 1st – Time 1.33.929 – Laps 43
“I feel much more comfortable on the bike this afternoon with the changes we made. The setting we made is very similar to the Mugello one and there I won the race. To be honest I didn’t expect so much change because we improved more than one second. We are now quite close to a victory I think. Casey and Dani are still so fast but at least we are there with them.”
Ben Spies – Position 5th – Time 1.34.466 – Laps 42
“Not bad today, it wasn’t a great second session but we had to try a lot of things. We’ve been working a little bit on rider position since before Indy and we came up with a good direction for me. We tried to go more in that way this afternoon but it was too much so we lost a bit of the second session on it. Other than that we tried all the tyres we wanted to and went pretty fast with quite a lot of laps on them. Overall a positive day, we tried some stuff that worked and some stuff that didn’t. We need to work harder for tomorrow and improve some grip levels but the overall feel and speed I’m happy with.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“We analysed the morning session well, the guys worked hard and we changed the bike a lot for the second session. We had better traction and Jorge could stop the bike a lot better than this morning. We improved over a second but we still have some issues. Now we are up there and ready to improve a little more tomorrow. It was a tough afternoon but the guys did really well to deliver the package.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“We started with the right foot forward this weekend. This afternoon we tried different things with set up and tyres for Ben, now we have to fix a couple of issues but overall we are quite satisfied. Jorge made a great second session, very fast and consistent which is important. We will keep working and tomorrow we will finalise our set ups for the race.”
Edwards and Crutchlow seek improved pace in Misano
Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow started preparations for the Misano MotoGP round with solid performances today, and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders are confident they can significantly improve their pace for qualifying and the 28-lap race.
American Edwards set the 10th best time on the opening day of practice at a sun-kissed Misano circuit that witnessed temperatures soaring to a physically demanding 30 degrees this afternoon.
Working on improving high-speed stability with his YZR-M1 machine, Edwards was able to knock almost 0.3s off his best time in the opening session to finish with a 1.35.301.
The 37-year-old also dedicated a large portion of his 44 laps on track to evaluate the performance of Bridgestone’s soft and hard compound rear tyre options to finish just over 0.3s away from the top six.
Crutchlow started well this morning and put his World Supersport and World Superbike knowledge of the 2.626 miles Misano track to good use to finish just over 0.2s away from the top 10.
Although he was able to lap over 0.3s quicker in this afternoon’s 45-minute session, the British rider wasn’t rewarded for that impressive improvement and he slipped down the order to 15th. Crutchlow is confident he can improve his pace tomorrow to challenge for a top 10 place on the grid, as he aims to focus on gaining more grip and confidence with Bridgestone’s hard rear tyre.
Colin Edwards – Position 10th – Time 1.35.301 – Laps 44
“Today was a solid day withou t being too spectacular. We rolled off the truck from Indy not terribly fast and it is always nice to come out of the blocks with a bit more speed than I did. My biggest problem today has been high-speed stability and you can lose a lot of time in the three really fast right-handers here. The front-end was also tucking quite a bit this afternoon and at times the sensation was like I was riding on a flat tyre. We made some changes which we felt were going to make the bike better but we just ran out of time, so we’ll sit down tonight and look at some data and come up with a plan for tomorrow. I feel confident and reasonably comfortable and with a couple of changes to the bike for tomorrow I’m sure we can come out all guns blazing. We also need to find something to help me with the hard rear tyre. I’m lacking a bit of entry grip, so we’ll work on that too. Initially it feels fantastic but the lap times were no better. We got some ideas to get more side and entry grip with the h ard tyre, so I’m sure we’ll be much faster tomorrow.”
Cal Crutchlow – Position 15th – Time 1.35.622 – Laps 42
“Today wasn’t an easy start to the weekend but I don’t think 15th place is a true reflection of our potential. I had a few issues with getting the hard rear tyre to work, so we’ll need to have a look at a big improvement in that area for tomorrow. I ran the same soft tyre I’d used this morning in the second session and even with 36 laps on it, I went just as quick with that as what we did with a brand new hard tyre. Lorenzo is more than 1.5s quicker on the hard tyre and I can’t get it to work, so we need to have a look at the setting and perhaps make the bike more similar to what we ran in Indianapolis. We’ll have a look at the data tonight and see what we can work out for tomorrow. I’m trying my hardest and I don’t think I’m that far away beca use 0.5s would put me eighth.”
– LCR Honda Report
Just one week after their last outing at Indianapolis in the US, the premier class riders had to battle against the hot conditions today at Misano race which hosts the San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix this week. LCR Honda racer Toni Elias is a big fan of the 4.226 Km race track and, other than Pedrosa, he has been the Honda rider with the most success here over the past three years.
The Spaniard’s first outing this morning has been affected by some rear grip issues that he tried to solve for the afternoon session improving his pace. But the 17th position is not what the Moto2 World Champion is expecting on this surface and will try different adjustments tomorrow. Today’s pacesetter Lorenzo set the fastest lap time on 1’33.929.
Elias: “I am a big fan of this track and experienced a thrilling victory last year in Moto2. From this morning to this afternoon we made some adjustments on the bike aiming to improve our rear grip which is our main issue. Later on in the afternoon we have tried some different directions about the front geometry but it was not successful. So tomorrow we will go back to our initial set up trying to fine tune the package ahead the qualifying session and we will also compare rear tyres in order to take our decision for the race”.
– Suzuki Report
Álvaro Bautista got Rizla Suzuki’s San Marino Grand Prix weekend off to a strong start today in Misano as he recorded the seventh fastest time.
Bautista (1’35.023, 40 laps) continued where he left off at Indianapolis last weekend and produced another positive two sessions, this time at the Misano World Circuit in Italy. Suzuki’s Spanish racer tried a new swinging arm this afternoon on his GSV-R and immediately noticed an improvement in the cornering ability of his machine. Bautista and the crew will work further on the set-up tomorrow to obtain the best setting for Sunday’s race.
Today’s practices were held in warm and sunny conditions with air temperatures hitting 30ºC. Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo produced the fastest time of the day with current leader Casey Stoner second.
Bautista has another practice session tomorrow morning, followed by an hour of qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday’s 28-lap race is round 13 of this season’s championship and it will also see the Spaniard and the Suzuki GSV-R sport a fantastic one-off limited edition ‘Rizla Micron’ livery that will be launched at Misano on Sunday morning.
Álvaro Bautista: “I think we did a good job today! This morning we started at the same sort of pace that we had in qualifying last year, so that gave us a good base to begin with for the weekend. The feeling with the bike was quite good, but I did not feel very well because I had been a bit ill yesterday – I think it was an upset stomach from something I had to eat. Thanks to the guys at Clinica Mobile because in the afternoon session I was feeling much better. We wanted to test a new swinging arm in the second session and I started on the bike with the standard setting, but after three laps my engine said ‘stop!’ and I couldn’t continue with that bike, so I jumped on the other machine- with the new swinging arm. The feeling was good and we were able to turn a little bit better in the corners and this is good because this is what we wanted to improve. I think we have made a step forward and now I am sure we can improve the lap-time and the rhythm. We are not so far from the first place and I am quite happy about that. Thanks to all the crew for their hard work today after the long trip straight back from Indianapolis.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager: “I think we can be happy with the performances today of both Álvaro and the Suzuki GSV-R. We made some further detailed changes compared to the Indianapolis weekend and so far everything we have done has taken the bike forward a little bit each time. Unfortunately we lost our first engine of the year – there was definitely no hiding from that! But it was very much a Friday engine that had already covered a lot of miles so it wasn’t completely unexpected. We’ll just keep pushing and try to improve tomorrow, and then something special in qualifying.”
– Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
Jorge Lorenzo finished the first day of free practice for the San Marino Grand Prix on the top of the timesheets, using the hard compound slicks front and rear to dip under the existing lap record, a 1m 34.340 set by Dani Pedrosa last year.
Casey Stoner was second quickest also using the harder option slicks, and the championship leader was the first rider to better the lap record with his last lap of the morning free practice session. Third quickest was Pedrosa, the top three all under the lap record, but Dani’s best time came using the softer option rear tyre.
This year is the first of the single tyre era that Bridgestone have selected asymmetric rear slicks for Misano. Last year performance of the symmetric rears was good and Pedrosa set the lap record, but the asymmetric rear slicks have clearly given a performance advantage evidenced by the fact that the laptimes are so fast right from the start of the Grand Prix weekend.
Conditions today were fine and hot and whilst the softer rears were favoured in the morning, by the afternoon practice it was the harder option fronts and rears that were favoured although some riders still used the softer rears during the session to good effect, including Pedrosa. Spots of rain briefly hit the circuit right at the end of the session but posed no problem.
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
“The times are very fast today, and even from the first session Casey was under the lap record which is very impressive. This is the first year since becoming Official Tyre Supplier that we have brought asymmetric rear slicks to Misano and I am satisfied with their performance. Last year here Dani set a new lap record so then tyre performance was already good, but as part of our drive to increase asymmetric rear tyre usage, up from six races in 2009 to 14 this year, we can see that performance has increased again. Rider feedback is positive, especially about the feeling on the left side of the tyre which is softer, so I am pleased about this. Given the high temperature today our harder compound options were favoured and consistency was good, particularly with Jorge and Casey who both seem to have strong race pace, but even our softer option rear worked well this afternoon with Dani so I am confident of our compound allocation this weekend.”
– Red Bull Rookies
Florian Alt starts the final Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race of the season from Pole Position. The 15 year old German was in great form during practice for Saturday’s race at Misano while Cup arch rivals Lorenzo Baldassarri and and Arthur Sissis sit back on the 3rd row after qualifying 8th and 7th respectively for the San Marino Grand Prix event.
Alt also sat on pole at the previous round in the Czech Republic but was disappointed with his 11th and 8th place finishes there. “This time I want to win,” he said with a grin. “A podium is the absolute minimum. We changed some things on the bike after free practice, improved the front suspension a bit by making it harder and then the bike was good. I think I can run that sort of pace in the race, over the last 3 or 4 laps I was on my own and I ran pretty good times so the race should be OK.”
Alongside him on the grid is 16 year old Frenchman Alan Techer, winner of 2 of the last 3 races but he might count himself a little fortunate to be there after crashing on the last lap and being taken to the medical centre for a check up. Techer knows he has 3rd in the Cup secure no matter what happens in the race. That fall didn’t help Cup hopeful Sissis. “I was following him when he crashed,” said the 16 year old Australian who trails Baldassarri by 6 points going into the final race. “It’s a tough track, a lot of hard braking. I wasn’t doing that well but I got a bit quicker following Alan towards the end. It’s interesting that Baldi and I are beside each other on the grid, real interesting. I want to win, it’s the last Rookies race of the year, but it isn’t going to be easy.”
Baldassarri, the 15 year old Italian, also found qualifying tough. “I could have done better, the bike was OK it was just me and not finding the right space on the track. I wanted someone good to ride with and in the last few laps I got with Philipp (Oettl) but that didn’t really work out either. I think the race should be better, I will just try to get a good result but if I am in difficulty I will be looking to see where Arthur is.”
Completing the front row of the grid, 14 year old Briton Kyle Ryde had by far his best qualifying of the season. “I’ve at last got the bike working for me, the forks are stiffer and with more rebound so the bike turns in faster and I am really enjoying it, can’t wait for the race tomorrow.”
Heading the 2nd row of the grid, 18 year old Czech Tomas Vavrous was a little frustrated. “It was OK but I was losing a lot of time in the second half of the lap, about a second and I don’t know where. I hope I can find it in the race, I will try to go with the other guys.”
Philipp Oettl, the 15 year old German, was even more frustrated with 5th. “I didn’t make good use of the new tyre, I should have done better. Towards the end I was with Baldassarri but we were just getting in each other’s way a bit so that didn’t help. The race is a different thing, I know what I have got to do.”
It will all be decided in a single race on Saturday afternoon starting at 16.30 CET. It is broadcast on TV networks around the world and webcast on www.redbull.tv with the show beginning 10 minutes before race start.
1. Florian Alt (GER) 1 minute 47.247 seconds
2. Alan Techer (FRA) +0.312
3. Kyle Ryde (GBR) +0.510
4. Tomas Vavrous (CZE) +0.561
5. Philipp Oettl (GER) +0.580
6. Ivo Lopes (POR) +0.744
7. Arthur Sissis (AUS) +0.894
8. Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA) +0.943
9. Max Enderlein (GER) +1.110
10. James Flitcroft (GBR) +1.198