Marc Marquez will be on pole for Sunday’s MotoGP™ race at the Gran Premio bwin de España, with Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa joining him on the front row.
On his 100th Grand Prix weekend Marquez produced a superb late 1’38.120 lap to smash the pole record at Jerez, qualifying 0.421s ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Lorenzo and 0.510s in front of his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa.
Heading the second row after an intriguing Q2 run in the southern Spanish heat is the most successful rider on the grid at Jerez, with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi (+0.737) qualifying fourth at the track where he boasts six premier class victories.
Joining him on row two are Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team). A late crash for Espargaro hindered his Q2 efforts in the final minutes and he missed out on a potential front row.
The third row will host young trio Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3), with Smith recovering well from a big crash on Friday.
Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) is accompanied by American pair Colin Edwards (NGM Forward Racing) and Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar) on the fourth row, whilst the likes of Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) will start from further back having failed to make Q2.
MotoGP™ Qualifying Practice Classification
- Marc Marquez 93 ESP Repsol Honda Team HONDA 1’38.120
- Jorge Lorenzo 99 ESP Yamaha Factory Racing YAMAHA 1’38.541
- Dani Pedrosa 26 ESP Repsol Honda Team HONDA 1’38.630
- Valentino Rossi 46 ITA Yamaha Factory YAMAHA 1’38.857
- Aleix Espargaro 41 ESP NGM Mobile Forward Racing YAMAHA 1’39.007
- Andrea Dovizioso 4 ITA Ducati Team DUCATI 1’39.222
- Stefan Bradl 6 GER LCR Honda MotoGP HONDA 1’39.243
- Pol Espargaro 44 ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA 1’39.293
- Bradley Smith 38 GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YAMAHA 1’39.390
- Alvaro Bautista 19 ESP Go & Fun Honda Gresini HONDA 1’39.751
- Colin Edwards 5 USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing YAMAHA 1’39.814
- Nicky Hayden 69 USA Drive M7 Aspar HONDA 1’39.826
- Hiroshi Aoyama 7 JPN Drive M7 Aspar HONDA 1’39.768
- Cal Crutchlow 35 GBR Ducati Team DUCATI 1’39.849
- Andrea Iannone 29 ITA Pramac Racing DUCATI 1’40.118
- Karel Abraham 17 CZE Cardion AB Motoracing HONDA 1’40.126
- Michele Pirro 51 ITA Ducati Team DUCATI 1’40.239
- Scott Redding 45 GBR Go & Fun Honda Gresini HONDA 1’40.453
- Yonny Hernandez 68 COL Pramac Racing DUCATI 1’40.566
- Danilo Petrucci 9 ITA IodaRacing Project IODA-SUTER 1’41.009
- Michael Laverty 70 GBR Paul Bird Motorsport ART & PBM 1’41.124
- Mike Di Meglio 63 FRA Avintia Racing MotoGP FTR-KAWASAKI 1’41.517
- Broc Parkes 23 AUS Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 1’41.702
- Hector Barbera 8 ESP Avintia Racing MotoGP FTR-KAWASAKI 1’42.052
Moto2™: Mika Kallio on pole in intermediate class
The World Championship action at the Gran Premio bwin de España on Saturday concluded with Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) taking Moto2™ pole, ahead of Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Luis Salom (Pons HP 40) on the front row.
The cool Finn defied the sweltering heat in Andalusia to outpace his rivals with a 1’42.766s to put him 0.3s ahead of Cortese and 0.4s beyond Salom on row one.
The second line of the Jerez grid will comprise Swiss pair Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert), along with championship leader Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team). Those three all qualified within 0.5s of Kallio.
The qualifying top ten was completed by Jonas Folger (AGR Team), Maverick Viñales (Pons HP 40), Marcel Schrotter (Tech 3) and Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing).
Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Moto2) crashed early in the session but was able to rejoin, as was Azlan Shah (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) who was also unhurt in an early fall. Louis Rossi (SAG Team) crashed with five minutes to go, ending his session early and a last lap crash left Sam Lowes (Speed Up) down in 15th – though they too were both unharmed.
FP3 crasher Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2) missed the QP after being taken to hospital for checks on his left hip and femur. He is a fitness doubt for Sunday’s race but scans have not yet definitively identified the extent of his injury.
Moto2™ Qualifying Practice Classification
Moto3™: Miller secures pole at round four
Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) secured the third pole position of his career and the third of 2014 at the Gran Premio bwin de España, with a rapid 1’46.173 lap putting him ahead of Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN) and Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) on the front row.
In the heat of the Spanish sunshine championship leader Miller maintained his good form to qualify a considerable 0.615s ahead of his nearest rival Antonelli for the fourth race of the year. It is also Miller’s third pole in a row.
Joining Miller and Antonelli on the front row is Spaniard Rins, with row two comprising two further Spanish riders Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team) and Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) – whilst Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) is sixth.
Row three, meanwhile, comprises Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG), Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) and John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG), in front of tenth best qualifier Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46), who of won the race in Argentina from fifth on the grid.
Juanfran Guevara (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) qualified 17th after a crash early in the session, whilst technical issues hindered Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and he ended up 29th.
Moto3™ Qualifying Practice Classification
Blazing sunshine and track temperatures of 50°C provided the background to a duel for pole position this afternoon in qualifying for tomorrow’s Gran Premio de España.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s local hero Jorge Lorenzo dominated 99% of the session, taking second at the end to secure his place on the front row of the grid for the race.
Lorenzo led the qualifying heat from his first timed lap, dropping immediately into the 1’38s with a 1’38.541 lap. He remained unchallenged, coming in for a change of rear tyre with eight minutes remaining and returning to the circuit in under a minute to continue his attack. He was unable to improve on his lap time, but again remained unchallenged until the last minute as rival Spaniard Marc Marquez took pole, just over four tenths ahead of him.
Nine time world champion Valentino Rossi was straight out in to the action behind Jorge Lorenzo, making a Yamaha one-two attack on the track. His first flying lap of 1’39.050 gave him initially second before dropping to third as the pace increased. He returned to the pits with eight minutes to go in fourth position. Following a change to the rear and front of the bike he was back on track with five minutes remaining to step up his pace. With three minutes left on the clock he dropped into the 1’38s with a 1’38.857 and looked safe for third on the grid until rival Dani Pedrosa jumped in front, moving him to fourth on the second row for tomorrow’s race.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team experienced a positive day of qualifying at the tight and twisty Circuito de Jerez after both riders qualified on the third row for tomorrow’s 27-lap sprint.
Pol Espargaro will contest the Grand Prix de Espana from 8th position on the grid after the Spanish rider produced a powerful and determined ride today in hot conditions in Jerez. The 22 year old rookie furthered his competitive streak during the opening races to complete FP3 with a top time of 1.39,530, ending in 9th position. This permitted him to qualify straight through to the Q2. He experienced slight issues yesterday due to having to relearn the relevant racing lines for a MotoGP bike, which differ from the Moto2 ones. Yet, today the Spanish rider showed true grit to clinch 8th position with a best lap time of 1.39.293, which was less than half a second behind multiple world champion and Factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi. The reigning Moto2 world champion who is growing ever confident in his race pace and ability, will be gunning for a strong finish tomorrow in his fourth MotoGP race aboard the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Yamaha YZR-M1, as he aims to build on his personal best result of 6th position in Texas.
Bradley Smith pulled off another top ten qualifying result to start tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix in 9th position. The British rider set a best time of 1.39,561, in FP3 this morning which was almost a second quicker than his final qualifying time last year and allowed him to progress immediately through to Q2 in sunny conditions at the Andalucian circuit. The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider then gritted his teeth and worked hard to power over the finish line with a best lap of 1.39,390 in the final fifteen minute Q2 session with his Yamaha YZR-M1 and cement his starting position of 9th place. Smith remains resolute in battling for a top five position around the 4332-metre circuit for tomorrow’s 27-lap race.
NGM Forward Racing riders Aleix Espargaro and Colin Edwards will take the start of the Spanish GP respectively from the 5th and 11th positions of the starting grid. Both riders used at the best the free practice of the morning to work on the set up of their machine in preparation of the race, with Colin Edwards who set a superb 1’39.200, finishing in 5th place of the FP3 and Aleix Espargaro who worked on the race pace with hard tyres, closing with the 7th best lap time (1’39.267).
In the Qualifying Espargaro and Edwards gave their best to get the best possible result, with the Spaniard claiming the fifth position (1’39.007) and best open behind pole man Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi. A crash without consequences prevented Aleix to further improve his lap time.
It was the best qualifying session for Colin Edwards, who couldn’t replicate his lap time of the morning, but despite this he finished with a very positive 11th position (1’39.814). Colin found a good set up on the technical track of Jerez and is confident for tomorrow’s race.
Jorge Lorenzo – 2nd, 1’38.541 – “We tried our best to make the best lap time, but unfortunately with the second tyre I don’t know why I it didn’t feel the same, it felt a little more slippery which is why I didn’t improve my lap. The goal was to stay in the first row; that was important. Obviously pole position would be better but the most important thing is to start well tomorrow, I think we have a good pace so we can definitely fight at the front. It will be important to stay close at the front for the first couple of laps, the rear tyre is going to drop a lot but I feel physically good as I did last year which will be very important for the race.”
Valentino Rossi – 4th, 1’38.857 – “I wanted to try for the front row but I knew it would be very difficult. In all the practice and also this afternoon I wasn’t very far from the top three and my lap time is good. I’m quite satisfied because it’s the best qualifying and especially I feel good with the bike. We worked well in the practice and I have a good setting. Tomorrow I will try to do the maximum to stay with the top three. We still have to improve something with acceleration as with the high temperature we spin a lot. We will decide on the tyre tomorrow when we see the temperature.”
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director – “So far we have done a good job and we are set for tomorrow, although we still have to think about the different tyres. We have a good pace and were able to do a long distance over FP4 to get important data. It will be a tough one, three very hot Spanish riders and Vale is also a real contender. It’s going to be very physical, there are a number of great overtaking places on the track, including turn one and turn six so I expect a good race for fans to watch! Jorge made an impressive lap straight out of the pits. First and second row are good positions for the start. We’re looking forward to tomorrow.”
Pol Espargaro – 8th, 1’39.293 – “Today I am really pleased with the level of improvement we have made, and feel great about starting from 8th on the grid. My best time from FP2 was a 1.41, and finally I finished with a 1.39,2, so it’s clear to see how much of a leap forward we have made. I am improving race by race, and we found a really positive setting, which I am very comfortable with and it is allowing me to ride faster. The competition will be fierce tomorrow, but every race is different. This one will be quite tricky due to the conditions, but I am happy with my race pace and I really look forward to battling in front of my fans in my home country, even if we are completely set yet. I tried both tyre options over the weekend, but we have to wait for the weather tomorrow morning to make the final decision about which one we want to do the race with.”
Bradley Smith – 9th, 1’39.390 – “Today was a challenging day as there were a few issues which we weren’t fully able to amend, but I am pleased that I was still able to qualify inside the top ten again, and will be able to start on the third row despite our problems. During the free practice sessions here, I have spent time trying to solve the issue of the bike‘s feeling at the beginning of a race, and also my riding position. I concentrated on finding a solution, and rode with a full fuel load to try to test this situation. The crash yesterday didn’t help anything at all, and with the contrasting conditions of the track, all of the data we collected wasn’t very useful. Now we need to concentrate on a setup for tomorrow. My race pace is good, and I feel optimistic about a good result this weekend.”
Aleix Espargaro – 5th, 1’39.007 – “I’m satisfied as we worked very well in the FP3 and FP4 in preparation of the race. I have a good pace and I’m confident for tomorrow. It was a pity for the qualifying! I was lapping in 1’39.0 and I was missing a couple of tenths from Jorge and Valentino to be in front row so I pushed hard but I was at the limit and I lost the front. I’m disappointed but I tried it! It’s not easy to beat the official bikes but we will keep on trying. For tomorrow the tyres will be a key element. We will use the hard option, it is not so hard as we would have wanted but this is what we have, so I’m not worried about it”
Colin Edwards 11th, 1’39.814 – “I’m happy with today’s result. The bike was good already from the morning session. We sorted out the electronics and we improved a lot the set up of the machine. I’m starting to understand more the bike and using the correct tyres I was comfortable and I could push as I wanted. In the qualifying we couldn’t replicate the same strong performance, but the feeling was good so I’m confident for the race. We are evaluating which tyre we will use in the race as this will be very important. With the hot temperatures, the machine spins a lot so tyres will be a key element”.
Andrea Dovizioso has qualified in sixth place for the Spanish Grand Prix, the fourth round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship, which will take place tomorrow at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit. The Ducati Team rider, who had concluded the three free practice sessions that give direct access into Q2 in eighth place, managed to take another couple of tenths off his time in the final qualifying session, using two extra-soft rear tyres. The Italian’s second run powered him to sixth place, one second away from the top slot.
Day 2 of the Jerez action was not so positive for Cal Crutchlow, who only stepped back onto his GP14 yesterday after missing the Argentina GP due to an injury in his right hand he suffered at Austin. Battling against increasing pain due to effort and fatigue, the British rider tried to end the day with a decent performance, but had to settle for fourth in Q1, which meant that he did not go through to Q2. As a result Cal will start from row 5 in tomorrow’s race.
Michele Pirro, the Ducati Test Team rider, qualified in seventeenth place after a positive morning when he lapped just outside the top 10. The Italian rider will start from the sixth row.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 6th (1m39.222s) – “I am very happy with qualifying and the time that I did, even more so because I did it on my own. I think I really managed to get the best out of my bike in these very difficult conditions because the temperature is very high for the tyres we had available. I got an unexpected second row start and this will help us for the race, because Jerez is a narrow track, and in the early laps you can lose a lot of time if you don’t start up at the front. I’m a bit worried for the race, because our pace is not so quick and above all there is a performance drop after several laps: when it’s so hot, everything becomes more difficult for us. In my view, after the top 5 riders there will be a small group with a similar pace, and we’ll have to fight it out with them in the race: starting from row 2 will surely help us.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 14th (1m39.849s) – “I am a bit disappointed with the end result and the qualifying position, but I think it was as to be expected for this weekend. We really struggled with the grip at the front and the rear of the bike, and I didn’t have confidence to push with the bike as much as possible. When I tried I made some mistakes and was at my limit. However I tried my best but the times were very close and it was difficult to get through to Q1, I was disappointed about that. The hand is getting sorer every session so it’s becoming difficult, but thanks also to the assistance the Clinica Mobile are giving me, I will try my best to do a good race tomorrow.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 17th (1m40.239s) – “This morning didn’t go bad because I was close to the top 10, only that this afternoon we tried some new solutions and I was unable to improve. I only used one extra-soft tyre and perhaps this penalized me; maybe if I had used another I could have shaved off a few more vital tenths. For sure my grid position is not an easy one. It’s a shame because throughout the weekend we had some pretty positive practice sessions. However my feeling with the GP14 is much better than it was in Argentina.”
Defending World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) waited until the dying moments of qualifying to post his fourth pole position in succession, preserving a perfect 2014 record in emphatic style, with an advantage of almost half a second with the fastest-ever lap of the iconic Spanish circuit
Repsol Honda RC213V team-mate Dani Pedrosa gained his third front-row start in four races, qualifying third at a track where he has never finished off the podium in the MotoGP class. The factory-backed pair are sandwiching fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha), who qualified second.
Bright sunshine, a cloudless sky and grandstands packed full of eager fans greeted the return of MotoGP to Europe after three flyaway rounds. Marquez has won all three from pole position, as he underlines his status as the youngest-ever World Champion in the premier class.
His home-nation GP is at one of only a few circuits where the former 125cc and Moto2 World Champion has not yet recorded a GP win in any class, and he predicted a tough fight as he strives to add it to his growing portfolio. Marquez currently leads the points table with a perfect 75 points after three very different races: a tough fight with Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) in Qatar, a runaway win in Texas, and a patient tactical defeat of Lorenzo in Argentina.
Pedrosa is second, with a score of 56 after a full house of podiums. He was third in Qatar, and added two second places at the last two rounds – that in Argentina achieved with a stirring hunt-and-pounce attack on Lorenzo.
The 4.806-km Jerez de la Frontera circuit is the traditional start of the European season, and is a happy stamping ground for Honda, with 18 premier-class race wins in 26 years of racing outside the sherry capital, two of them claimed by Pedrosa, in 2008 and 2013.
Marquez apart, qualifying times were very close. Pedrosa was less than a tenth of a second off Lorenzo, and two tenths ahead of his rival’s team-mate Rossi, in fourth.
Honda satellite team riders were well-placed in the close top ten.
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) was seventh, leading row three. The only German rider in the premier class missed row two by a slender margin of two hundredths of a second. A fourth and a fifth place have put him sixth overall, after he crashed out of the first round while leading.
Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda RC213V) was tenth, fighting his way through to the “senior” Q2 session from Q1, after searching for the right set-up for the sinuous circuit. Still awaiting his first finish this year, Bautista and team-mate Scott Redding have a special role, the only riders race-testing Showa suspension and Nissin brakes, made by Japanese companies with strong links to Honda.
Honda has four riders in the new-this-year Open category, riding the works-replica RCV1000R customer machine. For a second race 2006 Honda World Champion Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar Honda RCV1000R) was the best of them, again winning through to Q2 to place 12th.
His Drive M7 Aspar Honda team-mate Hiro Aoyama was 13th, heading row four in his best grid position since his return to Honda this year. The former 250cc World Champion narrowly beat Hayden last week in Argentina to claim tenth place.
Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing Honda RCV1000R) qualified 16th, gaining strength as he recovers from major shoulder surgery. GO&FUN Honda Gresini RCV1000R rider Redding qualified 18th after a minor spill in Q1. Redding is a class rookie, after finishing second in the Moto2 World Championship last year.
Tomorrow’s race is the fourth of 18 rounds, with the next race in two weeks at Le Mans in France.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: 1st, 1m 38.120s – “I am very happy with this pole position, as it was hard fought and I wasn’t expecting it. We are suffering a little more here than at other tracks, but despite this we are still at the same level as Lorenzo and Dani [Pedrosa]. We changed our strategy at the last minute; I asked Santi [Hernandez] if it would be possible to use three soft tyres, and he said that it was. It was all last minute and I am satisfied with how it worked out, but we know that tomorrow is the important day. Jorge and, above all, Dani have a great pace.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 3rd. 1m 38.630s – “We took a step forward with the bike setup today and also went better with the race tyres. In the qualifying session we tried to do as well as possible, but it is always difficult to put in a really fast lap. Tomorrow we will try to get a good start, then have a good race.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 7th, 1m 39.243s – “I tried to do my maximum in qualifying, because the target was to be on the second row, and we missed it by only 0.021 seconds. So we can be happy because we did a good job on a race track that has been always very tough for me on a MotoGP bike. We improved a lot compared to the last two years and we have the possibility to end the race in the top five. This would be good for me and the team and for the ranking. Tomorrow’s common problem will be the tyre wear because of the hot temperatures but we have found a good pace on used tyres”
Alvaro Bautista, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 10th, 1m 39.751s – “Unfortunately the situation has not changed compared to yesterday: we tried several different settings, without finding a solution. I have no front grip into the corner, then when I open the throttle the rear wheel starts immediately to spin and therefore I lose a lot of time. Too bad, I was hoping for a better weekend, but this is the reality at the moment. Tomorrow will be a very tough race, especially for me, that I am not comfortable on the bike; our goal, however, doesn’t change: we want to cross the finish line and collect some points. Perhaps tomorrow morning, during the warm up, we could try a last set-up modification, in an effort to improve, although actually all the work carried out so far have not had any effect. Unfortunately we can’t go beyond a certain limit”
Nicky Hayden, Drive M7 Aspar Honda: 12th, 1m 39.826s – “We managed to make a couple of improvements today that made the bike more balanced and more fun to ride. The track conditions change a lot from the morning to afternoon and you have to really pay attention so that you don’t get caught out. The team did a great job and we managed to get into Q2, which was our objective, but I am not completely happy with the performance of the front tyre. We tried the harder compound yesterday and I destroyed my leathers saving front-end crashes but the soft version is too soft for us. That limits our options so we had to be conservative in Q2. I was hoping to be closer to the factory prototypes here and to qualify further up but with the tyre situation we had to be too cautious in the second session. Anyway, in general I am happy, the bike is responding well and I think we are ready for the race.”
Hiroshi Aoyama, Drive M7 Aspar Honda: 13th, 1m 39.768s – “We worked hard this morning to confirm the set-up and I felt comfortable with the lower temperatures. Like yesterday the heat went up in the afternoon and the behaviour of the bike changed as a result so we made some changes to adapt. We put some fresh tyres in at the end and I pushed hard for a lap time to get myself into Q2 and even though I didn’t manage it we have improved the lap time from yesterday so we can be satisfied because we are on the right path. We are getting faster every day, the bike is reliable and I feel more comfortable every time I ride it so we are seeing the results of our hard work. From yesterday to today we have improved the stability under braking and now we need to find some more corner speed. It has been a tough day with a lot of work to get through but our performance in qualifying was positive so I am happy.”
Karel Abraham, Cardion AB Motoracing Honda: 16th, 1m 40.126s – “I think I can be happy, but what I regret is that I didn´t make a totally perfect lap. In every lap I made some small mistake, which costs me thousandths. It’s a shame, because I lost only eight thousandths to 15th Andrea Iannone. But that’s normal at Jerez: the circuit is relatively short and everybody knows it perfectly. I´m quite surprised by how the tyres worked today in the heat. Even if it´s still not perfect, we improved the feeling a lot from Friday.”
Scott Redding, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: 18th, 1m 40.453s – “There is still much work to do if we want to find more grip: I have no traction and I struggled a lot today, so tonight we will analyse all the data with the team in an attempt to improve. I also had a small crash in qualifying: I was under braking, and as soon as I released the brakes I lost the front. The bike was more or less okay and I managed to bring it back to the pits, then I set my best lap time, but we have to work hard if we want to catch the group of riders in front of us. Since the beginning of the weekend unfortunately the situation has remained the same, with the exception of the braking, which is improved; at the rear, however, there is too much spinning at the moment”
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Extra-soft, Soft & Medium (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative – front), Extra-hard (Alternative – rear)
Weather: FP3 – Dry. Ambient 20-23°C; Track 29-34°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP – Dry. Ambient 27-28°C; Track 51-53°C (Bridgestone measurement)
An interesting qualifying strategy helped Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez claim his fourth successive pole position and set a new Circuit Best Lap of 1’38.120 in scorching conditions at Jerez.
Marquez’s tactic to do three stints in QP2 using a new soft compound rear slick each time paid dividends, with the reigning World Champion able to set a time 0.421 seconds quicker than Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo, who was second quickest in qualifying. Third quickest was last year’s Spanish Grand Prix race winner Dani Pedrosa whose personal best lap time was 1’38.630.
Conditions at Jerez were again dry and very hot, with a peak track temperature of 53°C during QP2; 2°C down on yesterday’s maximum temperature. With the Jerez circuit notorious for becoming greasy in high temperatures, the provision of asymmetric rear slicks at Jerez for the first time this year ensured riders had enough grip to post extremely quick lap times in qualifying. Marquez’s benchmark time in QP2 beat the six year-old Circuit Best Lap record for Jerez that was set by Jorge Lorenzo in 2008 on qualifying tyres.
Race tyre choice became clearer after many riders performed race simulations in FP4 today. The medium compound front slick was again the most popular option, while the hard compound front slick will also be used by some riders in tomorrow’s race. Although hot track temperatures are forecast for tomorrow’s race, all three rear slick options could be selected by riders for tomorrow’s twenty-seven lap Spanish Grand Prix. The medium compound rear slick is the prevalent choice for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders; the soft compound rear is likely to be used by the Ducati and Forward Yamaha riders, while the extra-soft rear slick is preferred by the other Open-class entrants
The riders will have their final chance to decide on race tyre choice in tomorrow’s twenty-minute Warm Up session at 0940 local time (GMT +1) before the MotoGP™ race starts at 1400.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department – “We had similar weather conditions today, with a mild morning turning to very hot temperatures in the afternoon so the teams had a good understanding of how the tyres would behave today. In FP4, riders tried a lot of different tyre options to see what would work best for the race, and at this stage it looks like almost all compound options we brought to Jerez are viable race options. For the front tyre, both the medium and hard compound front slicks will feature in tomorrow’s race. Given the high temperatures forecast for tomorrow, the soft compound rear slick for the Ducati and Open-class riders, and the medium compound rear slick for the Factory Honda and Yamaha appear to be the likely choice for the race. However, some Open-class riders did long runs on the extra-soft rear slick in FP4, so I think we will also see this option used for the race. The high performance of the new asymmetric rear slicks we developed for Jerez was evident today, with Marc able to beat the circuit best lap record from 2008 which was set on qualifying tyres.”