Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo make it a Spanish 1-2 as Catalunya MotoGP gets underway
Catalan GP – Layout now to revert to chicane used in 2016
Following FP1 and FP2 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, the decision has been taken to revert the track layout to the old chicane – the one used for Saturday and Sunday in 2016 – from FP3 onwards in 2017.
The decision is based on feedback from riders following Day 1 of track action, and was taken by the Safety Commission on Friday evening.
The changes made to the layout ahead of the 2017 event were deemed insufficient due to the change in the asphalt of the chicane, which was the cause for concern for the majority of the riders. The race weekend will therefore continue on Saturday using the layout raced in 2016.
“In the Safety Commission the riders complained a little about the new layout, they said the work wasn’t done in the right way and there were a lot of bumps – that’s why the riders decided to go back to the layout from last year. That’s why we’re here, to make sure the track used tomorrow is the safest we can. We saw during practice today a lot of crashes too where the bike remained on the track and at the exit of the corner, and that’s very dangerous. We have experience from last year of the old chicane and we didn’t have any crashes like we did today, that’s why the riders requested it. In terms of crashes, the old one is better.”
Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo make it a Spanish 1-2 as Catalunya MotoGP gets underway
Reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) topped FP1 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, and the Spaniard kept his throne in the afternoon to go quickest in a dry FP2 and head the combined timesheets on Day 1.
Marc Marquez – P1
“Today I felt pretty good with the bike, as we already had a good base setup from the test we did here two weeks ago. In the afternoon we tried a few changes on the bike during our second run, but ultimately we preferred to go back to the setup from the test. We fit a new tyre and my last run was pretty good. We look forward to trying the hard Michelin rear tyre tomorrow, to understand what’s best for the race because it should be quite a bit warmer and therefore tough on tyres. We’ll try to keep the same level from today. The new track layout is different; the old one was more ‘natural,’ but ultimately it’s the same track and still enjoyable.”
The man on the chase was compatriot Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), who shot up into P2 in the afternoon in a strong showing on his race debut at the venue for Ducati.
Jorge Lorenzo – P2
“It’s still too early to draw some conclusions, but we started off well and managed to be fast with all the tyres we tried, both the hard at the start of the session and the soft at the end. It’s very difficult to understand the pace of the other riders, but in any case we still have to improve, especially in the third sector where the bike moves around much more than in the test and we’re still not able to be very fast.”
Rookie Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) impressed to lock out the top three, and ended the day only 0.044 ahead of Mugello winner Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) in fourth.
Jonas Folger – P3
“It was a really strong first day and I am very pleased with how things developed. To be honest, it obviously took some time to adapt and understand the new chicane and it felt a bit strange to ride through that section of the track instead of the previous one. However, we tried a lot of different things today in order to find an immediate direction for the setup of the bike, and now I can say that it was a good choice to do this and we have a clear way. Also, we completed a lot of laps on the medium tyre and in the end we ran the total race distance on one set. Then, I went out on soft tyres and we made a big step forward. It was a very good day for us and we improved every time that I left the pit box, so I hope that we can continue in this positive way tomorrow.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P4
“Even though we found the track in quite a bad state and with a lot of holes, the test a couple of weeks ago helped us to establish a good base and today we set some good times. I think that we have to work on consistency more than speed because the grip of the rear tyre drops very quickly and the pace that we’ll be able to keep after a few laps will be very important. In any case today we started well and tomorrow we’ll work to try and improve the feeling at the front.”
Bad weather in the morning saw rain ahead of track action leave the circuit in need of full wets, before FP1 was completed on slicks and the sun stayed out to give the field a fully dry FP2.
Behind the top four, Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) was another Italian keeping his momentum from his hometown heroics going, completing the fastest five on Friday ahead of Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in sixth
Seventh was another home hero in the form of three-time World Champion Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), with Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) eighth quickest on combined timesheets and escaping unharmed from a slow crash in the final sector in FP2.
Dani Pedrosa – P7
“It was a bit strange today, as the track conditions were quite challenging compared to the test we did here some days ago, maybe because of this morning’s rain. We need to improve the feeling and the tyre life, as that will be a very important factor for the race. This is one of hardest tracks on the calendar from that point of view, so tomorrow our main target will be working on the setup to improve the consistency of the tyres and the lap times. Regarding the new chicane, we know that there’s a risk of a crashed bike ending up in the middle of the track, but we’ve already spoken about it in the last Safety Commission meeting in Mugello, so we’ll see. Anyway, at least it’s a very slow chicane, so this should make things less dangerous.”
Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was P9 on Day 1 at the circuit on which he won last season – his most recent victory – as teammate and Championship leader Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) ended Friday in sixteenth.
Valentino Rossi – P9
“For us it was a problem, because we didn‘t come here for the test. This means we need all the minutes of the practice sessions because we have a lot of work to do, but in the end the only real practice was this afternoon. Sincerely, this afternoon was nothing fantastic, but anyway my pace with the race tyre at the beginning was not so bad and we made some small modifications. There are a lot of riders with a good pace. At the end, whilst riding on the soft tyre, I thought I could do better, arrive in a better position and also improve the setting of the bike, but at the end I‘m just 10th*. I expected to do better, but it‘s also true that I‘m not far behind. It will be a very tight fight, especially tomorrow the main target is to try to stay inside the top10, that will be very important. We need to work because we need to improve and after we need to try the tyres.”
Maverick Vinales – P16
“This morning I was feeling OK, the bike was working good. We went out on soft tyres and the bike was behaving really well. We did three or four laps that were OK and I wasn‘t far from the top, but it wasn‘t the same in the afternoon and I don‘t know why. We usually have a very stable bike, but it wasn‘t working well. Every time I went on the track, on a new tyre or a used one, I was sliding a lot and couldn‘t do anything about it, it was something very strange, it‘s difficult to say anything about it. Concerning the new layout, you have to take the right line. The left-right is something all the tracks have, slow corners. For sure the 2016 version was a much nicer layout, but for the circuit it needs to be like this so it‘s better for everyone.”
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) was another high profile name further down the timesheets, taking P19 after a crash in FP2.
Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) completed the top ten ahead of Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing), Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) and Sam Lowes (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini).
Jack Miller was learning the new 4.6km layout for the first time after missing a recent two-day test session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya through injury. Miller was involved in a strange moment in FP1 this morning when he inadvertently missed the new turns 14 and 15 section for a few laps and was using a section of sector four that was implemented during last year’s race weekend. His absence from the test session and the limited dry track time available this morning proved to be a big hurdle for Miller to overcome, with getting his Honda RC213V to absorb the Barcelona track’s notoriously bumpy sections his biggest challenge.
Jack Miller – P17
“This morning was interesting to say the least. The weather didn’t help the situation much but it didn’t help too when I spent a lot of laps riding on the wrong track! Once I was riding the correct layout it wasn’t easy this afternoon. Missing the test a couple of weeks ago meant I wasn’t sure where the bumps were when you’re riding flat-out in the dry. And we spent most of FP2 playing around with the suspension to absorb the bumps better and get the new front tyre working. The bumps are an issue before the new chicane and being honest I don’t like that new final part of the lap much. It was introduced to improve safety and I fully understand that, but from a pure riding perspective I don’t like it as much as the layout we were using last year. It’s the same for everybody and I feel better on the bike than I did in Mugello, but we’ll see how much we can close the gap tomorrow.”
MotoGP 2017 – Round Seven – Catalunya – Day One Combined Practice Results
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team 1’44.478
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team 0.222
- FOLGER Jonas 94 GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 0.361
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team 0.405
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Octo Pramac Racing 0.412
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 0.585
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team 0.620
- BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team 0.638
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 0.640
- BARBERA Hector 8 SPA Reale Avintia Racing 0.833
- REDDING Scott 45 GBR Octo Pramac Racing 0.897
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar 0.987
- ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1.076
- BAZ Loris 76 FRA Reale Avintia Racing 1.277
- LOWES Sam 22 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1.282
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1.332
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1.390
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team 1.454
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda 1.489
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1.751
- ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2.468
- GUINTOLI Sylvain 50 FRA Team Suzuki Ecstar 2.524
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 3.414
MotoGP 2017 – MotoGP Championship Points Standings
- VINALES Maverick SPA 105 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea ITA 79 Ducati Team
- ROSSI Valentino ITA 75 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
- MARQUEZ Marc SPA 68 Repsol Honda Team
- PEDROSA Dani SPA 68 Repsol Honda Team
- ZARCO Johann FRA 64 Monster Yamaha Tech 3
- LORENZO Jorge SPA 46 Ducati Team
- PETRUCCI Danilo ITA 42 Octo Pramac Racing
- FOLGER Jonas GER 41 Monster Yamaha Tech 3
- CRUTCHLOW Cal GBR 40 LCR Honda
- REDDING Scott GBR 30 Octo Pramac Racing
- MILLER Jack AUS 30 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS
- BAUTISTA Alvaro SPA 25 Pull&Bear Aspar Team
- IANNONE Andrea ITA 21 Team Suzuki Ecstar
- BAZ Loris FRA 19 Reale Avintia Racing
- RABAT Tito SPA 18 Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS
- ESPARGARO Aleix SPA 17 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
- BARBERA Hector SPA 14 Reale Avintia Racing
- ABRAHAM Karel CZE 9 Pull&Bear Aspar Team
- PIRRO Michele ITA 7 Ducati Team
- RINS Alex SPA 7 Team Suzuki Ecstar
- ESPARGARO Pol SPA 6 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
- SMITH Bradley GBR 6 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
- LOWES Sam GBR 2 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
- GUINTOLI Sylvain FRA 1 Team Suzuki Ecstar
Moto2 – Friday’s fastest: Morbidelli heads Marquez despite crash
Championship leader Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) topped practice timesheets at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya on Friday, quickest in FP2 and overall after a late lap saw him head teammate and home hero Alex Marquez. Morbidelli crashed after his fastest lap, but was unhurt and managed to get restarted.
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was third fastest on combined times with his effort from FP1, with Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) also staying in the top echelons with his fastest time from the morning session in fourth. Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) completed the top five.
Mugello winner Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) ended the first day of track action in sixth, just ahead of the fastest rookie – Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2). Navarro topped FP2 before the flag, before some later laps moved him down the order slightly.
Colombian rider Yonny Hernandez (AGR Team) was eighth, ahead of second rookie and podium finisher Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46). Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) completed the top ten.
Eleventh to fifteenth were Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP), Axel Pons (RW Racing GP), Marcel Schrötter (Intact Dynavolt GP), Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40) and Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team) respectively.
Remy Gardner seeks to work hard and bounce back tomorrow and then close the weekend with a point scoring finish on Sunday.
Remy Gardner – P23
“It was a tough opening day of action in Barcelona for me and my side of the garage, but we will stay determined. At the moment, we are struggling with the setup and we need to work more on the setting. We have to make a few changes but I’m sure that we can come back tomorrow fighting and have a positive qualifying day. I’m looking forward to getting back to where we want to be and I’ll give it my all as usual.”
Moto3 – Aron Canet (SPA), despite a crash, still on top
After an early spate of showers over the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, it was Marinelli Rivacold Snipers rider Romano Fenati who was fastest on a wet track on Friday morning – but the Italian just lost out in the afternoon as FP1 crasher Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) bounced back to go fastest by 0.287, heading the combined timesheets on Day 1.
Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) showed more stable pace in the afternoon following an equally strong FP1, completing the top three behind two of the riders who have so far proven big rivals in the title fight.
Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) did a huge wheelie exiting pitlane for the start of FP2 alongside teammate and Mugello winner Andrea Migno, and the two Italians were P4 and P5 respectively on Friday.
Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) lined up in P6 on combined times, ahead of Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and an impressive day for Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse). Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Marco Bezzecchi (CIP) – with the Italian also having impressed in FP1 in the top five – completed the top ten at the end of action on Day 1.
Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing), Livio Loi (Leopard Racing), Mugello podium finisher Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) and Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team) completed the fastest fifteen on Friday.