Andrea Dovizioso quickest on day one of Brno MotoGP
Ducati debut radical new front fairing
MotoGP 2017 – Round Ten – Brno
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) shot to the top of the combined timesheets on Friday at the Monster Energy Grand Prix Ceské republiky, going fastest at the end of FP2 by almost four tenths after a late lunge for P1.
Andrea Dovizioso – P1
“Today went very well because we were able to carry out a lot of tests: this morning we made a comparison between the medium and the soft rain tyres and we already have feedback in view of the race. This afternoon, despite the limited time available on a totally dry surface, we managed to try the new material but above all we confirmed our good pace and this always makes the difference during the weekend. Tomorrow we will continue to work on the other details because it should be dry all day.”
Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was his closest challenger, with Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) in hot pursuit.
Jonas Folger – P2
“It feels really good to be back on my Yamaha after the long summer break and we had a positive first day, especially in the afternoon. I was able to create a good feeling with the bike on the track. The conditions were mixed at the beginning of FP2, so we didn’t have much time until the last part of the session, but there, we were finally able to complete a lot of laps on the tyre and get a solid feeling. We did this without changing much on the bike because of the limited amount of time before the practice finished, but we still set a fast lap. So, everyone is ready for tomorrow and we are excited to get going after a positive first day.”
Danilo Petrucci – P3
“I’m really happy. This has always been a difficult track for me, with corners without banking that I do not like much. The first day of activity was fine but tomorrow will be more difficult. In the afternoon at the beginning the circuit was very moist then dried. Honestly there was not much grip and the asphalt did not seem in the best conditions with bumps that create chattering. Ok, no matter: today things went well”.
After rain in FP1 that saw Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) lead the way from Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), Friday’s combined timesheets were decided by FP2 as blue skies returned and the track dried out.
‘DesmoDovi’ going quickest wasn’t the biggest headline from the red garage on Friday, however: a new, radical aero fairing broke cover late in the day, with Lorenzo charged with the first run. The ‘Spartan’ improved his previous best.
Repsol Honda also had some aerodynamic upgrades on show, and both Lorenzo and Marquez were both positive about their respective fairings.
FP1’s fastest Zarco was fourth overall, ahead of Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing), and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) after the rush at the end.
Johann Zarco – P4
“I am happy to be back in the paddock and on the bike. The summer break was good because I rested, did some training and thought about what I achieved in the first part of the season. Anyway today, I was pleased to have a positive feeling in the wet this morning because last year, in Moto2, I struggled a lot when it rained. Therefore, I knew that I had to push which I did from the beginning and it worked very well as I finished first. Then in the afternoon, the asphalt improved lap by lap. Eventually, it was dry but we needed to put some rubber on the track to get more grip and at the end, when I put on the new soft tyres, it was good to move up the order. I am happy to be inside the top ten because you never know what the weather will do, but I need to enhance this feeling and work with the team so that I can be quick and consistent which is key for the Grand Prix. My focus for tomorrow will be to work on the race pace and be faster because the track, if it is dry, will improve and so a lot of riders will be able to cut their times and get near to the 1’55 mark. Therefore, I want to be closer to this time, to learn everything and feel good.”
Hector Barbera – P5
“Today was a good day and we were fast in all conditions. In the morning we finished eight in the wet, but my feelings were really good and I was leading the classification for a long time. With the asphalt half wet and half dry, things didn’t go too bad either and I was close to the top 10 even though I don’t like these conditions. The track finally dried out and we showed our pace. We were fighting at the top and I was fifth at the end of the session. We still have many things to change, but the bike is fast and so is the rider who has to oush it to the maximum. I had no holidays in the summer break, for me it was like a winter training and I start the second half of the season with full batteries. It was only the first day, but me and my team are strong and I think that we can have a great weekend.”
Scott Redding – P6
“Morning feelings were good even if I did not find a good feeling with the tires. In the afternoon things improved even if I could not find the right combination with the tires. I felt lack of feeling at the front: the soft tyre was too soft and the medium one, after a few laps, I felt the same. Surely I will have to work on my riding style to fix this thing. But if I have to be honest, I’m happy with what we did today”.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) had been quickest in the session for some time, eventually ending up in P7 and looking threatening on pace.
Dani Pedrosa – P7
“Today was good because we were able to do a good test in wet conditions. We actually didn’t expect the rain, or at least not so much rain, but all in all it was good because after having tested here in the dry during the summer break, we now had the chance to verify in different conditions the small changes we had made on the bike. This afternoon we basically had half an hour in the dry, but that was also positive in general. We used a new fairing that we had tested in July; we’re still learning about it and are setting up the bike for it little by little, in order to see what level it may bring us to. We didn’t fit a soft tyre at the end and just continued on with the same one. Now we’ll wait for the track to be dry tomorrow and to get some rubber on it.”
2016 Brno winner Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) was eighth quickest, ahead of Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini).
Cal Crutchlow – P8
“It was a difficult day to be honest. Obviously it was wet in the first session and I didn’t have the greatest feeling again in the rain with my bike, but we were making some progress I thought. Then this afternoon it dried up and the lap times were competitive enough but, considering we tested here the other day, I think it was a disappointing day for us.“This track is not the best for our bike so we need to work as a manufacturer and a Team to be more competitive. I’m looking forward to doing my best in qualifying tomorrow and then also in the race on Sunday.”
Aleix Espargaro – P9
“I couldn’t wait to get back on the track. We had a lot of things to try. First of all, I need to thank the guys at Aprilia, because during the break they really worked hard to improve the RS-GP. The initial feedback is definitely positive. We were quite competitive straight away on a track where the engine counts for a lot. I am pleased with this first day. We got off on the right foot this weekend.”
Reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) completed the top ten, but the number 93 crucially didn’t push at the end on a softer tyre.
Marc Marquez – P10
“I’m happy enough with today because we were quite strong in the wet this morning. I felt comfortable on the bike and that’s important in case we have rain on Sunday. Then in the afternoon, in the dry, the grip was a bit less compared to the test we did here in July, but the general feeling was quite similar. We tried something different on the chassis’ setup, but tomorrow we’ll return to the settings we found in July, when we were able to set a good pace. We used a new fairing that I felt good enough with, so we’ll keep it for the whole weekend and will continue working hard to prepare for Sunday.”
Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completed an understated Day 1 in P11, ahead of Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) and a stunning showing from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro.
Maverick Viñales – P11
“This morning was a good session. I feel quite good on the wet, though there are still some parts to improve, but honestly, I was feeling quite comfortable on the bike. This afternoon was really difficult, I never felt like that on the Yamaha before, so we have to understand which area is the problem. We need to solve these issues and try to work even harder. We really dont know which area is causing the problem, if we knew we would improve it. The bike is not working at its 100% and we have to try to find out why.”
Álvaro Bautista – P12
“Ángel Nieto was a much-loved person both within motorcycle racing and beyond. Everybody loved him and it has been a very tough blow. It seemed like he was winning the race but he ran into complications on the final lap. It is a great shame but in the end I think he enjoyed his life to the full and lived every second to the limit. I want to send my best wishes to the family. As far as the track activity here today is concerned we spent a little time this morning in the wet working with the electronics and in the afternoon I wanted to try some different tyre options and prepare a strategy to make an attempt at moving into Q2 tomorrow. On my last run I had quite a big vibration from the bike so I couldn’t push. That limited the lap time although it is all very close. We still have FP3 tomorrow so try it. I am happy with the bike as it is although we do still need to improve in some parts of the circuit. The feeling is better than the position suggests.”
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) locked out the fastest fifteen on Friday.
Valentino Rossi – P14
“It was a difficult day, but I had some good feelings. I’m happy about FP1 in the wet, because this year we always suffered, but this morning I was strong and not so bad considering the pace. I was able to ride the bike quite well, so I had a good feeling and finished in fifth position, inside the Top-5 isn’t so bad. The afternoon was a bit more difficult, because there were mixed conditions. I think it wasn’t so bad, in the sense that I’m behind, but I didn’t put in the soft rear tyre at the end. I had a problem with one bike, so I had to stop and when I restarted with the other one I preferred to continue with the medium tyre. At the end my position is bad, but if I put in the soft tyre I think I can be more in front. It’s just the first day. We have to work, especially the balance of the bike is not OK, but the feeling is quite good.”
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director
“After four weeks of no riding whatsoever for our team, we dedicated todays sessions to giving our riders a good feeling. The conditions of the track changed considerably from the morning session to this afternoons free practice. In the morning, both riders were quite satisfied about the feeling in the wet. This afternoon we had to start from scratch again. Maverick wasnt satisfied about the turning of the bike and he couldnt brake as hard as he wanted. Valentino isnt far from a good set-up. He didnt put in new rear soft tyre, like some other riders did, so his placement doesnt really reflect his pace. Considering that it might rain on Sunday, today we were lucky that we had the possibility to spend an entire practice session in wet conditions. For tomorrow, we definitely have to improve the balance of the bikes of both riders to prepare for qualifying, thats always fundamental for the results of the race.”
Jorge Lorenzo – P15
“It was a positive day and I’m sure that we still have room for improvement. This morning in the wet, the feelings were good, the grip was good and the front had very good stability. For sure I could have pushed harder and improved my time. This means that we are ready if it rains during the race on Sunday, and this is very positive. In the afternoon we tried the new fairing and even though my final classification today was not what we hoped for, I’m really satisfied. They’ve done a great job in Ducati Corse! In the end I didn’t use the new tyre, which would have allowed me to improve my time, but the most important thing was to understand the behaviour of the bike in this new configuration. We probably lose a bit in top speed, but by working well on the setting I’m sure that the new fairing has a lot of potential.”
Karel Abraham lapped close to his best ever time at his home track, giving him confidence for tomorrow as he looks to improve even further.
Karel Abraham – P16
“It was an interesting day today, this morning we tried fully wet conditions, which was not easy. We were experiencing some problems with the rear locking into the corner but I think with the changes we want to make to the bike the situation can improve quite a bit. This afternoon we started on wet tyres but the track was basically dry so we put slicks in, tried some different suspension and other settings and then I got lucky because there was another rider, not right in front of me but a little bit up the road, and I was able to make a 1.57.8, which is close to my best ever lap around Brno. We finished sixteenth and I am happy about this but it feels like we are close to the limit so we have to work hard tomorrow to improve the lap time.”
Having undergone an operation of his arm pump only a few days after the German Grand Prix, Loris Baz was impatient to find himself aboard his Ducati Desmosedici GP15 on the traditional circuit of Brno. The Frenchman was satisfied with the first opening day and the work accomplished that he intends to confirm on Saturday by offering himself a place in Q2.
Loris Baz – P17
“Best news today is that I had no problems with my arm. We worked a lot this morning on the race pace in wet conditions, as rain is foreasted for Sunday and it’s important to know where we are. It was also important to know if we can make the race with Michelin’s soft wet tyre, as they had some issues last season. In the afternoon the track dried out and our pace was not bad. I still lack confidence in the front and I also lost some tenths on my fastest lap behind Iannone. We have to keep working on the front end of the bike to improve and fight for the top 10 tomorrow.”
The first day back at the track after the summer break saw Team Suzuki riders Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins busy testing many items delivered to Brno by the Suzuki Factory. This led the Friday program to be more centered on development than on the single lap time. Rins finished in 18th place and Iannone in 20th.
Andrea Iannone – P18
“A strange day due to the conditions; in the afternoon it got dryer but the grip was not the optimal. This one has been a sort of “development” day for us since we had different solutions from Japan to test. We were waiting for them, so it’s been nice to have them available in the end. What we’ve tried proved to be positive and interesting. They have yet to be finalized, but my feelings are positive. Having this as main focus, we ran the whole session with only one set of tyres. We didn’t go for the soft tyres for a proper time attack, and this of course had a massive influence on the rankings; we are far behind where we deserve to be. But we had to do this work and I’m happy for the improvements. We will be able to improve a lot tomorrow. To me Angel was not only a superb motorcycling champion, 12+1 World Champion he liked to say, but most important an excellent person. He was always ready to give good advice and always had a kind word when you had a bad race. A few days before his accident we met and we spent the whole evening talking. He spoke some words that I will keep with me forever. He spoke to me as a dad to his son, and this is the best memory I will carry with me of him.”
Miller’s main goal this afternoon was to gain more turning performance through some of Brno’s demanding and sweeping changes of direction, and he was satisfied to circulate close to the top 15 with a best time of 1’58.179.
Jack Miller – P19
“After spending a lot of time in Japan riding a superbike for Honda in the Suzuka Eight-Hour, it has taken me a bit of time to get back into the groove on a MotoGP bike today. I felt we made good progress this afternoon, even though the final position clearly isn’t where we want to be. It was tricky conditions today and we know a couple of the other Honda boys came here to test in the summer break and they didn’t finish too far ahead. My biggest problem today was struggling with front-end confidence in the stadium section (T2). I need to be able to turn the bike a little better and if we can improve in that area I know I can be closer to the front.”
Ramon Aurin – Jack Miller Chief Engineer
“We can’t deny we expected a little bit more from today but we also have to be realistic and not forget that Jack missed this race last year through injury. We are trying to recover lost time at this circuit, so it didn’t help that FP1 was on a wet track. It is a long and complicated track and his most recent action was on a completely different machine in Suzuka, so he needs time to adapt back to MotoGP. It is clear that he is missing some feeling from the front-end but we have some good ideas to solve this problem tomorrow and I’m sure we will show more of our potential.”
Alex Rins struggled to find confidence on the GSX-RR in this circuit and ended in 23rd place with 2’07.801.
Alex Rins – P20
“Brno is a tricky track that requires many laps and experience to properly understand and give 100%. The work process is going smooth, we tested some things and I’m confident tomorrow we will be able to improve significantly and get a good preparation for the Sunday’s race. Everyone in the paddock is inconsolable and you can feel the immense sadness. Angel is a legend and this is a big loss for his family, the sport, for the motorcycling family, and for all the people who knew him. I would like to send my deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
Rabat took encouragement from his wet weather showing this morning after struggling for confidence in similar conditions at the previous round in Germany. This morning’s rain meant a dirty and slippery surface for slick tyres in FP2, but Rabat was able to evaluate potential front and rear tyre options and work on his machine set-up ahead of Sunday’s 22-lap race.
Tito Rabat – P21
“I was satisfied with my performance in the wet this morning because I felt much more confident and comfortable than I did at Sachsenring. So that was a positive but this afternoon it was not so easy. The track wasn’t in fantastic condition and I was having a lot of sliding with the medium tyres. The rear was sliding and the front for me feels too soft. We changed to the soft rear tyre to try and get better grip and that worked, but again the front was moving quite a lot under braking. I’m optimistic for tomorrow and feel ready to be strong whatever the weather will be.”
Sam Lowes lapped well in the morning, staying in the top ten and then finishing 17th with a time of 2’06.622. In the dry conditions of FP2, the English rider also showed his ability to continue improving on the performance shown in the recent races before the summer break, but a crash relegated him to 22nd place with a time of 1’58.638. More importantly, however, it resulted in an injury to his right foot which required 4 stitches in the Clinica Mobile. In any case, the English rookie will be on the track as scheduled tomorrow.
“When I crashed I hit the footpeg with the outside of my right foot. They gave me stitches in the Clinica, but it won’t be a big problem for the weekend. Besides the fall, I am really pleased with the way we started. I was fast in both sessions. The team did a great job during the break. The package we have here is really a step forward. Only having done one session on the dry track, we still have room to improve. I did my best time with the medium tyre, but I crashed with the soft, so I can’t wait to get back on the track tomorrow.”
MotoGP 2017 – Round Ten – Brno – Day One Practice Times
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team 1’56.33
- FOLGER Jonas 94 GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 0.39
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Octo Pramac Racing 0.41
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 0.53
- BARBERA Hector 8 SPA Reale Avintia Racing 0.53
- REDDING Scott 45 GBR Octo Pramac Racing 0.57
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team 0.60
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda 0.62
- ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 0.687
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team 0.877
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 0.957
- BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team 0.982
- ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1.046
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1.064
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team 1.305
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team 1.537
- BAZ Loris 76 FRA Reale Avintia Racing 1.66
- RINS Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar 1.710
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1.847
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar 1.862
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 2.105
- LOWES Sam 22 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2.306
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 3.050
Moto2 – Mattia Pasini (ITA) quickest on Day 1 at Brno
After a rain-soaked FP1 at the Monster Energy Grand Prix Ceské republiky, conditions improved to fully dry for Moto2 FP2 and it was Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) who shot to the front and the top of the combined timesheets. Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) was the fastest rookie to impress once again in second, with Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) returning from injury in style in P3.
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) went fastest in FP1 and ended the day fourth from his time from FP2, ahead of Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) in an impressive fifth.
Championship leader Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was sixth fastest overall and crashed in FP1 – rider ok – ahead of a late lunge from Luca Marini (Forward Racing Team) to take seventh. Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was the second rookie in the top ten in P8, with Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing) returning from a podium at the Suzuka 8 Hours in P9 and compatriot Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) completing the top ten.
Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team), Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing), Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40) and Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) were P11 to P15.
Remy Gardner undertook a confident start to proceedings at the Brno circuit, and after a tricky wet morning session, where he unfortunately fell, the young Australian made solid progress in the dry FP2 practice. He was unlucky to see his best lap time cancelled due to exceeding the track limits in the final moments of the session, yet the positive performance leaves him fully charged for tomorrow.
Remy Gardner – P23
“It was a tricky first day back, but there are positives to be taken. I had a crash in the wet morning session as I wasn’t feeling completely perfect on the bike and then on the last lap, I was pushing and it spun up and flicked me over the handlebars. I hurt my ribs a bit but luckily nothing is broken. We had a dry FP2 session yet, the bike did not feel the same as last time, so there’s some work to do. To be honest, even though the result is not fantastic, we are pretty close and we just need a bit more. It should be a decent weekend regarding the weather and we hope it stays dry, but for now, it’s time to work and regroup so that we can be ready for tomorrow.”
Moto3 – Mir top on Friday, Georgi steals the headlines
Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) is ahead in the standings and was ahead of the field on Friday at the Czech GP, with the Majorcan pulling clear in the final minutes of FP2 on a drying track. He went quickest by four tenths from title rival Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0), with Malaysian Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team) completing the top three.
Weather was wet throughout the day for Moto3 but FP2 did start to see a marked improvement towards the end of the session, with dry parts of track appearing. Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) was one who made the most of that to go fourth quickest on combined times, ahead of an impressive showing from Manuel Pagialini (CIP).
Tim Georgi (Freudenberg Racing Team) was the headline of the day, however. The German wildcard was unstoppably dominant in a wet FP1 – two seconds clear for much of the session – and put in another great performance in the afternoon, despite a crash when leading the way. He’s fifth in the combined standings, with his FP1 laptime his fastest set on Friday.
Tony Arbolino (SIC58 Squadra Corse) was impressive in seventh to edge compatriot Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46), with Albert Arenas (Aspar Mahindra Moto3) and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) locking out the top ten.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Aspar Mahindra Moto3), Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team), Livio Loi (Leopard Racing) and John McPhee (British Talent Team) completed the fastest fifteen on Friday.