MotoGP Jerez 2015 Day Two Round Up
Jorge Lorenzo sets new lap record to claim Jerez pole
Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo sent the Spanish fans into rapture by setting a 1’37.910, the only time anyone has ever been under the 1’38 mark on two wheels at the Spanish circuit, beating Marc Marquez’s previous record from last year by over two-tenths of a second.
Jorge Lorenzo P1 – “A lot of people said that I had a crisis and I was down, it was one of my worst moments, but just two days later I rode this impressive lap time. That shows that in racing you can‘t say things like “this guy is down, he‘s finished” because the next day he‘s going to be at the front. The opposite is true too, you can‘t say you‘re the best, because the next day you‘re at the back, so we have to be humble and work to take profit of the opportunities.
“We arrived here with everything being fine and we took profit of it every session. Setting the new pole position record is unbelievable. I rode many impressive lap times in my career, but this one is very special. A 1‘37.9 with these temperatures is very impressive and I am very satisfied.
“Marc will be strong tomorrow as always and the Ducati’s too, but the race is going to be another story. However our pace is very good and I feel very comfortable with the softer tyre when it‘s dropping.”
Despite track temperatures reaching over 50 degrees the Spaniard, showing renewed determination in Jerez, led from the outset and never looked like missing out on pole. Marc Marquez will start from second on the grid after riding through the pain once more with his broken finger to finish 0.390s behind Lorenzo.
Marc Marquez P2 – “We knew it would be hard work to get onto the front row. That was the goal and we succeeded, so I am very happy about that, but we also know that tomorrow will be a difficult race and it will be hard to finish the 27 laps. On the other hand, today I was able to ride without painkillers and tomorrow I will be using them. We had prepared three sets of tyres to use in the qualifying session, however, after the crash, I preferred not to push things and we used just the two – but we could not make it onto pole.”
Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone (+0.558s) outshone his teammate to start from the front row, while Pol Espargaro was the leading satellite rider on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 and will start from the head of the second row.
Andrea Iannone P3 – “I am very pleased to start from the front row. It is never easy to get into this position, because all the riders are trying to push to their limit, but we succeeded in doing it again after getting on the front row in Argentina and it is a really important result because tomorrow it will be essential to start from the front. Probably we were unable to get the best out of our potential in qualifying, but I believe that in any case we have a good pace and so I think I can do a good race tomorrow.”
Current Championship leader Valentino Rossi (+0.722s) will start the race from fifth, with the Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR of Aleix Espargaro (+0.728s) only six-thousandths of a second further back in 6th.
Valentino Rossi P5 – “This qualifying was not so bad, because we improved one position in the last stint. I had to decide which front tyre to use and maybe I made a mistake. I continued with the soft, but for the second stint the second rear tyre had an issue on the right, so I think I could have done a little bit better. Starting from the second row is not so bad for tomorrow. I am especially happy because yesterday was quite difficult. Today we improved the bike a lot, but we are still not at the top.”
Aleix Espargaro P6 – “Of course sixth place was not my objective, as I expected a better position, but thinking about the race we are in a good place overall. The race will be tough because it is very hot and how it effects this bike is that it moves around a lot. It won’t be easy but we want to try as hard as we can. We still lack a final decision about the tyres for the race; today we tested both and the difference is not so evident, therefore we have to analyse the data and opt for the more-consistent tyre out of the overall choice.”
CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow heads the third row in front of the second Ducati Team GP 15 of Andrea Dovizioso and Pramac Racings Yonny Hernandez.
Cal Crutchlow P7 – “Today went well, although I was disappointed with the qualifying position but I felt we chose the wrong front tyre for these conditions. It was one of those things and we have to look forward to tomorrow because I think our pace is quite good and I’m optimistic about the finishing position. Hopefully we can have a good race. My physical condition is a little bit better today and hopefully will continue to improve tomorrow. I hope to improve my feeling with the bike and then we will work hard as a team and see if we can get a positive result tomorrow.”
Andrea Dovizioso P8 – “Unfortunately we did not find a good pace and now we still have to work a bit more in view of the race. We are actually not that badly off, but we have to improve if we want to be able to fight for the podium tomorrow. My qualifying lap was not perfect and it just might have been possible to get onto the second row: it’s a pity because a row 2 start is important here at Jerez. In any case now we have to understand where to improve and try something different in tomorrow morning’s warm-up.”
Bradley Smith completes the top ten, ahead of Scott Redding (11th) and Danilo Petrucci (12th).
Scott Redding P12 – “I don’t really have much to say about today. The feeling with the bike was good this morning, but from the start of the final free practice there was just no grip at the front at all. As soon as I got on the edge of the tyre the front was just going away from me, in almost every corner. I just didn’t have any confidence that the tyre was going to grip at all; it felt like it was going to tuck everywhere. We made changes to the set up for qualifying, which brought a small improvement, but we need to make a much bigger step for tomorrow if we’re to get the result we’re capable of here.”
Earlier it was the Pramac Racing duo of Petrucci and Hernandez who made it through from Q1, while Hector Barbera on the Avintia Racing Ducati will start the race from 13th on the grid as the leading Open class rider.
Maverick Viñales worked hard to finalise his GSX-RR’s set-up and to best-learn how to adapt his riding style to the Suzuki around the Jerez track. He was consistently in the top-10 for the whole morning’s session, even if this was not enough to give him direct access to Q2. His FP3 session ended with a 1m39.196s lap that gave him 11th place and only a 0.045s gap from 10th place. His attempt in Q1 was just enough to make the cut and he was scheduled for second place up until the second intermediate, but a mistake at the last corner took him out of the fight for the top-12. Eventually, his qualifying time was 1m39.603s which puts him in 14th place on the grid.
Maverick Viñales P14 – “I’m quite disappointed because I made a mistake at the last corner of my final lap in Q1 that prevented me entering Q2. It’s a pity because I was not far from the fastest rider and the lap-time was good overall. I think starting from 14th place will be hard but I’ll try to do as much as I can to recover. In FP4 we did some testing for overall consistent pace and we are pretty satisfied. Let’s see what happens.”
Alvaro Bautista rode his RS-GP to fifteenth place (in 1’39.612) and with his best performance qualifying in this early part of the season he secured a spot on the fifth row for tomorrow’s race.
Alvaro Bautista P15 – “We worked well today to improve compared to yesterday. It was a positive day, partly because of all the data we were able to acquire. On my flying lap I simply tried to be as precise as possible, riding the bike that I felt most confident on, but we can even improve more on this, especially in the acceleration phase where I’m still lacking a lot of grip. The race will be hard. This track really eats up the tyres and making the right choice will be important. Today I tested the hard front tyre and I think that’s what I’ll go with for the race, whereas on the rear we’ll mount the soft tyre. I think it is consistent enough for race length.”
Hiroshi Aoyama qualified 16th on the Repsol Honda – “We tried something different in the setup today but this morning we went in the wrong direction. Then this afternoon we changed things and I felt better on the bike again and was able to go faster. In qualifying we used the softer tyres and although I made a small mistake I still improved my lap time and took 16th on the grid, which is better than yesterday. I am confident with our pace for race distance as I feel better on the harder tyre so we will see how the conditions are tomorrow.”
The second day in Jerez began strangely for Eugene Laverty, who suffered a crash in the penultimate free practice and, immediately afterwards, had a bird fly into his bike. The Northern Irishman did not lose his composure and in the final free practice session he completed a long run. This helped him to improve his feelings with the front, but not with the rear. Overall he was happy with the setup of his bike, but is still looking for more rear grip. Laverty has set a target of scoring points for the first time this season, starting from seventeenth position.
Nicky Hayden had to start from scratch on Saturday, having completely lost his good feeling from Friday in the first session of the day. The American rider used his second bike to return to yesterday’s setup, and felt more secure in qualifying. A lack of grip through the fast corners is proving a hindrance, but Hayden hopes to overcome this tomorrow as he starts from eighteenth.
Eugene Laverty P17 – “The day started a little eventfully with a crash in the middle of free practice. Then, in the same session, a bird hit my bike and broke the bubble. It was a pretty heavy hit. In the final practice session we did a long run of twelve laps, about half race distance. The feeling was quite positive. The problem with these temperatures is that after a few laps our safety is compromised, because I lose grip on the rear. I’m skidding a lot and I cannot stop the bike well. Fortunately, we are in better shape than in Argentina, but we still suffered a lot. Luckily, this is our only setback, and the rest of the bike is working well. This morning after the crash we found some very satisfactory solutions with the front end. I am sure that we will have a hard race because of the conditions, but our main objective will be to push hard and try to pick up points.”
Nicky Hayden P18 – “This weekend is definitely harder for us than we expected. Yesterday afternoon we found a good way to take things, but today we seem to have taken a step back in the final free practice sessions. So we went back to the setup we had before, I changed my bike and in qualifying I felt more comfortable. Fortunately we were able to improve in the areas we expected, and mainly we gained grip. Today we learned a lot; in the qualifying session I had the best feeling of the weekend so far, which will have to confirm tomorrow. We still have to improve our line through the fast corners, which if we had done so today would have taken us into the 1’39 target we had for today. It will be a tough race tomorrow, we will have to fight hard against our rivals and some harsh conditions. I hope we can score a few points.”
Jack Miller qualified in 22nd position and acknowledged afterwards that he was still trying to adapt to riding the Spanish circuit on a MotoGP bike. The Australian – who started last year’s Moto3 race from pole – proved competitive in Saturday morning’s free practice as he went quicker than former world champion Nicky Hayden. But he had to settle for a final position of 22nd on the grid, just over two seconds off pole pace, and revealed the team would be working hard before Sunday’s race to try and resolve some rear grip issues.
Jack Miller P22 – “We’ve been struggling all weekend with the bike, trying to get rear grip and we’ve not quite managed it yet, but we’re working hard. Last week we started 21st and this week 22nd which is not where I want to be, but we’re struggling a little bit on these European tracks. It’s difficult on these tight tracks with not much grip. It’s not going to be an easy race, but we’ve shown that we’ve been strong in the latter half of races so we’ll try to make sure we can do that again tomorrow. But it’s a hard track on a MotoGP bike, we’re trying to adapt and we’re not too far away, just over two seconds. We’ve got a couple more plans to try before warm-up tomorrow and we’ll see what we can do. The race is going to be hot and long so we’ve got to prepare ourselves for that and hopefully we’ll still have some tyre at the end of it.”
Marco Melandri was the final qualifier in 25th place – “We worked hard in all the sessions and then reaped less of a reward than we wanted in the qualifying session. Today I was also having some problems with the brakes but the truth is that I need some really radical changes and until I am entirely confident on the bike I just won’t be able to push the way I’d like to.”
It had been another day of fine and hot conditions at Jerez, with the strong Spanish sunshine pushing track temperatures to a peak reading of 54°C during QP2; 1° more than yesterday’s maximum. After a large amount of experimentation yesterday, today riders mainly focused on using the softer rear slick options; medium compound for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders, and soft for the remaining riders. The exception was the Factory Ducati riders who mainly used their harder option, medium compound rear slick, except for their time attack in qualifying when they too used the soft compound rear. Both the medium and hard compound front slicks were utilised today, although there was a significant preference for the hard front, with the majority of riders expected to select this option for the race.
The twenty-seven lap Spanish Grand Prix starts at 1400 local time (GMT +2) tomorrow but before then, the MotoGP riders will have the twenty-minute Warm Up at 0940 to help them finalise their tyre choice for the race.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department – “Today’s track and weather conditions were similar to yesterday which benefited the riders and teams as they could do a lot of analysis on their preferred tyre combination. Although all three of our rear slick options are working well this weekend, it seems that the medium compound rear slick will be the most popular race choice as it offers an excellent balance between performance and durability. However, the soft compound rear suits some of the open-class and factory riders very well, so a significant number of riders are likely to use this option for the race. Both the medium and hard compound front slicks offer their own advantages depending on riding style and bike setting, and once again it appears that tyre strategy will play a significant role in the race. It is always pleasing to see another circuit lap record set on our tyres, with Jorge’s record-breaking lap showing that despite the greasy track surface at Jerez, our tyres are able to deliver outstanding grip and control.”
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’37.910
2. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’38.300
3. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati Team 1’38.468
4. Pol Espargarò (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’38.539
5. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’38.632
6. Aleix Espargarò (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP 1’38.638
7. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) CWM LCR Honda 1’38.714
8. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 1’38.823
9. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Pramac Racing 1’39.464
10. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’39.491
11. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Pramac Racing 1’39.789
12. Scott Redding (GBR) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 1’39.825
13. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing 1’39.569
14. Maverick Viñales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP 1’39.603
15. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’39.612
16. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Repsol Honda Team 1’39.866
17. Michael Laverty (GBR) Aprilia Test Team 1’39.974
18. Nicky Hayden (USA) Aspar Team MotoGP 1’40.025
19. Stefan Bradl (GER) Forward Racing 1’40.166
20. Karel Abraham (CZE) AB Motoracing 1’40.177
21. Loris Baz (FRA) Forward Racing 1’40.280
22. Jack Miller (AUS) CWM LCR Honda 1’40.365
23. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Racing 1’40.817
24. Alex De Angelis (RSM) Octo IodaRacing Team 1’41.108
25. Marco Melandri (ITA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’41.273
Tito Rabat takes Moto2 Pole in front of home fans in Jerez
Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Racing’s Tito Rabat showed that he has recovered from his dip in form that has affected him so far this season, to set a 1’42.874 despite the searing heat. With temperatures reaching over 55 degrees and affecting grip levels, his time was even more impressive as it was just under two-tenths of a second off the Moto2™ lap record set by Stefan Bradl in 2011.
The man who currently sits second in the Championship standings, rookie Alex Rins on the Paginas Amarillas HP40 Kalex, will start from the front row as he finished 0.305s seconds behind Rabat in his best qualifying effort so far this season. AGR Team’s Jonas Folger (+0327s) missed large swathes of the session with a faulty lean sensor, yet still set a time good enough for third.
Thomas Luthi (+0.385s) on the Derendinger Racing Interwetten Kalex was in fourth, ahead of the Idemitsu Honda Team Asia machine of Takaaki Nakagami, who will start from fifth despite crashing out of the session.
Speed Up Racing’s Sam Lowes had his worst Qualifying session of the season so far and is down in sixth, ahead of the German Sandro Cortese (7th) and the returning Axel Pons (8th).
Anthony West crashed in FP3 and collected a part of the wall not protected by air-fence and then battled intense pain through qualifying to finish the session 24th fastest.
Current Championship leader Johann Zarco will start from the third row in ninth after crashing during the session, while Julian Simon completes the top ten with less than one second separating the first eighteen riders.
Fabio Quartararo takes first ever Moto3 pole
Estrella Galicia 0,0’s French rider Fabio Quartararo won the fight with Danny Kent on the Leopard Racing Honda to end up on top of the timesheets. Kent was just 0.120s behind Quartararo, after being held up on his final flying lap by Zulfhami Khairuddin when it appeared like he would set the fastest time of the session.
Completing the front row is Miguel Oliveira (+0.193s) on the first of the KTM Red Bull Ajo bikes, ahead of his teammate Brad Binder (+0.389s) in fourth. Phillip Oettl put the Schedl GP Racing KTM fifth on the grid, with Karel Hanika setting a time good enough for sixth, before a massive highside at the end of the session left the Czech rider having to go to the Medical Centre with elbow pain.
Enea Bastianini ended the session in 7th ahead of his compatriots Romano Fenati and Niccolo Antonelli, who make it an all-Italian third row, with Quartararo’s teammate Jorge Navarro completing the top ten.
Remy Gardner qualified 26th in the 34-rider field – “I’m satisfied in terms of progression and performance because the gap between me and the poleman is good. Progression is been good from first free practice to qualifying and this is the most important matter here. I’ll start from 26th position but I feel that I can do really well tomorrow. Let’s hope to not have any incident during first laps ”.