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Marquez shatters lap record clinching sixth pole of the season with Pedrosa in 4th
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez has taken his sixth pole position of his MotoGP career with a blistering time of 1'32.915, over half a second faster than second place Lorenzo. With this time he convincingly broke the pole record set by Casey Stoner in 2011 (1'33.138) but it wasn't a totally straight forward session. Marc only had one bike to qualify on after a small crash in turn thirteen in this afternoon's FP4 session and his crew didn't have enough time to fix the damage before the 15 minute Q2.
Teammate Dani Pedrosa also had a difficult day with a small crash in this morning's FP3. However, there was enough time to fix the damaged bike in time for qualifying but Dani, who has had grip issues all weekend, was unable to progress higher that 4th for tomorrow's race with a time of 1'33.726.
Marc Marquez 1st 1'32.915
"I'm very happy with this pole position, as we had a really good hot lap! It's a shame about the small crash that we had in practice this morning - which was completely my fault - but the important thing is that we know where I made the mistake. In qualifying I felt very comfortable every time on fast laps and was able to put in some quick times. We'll see if we can fight with Jorge tomorrow, as he has a very good pace. Valentino will also be tough to beat, because it is his home race and he has been very strong in practice; I'm sure that he will be fast tomorrow as will Dani. The aim is to get a good start, try to ride in the lead group at the front and pick up more World Championship points"
Dani Pedrosa 4th 1'33.726
"We had a bit of luck to take fourth on the grid, because we have been having problems with all the rear tyres that we have used. I don't know exactly what happened, but I didn't have any grip in any of the sessions today. In the final free practice session we changed the tyres twice, then in qualifying we again switched to new rubber, but there was never a good response. We don't know if the problem is with the tyres, with the bike or with the track surface. In the final moments we made another change and suddenly I had some grip again, and it is thanks to this that we were able to take the fourth fastest time -although this position was certainly short of our aims for today. For tomorrow, however, we are confident that we can get a good start and have a good race"
Challenging qualifying session for Ducati Team at Misano
Qualifying day at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli proved unsatisfying for the Ducati Team, with Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden posting times that will have them starting tomorrow's GP di San Marino e Riviera di Rimini from the third and fourth rows, respectively.
Although neither rider was satisfied with his lap time or qualifying position, Dovizioso was relatively pleased with his race pace. Meanwhile, Hayden and his team will use tomorrow's warm-up session to try to improve the performance of the Desmosedici GP13 over bumps and on changes of direction.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 9th (1:34.338)
"I'm really disappointed with qualifying because I wasn't able to put together a perfect lap, and starting from the third row will make things difficult. It was important to try to make row two here because the first few corners are challenging, and it's difficult to overtake riders. We might have the pace to fight for sixth place, which is something we haven't had in recent races, so that's fairly positive. It will be a long and difficult race, but we're in a bit better shape than we have been for the other races."
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 10th (1:34.362)
"Obviously, things aren't going as well here as we'd like, as tenth in qualifying is a long way from the top. The actual lap time wasn't so bad, but nonetheless, the others are far away. We're struggling a lot over the bumps and with edge grip, especially in the last corner. We've got some issues to sort out so we'll definitely try something in the warm-up to see if we can improve the pace. We know tomorrow's going to be a hard race, but anyway, we'll line up and do our best."
New lap record set as Marquez dominates Misano qualifying
Round 13: San Marino MotoGP? - Qualifying Practice
Misano, Saturday 14 September 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 - Dry. Ambient 22-24°C; Track 28-32°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP - Dry. Ambient 25-26°C; Track 39-39°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez resumed the dominant form he showed in yesterday's practice sessions to smash the qualifying lap record on his way to pole position at Misano.
Marquez set a scorching lap of 1'32.915 to beat the existing lap record by 0.223 seconds and take the first slot on the grid for tomorrow's race ahead of the Yamaha Factory Racing duo of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi who qualified in second and third place respectively. All of the riders on the front row set their best time on the combination of the softer rear and the harder front slick tyre and the San Marino Grand Prix is the fourth round in a row where a new Circuit Best Lap record was set in qualifying. Power Electronics Aspar's Aleix Espargaro once again used the full potential of the CRT-specific softer rear slick to qualify directly for QP2 and claim sixth position on the grid for tomorrow's race with a time of 1'34.732 to be the best CRT qualifier.
The weather for today's practice and qualifying sessions was practically the same as yesterday, with the same peak temperature recording of 39°C being reached during qualifying. The grip level of the circuit did not improve from yesterday and as a result the softer slick options were widely used today, particularly for the rear tyre. Although the softer rear slick was the preferred option, those riders that used the harder rear did report it performed well with only a slight reduction in edge grip compared to the softer rear. Both front slick options were used today with no clear preference emerging in today's sessions. The harder front slick offers greater stability in the faster sections of the circuit, while the softer front slick offers an advantage in edge grip which helps compensate for the poor grip level of the tarmac.
The MotoGP? riders will be next on track at 0940 local time (GMT +2) tomorrow morning for the twenty minute Warm Up session before the twenty-eight lap San Marino Grand Prix gets underway at 1400.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"Weather conditions were almost exactly the same as yesterday and although the pace was quicker today, the comments from many riders indicate that the condition of the circuit is not as good as recent years, so this makes Marc's new qualifying record even more impressive. The lack of grip also resulted in just a few riders evaluating the harder rear slick options in FP4, as they preferred the greater edge grip offered by the softer rear slicks. For the front tyres, there is no clear preference among the riders. Some prefer the greater cornering and braking stability of the harder front, while other riders prefer the better edge grip and feel of the softer front slick. It seems that the greatest variable in race tyre strategy among the riders for tomorrow's race will be the front tyre."
Double Front Row for Yamaha in Misano Qualifying Battle
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will start tomorrow's Grand Prix of San Marino side by side on the front row after an intense qualifying battle this afternoon at the Misano World Circuit ?Marco Simoncelli'.
As usual Lorenzo was the first rider away onto the track and immediately set the pace with a 1'33.824, the fastest lap of the weekend at the time. He went on to immediately improve, shaving a little off to lap in 1'33.797, beating last year's pole time. With nine minutes remaining he relinquished pole position to rival Marc Marquez and returned to the pits for fresh rubber. With just over six minutes remaining he returned to the track and with his seventh lap brought his time down to a 1'33.428 to secure second place on the grid for tomorrow's race.
Teammate Rossi was quick to follow Lorenzo out at the beginning of the session but was forced to sit up in the opening lap due to heavy traffic, the Italian having to wait until there were just eight minutes remaining to find suitably clear track to climb from 12th to an impressive third position with a 1'34.025. He then returned to the pits for a fresh rear tyre and was back on track with just over five minutes remaining. The nine-time world champion then delivered a scorching 1'33.659 with two minutes left on the clock to take provisional second place, only to be bettered by teammate Lorenzo soon after and moving to third. Another step on his final flying lap saw the lap time drop even further to a 1'33.573, securing third place and keeping him on the front row for the second time this season.
Position 2nd - Time 1.33.428 - Laps 8
"I expected to struggle less this weekend and go faster than last year but I couldn't be faster and I couldn't improve the bike so much. We improved a little but not enough to be closer to Marc. He made an amazing lap. We are struggling to stop the bike in braking and we have more spinning than normal in acceleration, that is why the lap time is not great. I will try to make a good start tomorrow and maybe the best strategy is to follow Marc and see how our performance is during the race."
Position 3rd - Time 1.33.573 - Laps 9
"We are satisfied with yesterday and today because we worked very well during the practice, I was always strong and we improved the setting step by step. This afternoon my bike was fantastic; it had a great setting with a lot of grip. With the second tyre I was alone with no traffic and I pushed very much from the first corner with a great feeling with the bike and I improved my lap time a lot. I'm happy because it's very important to start on the front row tomorrow as Marc and Dani are very fast and also Lorenzo is very strong and very fast. Tomorrow I want to arrive on the podium so starting with them from the beginning is important to fight for it. I want a great race and I want to be on the podium!"
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing - Team Manager
"The second day is done in Misano and we qualified second on the front row, which is good for the race. Of course we would have liked to have gone a bit faster; we are still trying to find some solutions for some extra grip. Overall, we are on the front row, which is what matters but for tomorrow's race we would like to improve a little bit."
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing - Team Director
"A really good qualifying session, having both riders on the front row is very important, especially here where it is difficult to overtake. For me we have done a really good job so far. We came here with important new items for the bikes and were able to make good use of them, although we still have some adapting to do. Tomorrow is going to be a really good race, it's going to be a tough one but I think we are ready. Looking at the rhythm both riders have we should be confident."
Crutchlow digs deep to claim second row in Misano
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow maintained his excellent qualifying form in 2013 to claim a fantastic fifth position on the grid for tomorrow's 28-lap Misano MotoGP encounter in San Marino.
For the first time since the new qualifying format was introduced for 2013, Crutchlow found himself having to participate in the opening 15-minute QP1 session. The British rider though comfortably advanced into QP2 with a best lap of 1.34.694.
Still searching for the optimum set-up with his YZR-M1 to allow him to show the potential that has taken to four rostrum finishes and two pole positions in 2013, Crutchlow dug deep to find his best form of the weekend in a record-breaking QP2.
In gloriously sunny and hot conditions at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, which lies just a short distance from the Adriatic coast, Crutchlow shaved another 0.6s off his best pace to claim a place in the middle of the second row for tomorrow's 13th round of the campaign.
Crutchlow's brilliant performance this afternoon ensured in 13 qualifying sessions this season he has not yet finished lower than fifth position.
British teammate Bradley Smith also featured in QP1 and he came tantalisingly close to making it through to the second session when a time of 1.34.869 saw him miss out on a top two place by just 0.175s.
The 22-year-old was pushing hard on his final lap to try and join the battle for the top 12 grid positions when he suffered a small front-end crash at Turn 14. He was uninjured in the spill and he will start tomorrow's race from 13th on the grid, and he remains optimistic that he can fight for a ninth top 10 finish in his rookie season.
Position 5th - Time 1.34.014 - Laps 9
"It has not been an easy weekend at all and having to go into QP1 for the first time this season was proof of that. So considering how difficult it has been I am really pleased to be starting on the second row of the grid. This afternoon was much better and as I always do, I managed to pull something out of the bag in qualifying. I am always strong in this situation but I really had to be today to get myself out of trouble. We still need to find something else for the race because the gap to the front is pretty big. I am definitely trying my hardest but I have lost some confidence on the bike since the middle of the season and now I have to improve to go faster. One area I definitely need to look at is T3 because I am not fast enough in that sector. I'll try and get a good start and go with the leading group and I will be doing my best to deliver a positive result for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team."
Position 13th - Time 1.34.869 - Laps 8
"Unfortunately today didn't go according to plan at all and being 13th on the grid is not ideal. I improved my pace from yesterday by over a second but clearly it is not enough. I've crashed twice now this weekend by losing the front, so it shows we have a problem and we will have a good look at the data tonight to find some improvements in that area. We made a really good step overnight with the bike for FP3, but this afternoon we didn't really make any progress. It is going to be a very tough race and if I can get a top 10 finish I will class that as an amazing result."
BRADL TO LINE UP IN 7th POSITION AT MISANO GP
Misano, 14 September: second day of action at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli circuit saw LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl placing his RC213V in 7th place (1'34.098) ahead tomorrow's 28-lap race. Still searching for the optimum set-up with his RC213V, Bradl dedicated the majority of his time on track today to improve his feeling with the front-end. Bradl admits that the adjustments, made since yesterday, helped him a lot but not enough to qualify in the second row.
"Even today it was very difficult for us to challenge the front guys. Honestly I am not confident enough and this front-end issue prevented us in taking the second row. I think that the Team made a very good job because we improved the bike a lot from yesterday and we definitely changed a lot of things in the bike and I could adapt quickly. I am definitely trying my hardest but with this limit I could not push myself beyond the 7th place today".