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Austin MotoGP Quote Machine Friday
by staff
Friday, April 11, 2014

These just in:

Repsol Honda

Marquez remains fastest on first day at the Red Bull GP of The Americas

World Champion, Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez, has finished the first day in Texas a second faster than his next competitor, with teammate Dani Pedrosa in third.

With air temperatures 7C warmer than this morning, and the track temperature 20C hotter, all the riders were able to improve on this morning's FP1 time. Both Marc and Dani spent the afternoon session, and set their fastest times, on the hard front and rear option Bridgestone tyres with Marc's fastest time of 2'03.490 (just 0.469s off his pole time from 2013) coming on lap 9 of 15, and Dani's time of 2'04.623 on his final lap of 15.

FP3 will commence tomorrow at 09h55 local time.

Marc Marquez
1st - 2'03.490

"This first day of practice in Austin went really well. Obviously I'm happy with the time I set, and also with the gap of a second between myself and the next quickest rider. However, the most important thing for me is that my leg feels ok - much better than it did in Qatar. The injury was bothering me a little, but I was able to participate in both Free Practice sessions without taking any painkillers. Now I just have to wait for tomorrow and see if things go better or worse for us then; we know that we have a small advantage and we will try to manage it well, but I am aware that the rest of the riders will also make improvements"


Dani Pedrosa
3rd - 2'04.623

"Today we did a good job with the tyres. We tried the hard compound and it went fairly well for us. Although we didn't go very fast, we have a good feeling and I think that with a few tweaks to the setup we can take a big step forward and improve considerably tomorrow. Today was a positive day for us"

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Yamaha

Yamaha Takes to the Track in Texas

Austin (Texas), 11th April 2014

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo took to the track today for the first free practice sessions ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix of The Americas.

The first day's action on the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) proved to be a tough one for both Rossi and Lorenzo as they began the hunt for an optimum set up for Sunday. Nine-time world champion Rossi dropped a place from fourth to fifth between the two sessions but was able to improve his lap time by just over a second as he got to grips with the Texan track to finish just three tenths from second placed rider Andrea Dovizioso.

Teammate Lorenzo was also able to make a big step into the second session after a frustrating start to the day saw him end practice one in 12th place. The Mallorcan worked hard through session two, climbing as high as third at one point before settling for eighth in the combined times, less than two tenths from his teammate in fifth.

46 Valentino Rossi
5th / 2'04.793 / 14 laps

"I'm quite satisfied about today because I already have a good feeling with the bike. We have a lot to improve but the general balance of the bike is not so bad. This morning I was fourth and this afternoon I am fifth. I'm not happy with that because I have a better potential but I don't work well with the soft tyre yet. I think I have the possibility to go a bit faster and stay with the top three but I'm not yet able to use the maximum potential of the tyre. We have to continue and work to improve the balance and the setting, I also need to improve my riding style and try the maximum for tomorrow."

Jorge Lorenzo
99 Jorge Lorenzo
8th / 2'04.976 / 10 laps

"It looks like compared to the Hondas we are struggling, more or less the same as we were last year. We made a big step from the morning session although still too far from Marquez in first but not so far from second place. We need to make adjustments to the bike and electronics to make a perfect set up and also I need to improve myself as an influence. On the bike I feel a little tired, but compared to the morning session I feel happier."

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Pramac Ducati


A good start in Texas

For the Pramac Racing team the American weekend starts in a good way. During the first free practice session the Pramac riders concentrated on the general setting of there Desmosedici. Andrea Iannone ended the second session with a good fourth place.

Andrea Iannone - Pramac Racing - takes on the first session of free practice to get back in tune with his bike and the the track which he has little experience with. During FP2 Andrea is able to improve his lap times and be more constant, even if the feeling with the Bike still needs to be improved he obtained with a very good lap time, 2'04"669, which placed him in fourth place.

Yonny Hernandez - Energy T.I. Pramac Racing - Good performance for the Colombian rider who faces the first day of practice on the track in Austin on his Ducati GP13. A steady and gradual improvement led him to obtain a fifteenth place with a lap time of 2'06"376, two small errors compromised the last run, not giving him the chance to take advantage of the fresh trie.

Andrea Iannone ( Pramac Racing)

"Today was a good day, we did much better than last year. I managed to do a good job with the team. I think that tomorrow I can improve my time. I used the soft tire at the end of the session but i didn't take advantage of it's full potential. I want to thank the team and Ducati. "

Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing)

"today ended in a positive way for me. I was are able to improve constantly. I'm sorry for not being able to take advantage of the soft tire in the last run due to two errors. I have a good general feeling with the bike and tomorrow I will do my best as always."

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Bridgestone

Marquez on record pace in Friday Practice at Austin

Friday, 11 April 2014

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Medium; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 19-20C; Track 23-26C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Dry. Ambient 27-28C; Track 44-44C (Bridgestone measurement)

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez was in menacing form in the first two practice sessions at Circuit of The Americas, the reigning world champion setting a lap time of 2'03.490 in FP2 to finish over a second quicker than his closest rival.

Marquez's benchmark time was 0.752 seconds quicker than the Circuit Record Lap he set in last year's inaugural Americas Grand Prix and 1.005 seconds faster than Ducati Team's Andrea Dovizioso, who was second quickest today. The third quickest rider in today's sessions was Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa who set a personal best lap time of 2'04.623 to finish 1.133 seconds behind his teammate. Out of the top three riders today Marquez and Pedrosa set their best time on the hard compound rear, while Dovizioso set his best time on the soft compound rear.

Both of today's Free Practice sessions were dry, with cool and windy conditions greeting riders for FP1 before the wind eased and track temperatures soared in the afternoon, with a peak of 44C recorded during FP2. Almost all riders preferred the use of softer option slicks front and rear in the cooler morning session and as conditions warmed up in afternoon, most riders switched to the harder option, medium compound front slick. In FP2 most of the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders preferred the hard compound rear slick, while for the Ducati and Open-class riders, the preference was split between the soft and medium compound rear slicks.

Slightly cooler conditions are forecast for tomorrow with the next MotoGP session, Free Practice 3 scheduled to start at 0955 local time (GMT -5).

Masao Azuma- Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Division

"Today we got two sessions with good track conditions and the warmer temperatures in the afternoon allowed the riders to try many tyre combinations. We received good feedback from the riders on all of our tyre specifications here and it was pleasing to see all three rear options featuring in the top five on the timesheet. Although the harder, medium compound front slick seems to be the most likely race tyre, rear tyre choice is still wide open and long runs in tomorrow's session will make the situation clearer for the riders on what works best for them. Last year only two riders selected the hard compound rear slick for the race - including the winner Marquez - but with the improved edge grip offered by our new hard specification tyre, I think we will see more riders select this option for the race."

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Tech 3 Yamaha

Uphill start for Smith and Espargaro in sunny Texas

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team's Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro finished today's free practice sessions in optimistic spirits at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas for the second round of the MotoGP World Championship.

Both riders lowered their lap times from the first free practice session by a full second with the conditions being sunny and dry, at the state of the art track, which features the longest straight of a circuit on the Grand Prix calendar.

Bradley Smith relentlessly amassed a total of 36 laps of the Texan circuit across both of today's sessions to finish in 10th place in the combined times. In his second appearance aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 in Texas, Smith posted a best time of 2:05.366 which means that he has already lapped faster than last year, with a gap of just over half a second to the fastest Factory Yamaha of Valentino Rossi. After having spent the first day evaluating all of the possible tyre options and setting his fastest time on the harder one, the young British rider remains confident of a top 6 result in tomorrow's qualifying session.

Rookie Pol Espargaro proceeded to collected valuable data today as he refined the setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike, whilst also sampling the 2013 Bridgestone tyres for the first time ever at the challenging Circuit of the Americas. The reigning Moto2 World Champion finished in 12th position with a best time of 2:05.672 and just over half a second from Factory Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo. The Spanish rider who is aiming for a top 10 finish in the race event on Sunday, is now back to full health following his collarbone injury, and completed 31 laps around the 5.513 kilometre circuit.

Bradley Smith - 10th - 2:05.366:

"The biggest positive of today is that I am riding faster and more confident on the track compared to last year. I feel great with the bike especially in sector 1 and 3, but I still need to improve in the second part of the circuit as well as in the last one. This afternoon we were able to test both tyre solutions, the medium one as well as the hard one. With the hard tyre I feel really good and I also did my fastest lap with it. However, as the weather may change we will have to choose the tyre accordingly for the rest of the weekend, but we are in a good position to make the right decision. Overall, today was useful as we collected very valuable data and we know how to go quicker, which will hopefully be by another second."

Pol Espargaro - 12th - 2:05.672:

"Today has been a tricky day and a big challenge for me. There was a lot to learn and this track is really difficult. If you make a slight mistake with the line at the beginning of the second corner, you finish completely off line at the end of the corner sequence. Also using the 2013 Bridgestone tyre for the first time did not make things easy. That's why I think I am pushing a bit too much, I definitely want to ride smoother because it's the only way to be fast with the Yamaha. So I just need to relax more on the bike, and continue to work with my team and for sure we can improve. There are things to be changed, but I am confident that I can qualify well and I am ready to give it my all tomorrow."


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Ducati


Dovizioso second in first free practice at Austin, Crutchlow ninth

Andrea Dovizioso put in a great performance in the first two free practice sessions at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, where the second round of the MotoGP World Championship is taking place this weekend. Despite not feeling 100% due to a flu virus, the Ducati Team rider had no problems running close to the top of the timesheets, and he finished the day in second place with a time of 2'04.495, with only Marquez ahead of him. Fifth in the morning session, Dovizioso improved in the afternoon by almost two seconds, when conditions were more favorable, and he was satisfied with outcome of the first day of activity in the Grand Prix of the Americas.

His team-mate Cal Crutchlow had a tougher time today. In the morning the British rider was hit by an electronic problem on his Desmosedici GP14 and in the afternoon he struggled to find an ideal set-up, finishing the first day in ninth place.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) - 2nd (2m04.495s)
"I am very pleased with how this weekend has started despite the fact that physically I don't feel well at all. We are quick, we're working well, and I have managed to quickly dial into this track. It's a really nice track and great fun to race here. We are very strong under braking and we can use our power on the main straight so we are able to lap well for this reason. To set these times I had to use the soft tyre at the end of the session because it's always important to be inside the top 10 for the Q2. As well as our one-lap form, our race pace is not bad either and that's positive."

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) - 9th (2m04.981s)

"Unfortunately this morning we had an electronic problem at the start of the session and in the afternoon we took a different direction for the set-up and never took enough advantage in the last exit to make a good enough lap time. I felt we should have been a little faster; but we did make progress throughout the day even though we still have to find a lot in some different areas."

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Yamaha

Yamaha Takes to the Track in Texas

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo took to the track today for the first free practice sessions ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix of The Americas.

The first day's action on the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) proved to be a tough one for both Rossi and Lorenzo as they began the hunt for an optimum set up for Sunday. Nine-time world champion Rossi dropped a place from fourth to fifth between the two sessions but was able to improve his lap time by just over a second as he got to grips with the Texan track to finish just three tenths from second placed rider Andrea Dovizioso.

Teammate Lorenzo was also able to make a big step into the second session after a frustrating start to the day saw him end practice one in 12th place. The Mallorcan worked hard through session two, climbing as high as third at one point before settling for eighth in the combined times, less than two tenths from his teammate in fifth.

Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team's Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro finished today's free practice sessions in optimistic spirits, both riders lowered their lap times from the first free practice session by a full second with the conditions being sunny and dry, at the state of the art track, which features the longest straight of a circuit on the Grand Prix calendar.

Bradley Smith relentlessly amassed a total of 36 laps of the Texan circuit across both of today's sessions to finish in 10th place in the combined times. In his second appearance aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 in Texas, Smith posted a best time of 2:05.366 which means that he has already lapped faster than last year, with a gap of just over half a second to the fastest Factory Yamaha of Valentino Rossi. After having spent the first day evaluating all of the possible tyre options and setting his fastest time on the harder one, the young British rider remains confident of a top 6 result in tomorrow's qualifying session.

Rookie Pol Espargaro proceeded to collected valuable data today as he refined the setup of his Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike, whilst also sampling the 2013 Bridgestone tyres for the first time ever at the challenging Circuit of the Americas. The reigning Moto2 World Champion finished in 12th position with a best time of 2:05.672 and just over half a second from Factory Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo. The Spanish rider who is aiming for a top 10 finish in the race event on Sunday, is now back to full health following his collarbone injury, and completed 31 laps around the 5.513 kilometre circuit.

NGM Forward Racing's Aleix Espargaro completed the morning session in second place behind Marc Marquez, the fastest rider today, and he closed the FP2 in sixth position with 2'04.844, less than 2 tenths from the provisional podium. The Spaniard struggled to find a constant pace on the technical COTA circuit, famous for its long1.2 km back straight and the slow corners to do in first gear.

It was not an easy start also for team mate Colin Edwards, who closed in 16th position with 2'06.880. The Texas Tornado worked on the bike set up to adapt his machine on the demanding Texan racetrack.

Valentino Rossi
5th, 2'04.793

"I'm quite satisfied about today because I already have a good feeling with the bike. We have a lot to improve but the general balance of the bike is not so bad. This morning I was fourth and this afternoon I am fifth. I'm not happy with that because I have a better potential but I don't work well with the soft tyre yet. I think I have the possibility to go a bit faster and stay with the top three but I'm not yet able to use the maximum potential of the tyre. We have to continue and work to improve the balance and the setting, I also need to improve my riding style and try the maximum for tomorrow."

Jorge Lorenzo
8th, 2'04.976

"It looks like compared to the Hondas we are struggling, more or less the same as we were last year. We made a big step from the morning session although still too far from Marquez in first but not so far from second place. We need to make adjustments to the bike and electronics to make a perfect set up and also I need to improve myself as an influence. On the bike I feel a little tired, but compared to the morning session I feel happier."

Massimo Meregalli
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

"There is a gap to the front at the moment but we are honestly in a better position than last year when we started here so I am confident we can improve session by session, exactly as we did at the last round in Qatar. Both riders performed well today, I believe Vale's gap to the front would have been smaller if he had been using a softer tyre but he spent most of the second session working with the hardest option to see what was possible. Jorge made a big improvement from the first session, working as hard as possible despite still recovering from a flu virus. We're going to take today's data now and work tonight to prepare the next steps for tomorrow so we can take the set up a step further."

Bradley Smith
10th, 2'05.366

"The biggest positive of today is that I am riding faster and more confident on the track compared to last year. I feel great with the bike especially in sector 1 and 3, but I still need to improve in the second part of the circuit as well as in the last one. This afternoon we were able to test both tyre solutions, the medium one as well as the hard one. With the hard tyre I feel really good and I also did my fastest lap with it. However, as the weather may change we will have to choose the tyre accordingly for the rest of the weekend, but we are in a good position to make the right decision. Overall, today was useful as we collected very valuable data and we know how to go quicker, which will hopefully be by another second."

Pol Espargaro
12th, 2'05.672

"Today has been a tricky day and a big challenge for me. There was a lot to learn and this track is really difficult. If you make a slight mistake with the line at the beginning of the second corner, you finish completely off line at the end of the corner sequence. Also using the 2013 Bridgestone tyre for the first time did not make things easy. That's why I think I am pushing a bit too much, I definitely want to ride smoother because it's the only way to be fast with the Yamaha. So I just need to relax more on the bike, and continue to work with my team and for sure we can improve. There are things to be changed, but I am confident that I can qualify well and I am ready to give it my all tomorrow."

Aleix Espargaro
6th, 2'04.844

"I'm not very satisfied because I cannot be consistent. There are 3 or 4 corners that we do in first gears and for sure we need to improve the engine brake and also the braking stability. I know that we can be faster on a single lap but in preparation of the race, we need to have a more consistent race pace. It cost me a bit to understand this track, but it's only the first day and we will continue working".

Colin Edwards
16th, 2'06.880

"The COTA racetrack is awesome and it's a great feeling to come here driving my car with my family instead of taking a long flight overseas. The support is incredible and I would like to get a good result, but I'm still struggling a lot to make the bike turn. We will keep on working on the bike set up to improve my feeling with the front".

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ENDS

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