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Repsol Honda MotoGP
Marquez snatches ninth pole of 2014 with Pedrosa in fifth
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez has taken his ninth pole - in eleven races - for tomorrow's Czech Republic GP and has now qualified on the front row at the last twenty three MotoGP races, with teammate Dani Pedrosa will starting from the second row in fifth position.
It was an incredibly tight qualifying session with just half a second separating the top eleven riders. Marc secured pole position on his final lap of the session (6 of 7) with a time of 1'55.585, just 0.058 off the 2013 pole record (1'55.527, Crutchlow). Dani missed out on a front row start by just 0.084 with his time of 1'55.812, which he also recorded on lap 6 of 7.
Tomorrow's race will start at 14h00 local time.
1st - 1'55.585
"I'm happy about the pole position today. I had Iannone behind me so the only solution was to push, because I had to set a hot lap. As for tomorrow's race, we have pole but the toughest rivals will start from the second row, especially Dani. We will see what condition Valentino is in and hopefully he can ride well, because he has also been strong this weekend and I hope Jorge can be in the fight too. I'm expecting a tough battle from start to finish for the win"
5th - 1'55.812
"Today was positive as it didn't rain and we were able to try out tyres in the dry. We are pretty clear now about which direction we will go for the race. It was a pity that we couldn't get a spot on the front row in qualifying, but it was difficult because the times were extremely close. I hope I can make a good start tomorrow and have a good race"
Czech Republic Grand Prix: superb performance by Dovizioso, who takes second place in qualifying at Brno and earns a front row start. Crutchlow eleventh.
Andrea Dovizioso put in another excellent performance in qualifying at Brno to repeat the second place grid slot he secured at Indianapolis. The Italian will start from the front row of the grid for tomorrow's Czech Republic Grand Prix ahead of fellow Ducati rider Andrea Iannone with the Pramac Racing Team's Desmosedici GP14, who recorded the third-quickest time.
The other Ducati Team rider, Cal Crutchlow, qualified eleventh with a time that was just 544 thousandths of a second away from the pole mark, and the British rider will start from row 4 tomorrow.
Michele Pirro, the Ducati Test Team test-rider, was unable to get through into the Q2 session and ended his qualifying run in thirteenth place.
Dovizioso will start from row 1 for the third time this season, while the last time two Ducati machines lined up on the front row of the grid was the Valencia GP in 2006, with Troy Bayliss and Loris Capirossi.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) - 2nd (1'55.714)
"I am very happy with this weekend because we got off to a good start right from the first Friday session. We have worked a lot with the medium tyre, which I think almost everyone will use tomorrow in the race, and we are competitive and much closer to the front guys. This second place is much better than the one at Indianapolis, because I did the lap time on my own. We have worked really well, I've got a good feeling with my GP14, and above all it was important to reduce the gap to the front. My qualifying was perfect and the lap time I did was really over the top! Tomorrow for sure it'll be important to start up front, but I'm confident I can do a good race."
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) - 11th (1'56.129)
"I'm happy enough with today. I know the position is not the best but the lap time was respectable for where we've been all weekend. So to be half-a-second off pole position is not too bad! In qualifying I had a problem with my first tyre and that made me have no confidence for half-a-lap with the second one. Despite this I gained 1.5 seconds in one lap and maybe could have gone a bit faster, but in any case I'm confident enough for the race now."
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) - 13th (1'57.093)
"I am quite happy because I did a good time in any case, almost two seconds quicker than my lap last year, and this means that the bike has improved a lot. I've got out of the habit of doing qualifying a bit, seeing as I haven't raced since Barcelona. I did a good time, just missing out on Q2 by a whisker, and maybe I could have done even better. In any case to lap 1.4 seconds away from the front guys on a track that I don't like very much, is a great satisfaction. We're working really hard and I hope to do a good race tomorrow to gather useful information for the team and bring home a good result."
Andrea Iannone third; Yonny Hernandez starts from the fourth row
Today a amazing Andrea Iannone gained the third position on the grid. The day was also positive for his team-mate Yonny Hernandez accessing the QP2 finishing the twelfth.
During the forty-five minutes of the FP3 this morning, Andrea finished in sixth place, good to go directly to the second qualifying session. The rider did not have the right feeling with his bike and complained about the lack of stability of the GP14, so the team focused to refine the setup for the last free practice session. The modifications done gave their results during the QP2 and the young driver was able to push and conquer the third position on the grid. This second first row after the one in Mugello gives the team hope for a good end of the champoinship.
During the last practice session Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing) and the team concentrated their attention to the front of the bike, looking for the right solution to improve the feeling in the turns. The lap time recorded by the Colombian was not valid to directly access the QP2. Yonny, determined more than ever, during the QP1 he was able to do the second best lap time, which earned him access to the last qualifying session, where he set the lap time of 1'56.622 that placed him in fourth row.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing)
"I'm glad it was a good qualifying for us. We are catching up with what we could not do yesterday, I rode with difficulty, and then this morning I managed to get better and better. We found solutions that helped us. I regret that during the second lap I went a little wide on turn thirteen but the first lap was already great. Tomorrow I hope to finish the race in the top six. "
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing)
"I am really very happy that I was able to access the Q2 after the first qualifying session. It's very important for me to stay close to the top riders to take advantage of the opportunity and learn more and more. Tomorrow I want to be able to get into the points and if possible to finish in the top ten.
Second and Third Row for Yamaha in Brno Qualifying
Second and Third Row for Yamaha in Brno Qualifying
Movistar Yamaha MotoGPs Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will start tomorrows Grand Prix České Republiky from the second and third row after taking sixth and seventh place respectively in todays qualifying session.
Lorenzo was eager to start the 15-minute qualifying session and the first one out of the pits to ensure a free track for his first stint. His first flying lap of 1.56.318, took him to provisional pole, before being pushed back to sixth place when the pace quickened. With a little more than seven minutes to go he came into the pits for a fresh set of rubber front and rear. With three minutes of the session left Lorenzo had only one lap to show his pace with the softer compound front tyre and rode a 155.815 moving him up from eleventh to sixth.
It was an eventful day for teammate Valentino Rossi. The nine-time World Champion was right on the pace during Free Practice #4, setting the fastest lap of the weekend thus far before suffering a crash and injuring his left little finger. Rossi had an X-ray at the Clinica Mobile and was declared fit to continue.
During qualifying he took his time to get out on track, giving the other riders a head start. During his first stint, the Doctors best lap of 156.708 saw him move to tenth place before he came in for new tyres with less than seven minutes remaining. Two minutes later he was back and, despite the pain, set a personal best lap of 155.821, shooting him up to the top five before being demoted to seventh in the last laps.
6th / 1'55.815 / 6 laps
The lap times are not bad. I had some pretty fast laps even on used tyres. Some days if you cant go a little bit faster it makes a big difference. It could have been worse, because also the riders in seventh, eight and ninth place are very close to my lap times. When we put a soft tyre on the front it gave me much more confidence. Unfortunately it wont be possible to use this tyre for tomorrows race, so we have to work on the bike to give me more confidence with the harder front tyre. I swopped bikes during the qualifying session because we put a special brake on the number one bike and the braking was good, but we lost a lot of time with speed and acceleration, especially on the last corner. We concentrated on the normal bike with our last try and it was better.
7th / 1'55.821 / 7 laps
I was pushing a lot and my pace was fast but unfortunately when entering turn eleven I was a little bit too wide. I was braking hard, trying to enter the corner anyway but I lost the front and damaged my little finger. Its very important for tomorrow that there is no fracture. It seems like there wont be any problem. My finger is not broken; its just a little bit damaged. I think and hope that it wont give me problems during the race. Using the soft front tyre for tomorrow is not an option for me. I think using the hard tyre on the front is better.
Massimo Meregalli - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director
Jorge has run a good pace for all the sessions however we were unable to make the most of it in the qualifying session and take full advantage of his pace. We will work to make a step for him to improve his feeling with the bike tomorrow morning and he should be ready for the race. With Vale we made a good improvement with the bike and he was pretty satisfied. We are still looking for some more improvements but the level is good. Unfortunately he crashed in free practice otherwise Im sure he would be further in front. He really put in a lot of effort as he had a big, deep abrasion on his hand. Its a shame that we lost the second row for almost nothing.
Smith storms to strong qualifying as leading Yamaha in Brno
Monster Yamaha Tech3s Bradley Smith completed a superbly executed qualifying performance at the bwin Grand Prix České republiky which will see him start the eleventh round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship from fourth on the grid. The young British rider continued yesterdays positive start at the Automotodrom Brno by opening today with a superb third place finish and as the top Yamaha in the morning practice with a best time of 1'56.780, which saw him sail straight through to the Q2 session. The 23-year-old proceeded to push further onwards in the dry qualifying shootout and on his sixth and last lap he powered over the start finish line to post a best time of 155.730. In addition, his inspiring lap time was incredibly a mere four thousandths of a second from the front row and his expert performance saw him only two tenths from the circuit best lap. The British star will seek to undertake a lightening start from the front of the second row and then aggressively compete to be the leading satellite bike aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 in tomorrows race at Brno.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage, Pol Espargaro continued his positive qualifying campaign this year by clinching ninth position, which will see him start Sundays 22 lap race around the 5403 meter Czech circuit from the third row. Following yesterdays noteworthy performance in the rookies first full wet session, the reigning Moto2 World Champion completed this mornings practice with a best time of 156.825 allowing him to slip straight through to the Q2 session before improving his time further in FP4 to strongly finish in fourth. Espargaro sustained his confident performances as he sought to lower his lap time further in the 15-minute session and then blazed to a best time of 155.899, which was only 0.173 from the front row and three tenths of a second from the pole position time. Tomorrow he will aim to undertake a soaring start and battle to a top five finish once again for round eleven of his rookie campaign in the premier class.
4th /1'55.730 / 6 laps
I am very pleased with the qualifying result as it gives me the perfect platform for a strong result tomorrow. Its the first time since the start of the season that we have been back to the level of performance that we had at Qatar and today I was able to score a positive grid position. The team did an excellent job and I must thank my technicians and Guy Coulon for their brilliant technical knowledge plus guidance. In all honesty, I was a bit worried as we seemed to struggle yesterday but its super to be back up to speed and then to top it off by qualifying on the second row. Furthermore I am really happy with my decision to use the front medium for the Q2 session which was the perfect choice. I am very confident that I will be able to have a good start and then stay at the front with the leading riders, so I am really looking forward to tomorrows race.
9th / 1'55.899 / 7 laps
I am a little disappointed with qualifying ninth after I have ran well in the rankings during the whole weekend so far, including fourth in FP4 so I hoped to be a little higher at the end of qualifying. All of the times today were really close and the distance to the front row was not too far at all, but the competition is high as this is MotoGP. Honestly, I still lack a bit of experience in qualifying because in this class you have to perform your quick lap instantly whereas in Moto2 there was more time and you built yourself up for the attack. The qualifying result today puts us into a slightly tricky situation and the start will be vital to score a good result here. In terms of tyre choice, I did try both compounds today and I felt confident on either variation, however we will decide on which one to race after judging the conditions tomorrow morning. I would not predict tomorrows race to be an easy one but I am still convinced we can do a good job as my race pace itself is very promising and my aim is still a top five finish here in Brno.
Espargaro first Open at Brno
The eleventh round of the MotoGP World Championship, will see the NGM Forward Racing riders Aleix Espargaro and Alex De Angelis take the start respectively from the fourth and seventh row.
First open on the grid, this result confirms one again the quality of the Forward Yamaha package. Espargaro set a lap time of 156.090, just 0.505 from pole man Marc Marquez. Despite the tenth place, the Spaniard was happy with the improvement achieved during the afternoon session and he is confident to make another step forward tomorrow in the warm up to find the best setting for the race.
Teammate Alex De Angelis used todays sessions in dry conditions to continue to understand the Forward Yamaha. He worked on the set up and in the afternoon he was able to ride with more confidence, improving his lap times. He finally finished in 20th position.
10th / +1'56.090 / 6 laps
We have improved in terms of set up of the machine and this is the most important thing, considering that we struggled a lot with the front during the free practices. We are just five tenths from the pole and less than four tenths from the front row, but we are in tenth position and this will make the race more complicated. This track is fast and we are suffering a bit. We will continue to work in the warm up to find the best set up for the race, as we need a good result and gain the points lost at Indy.
Alex De Angelis
20th / +1'58.948 / 7 laps
Today we continued to work in preparation of the race. We started with a set up close to the one used by Aleix and then we modified it according to my feelings and we finally improved in the Q1 when I started to use a softer fork. Im happy because we were able to improve my rhythm and the lap times. Tomorrow we will continue to work in the warm up. Every single session is very important to understand the bike better.
Aoyama and Camier ready for strong Brno showing
DRIVE M7 Aspar riders hammer lap times down and line up on sixth row
Series leader Marc Márquez wasted no time in stamping his authority on MotoGP qualifying this afternoon, establishing the early benchmark and then continuing to lower his times on his way to pole position for tomorrow's race at Brno. Andrea Iannone was smart enough to catch a tow from the World Champion, momentarily leading the classification before dropping back to third place behind fellow Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso. With his ninth pole of the season in the bag, Márquez will tomorrow look to make it eleven race wins from eleven.
There was constant progress throughout the day in the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team garage, where Hiroshi Aoyama and Leon Camier significantly improved on their best times from yesterday whilst improving the set-up of their machines and establishing a strong and consistent pace. The Japanese rider found almost a second today whilst the Brit improved by almost two seconds in just his second MotoGP event. The pair will both start from the sixth row of the grid in sixteenth and eighteenth place respectively.
16th Hiroshi Aoyama 1.57.984: "We had two very different sessions yesterday, one wet and one dry, so we didn't get to work out the best set-up for the bike. So this morning we had to check some things and try a change. We made some good progress and continued with that this afternoon, setting a consistent pace throughout the day. Obviously we need to continue improving and to find a bit more pace for the race but we still have room to improve we know what we need to do."
18th Leon Camier 1.58.635: "Even though I set a strong and consistent pace today I didn't manage to put a hot lap together. I am happy with the work we did though and we know where we need to improve. To be honest I think the progress we have made is pretty incredible, we've taken a few seconds off the lap time from yesterday to today, but we need more time and losing a session to the rain yesterday didn't help. We are gradually closing the gap to the guys in front of us, our pace here is better than it was at Indy and hopefully we can have a good race tomorrow after all the hard work so far this weekend."
Ninth pole position of the season for Marquez in close qualifying session at Brno
Round 11: Czech Republic Grand Prix - Qualifying
Brno, Saturday August 16 2014
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 - Dry. Ambient 15-16°C; Track 21-24°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP - Dry. Ambient 18-19°C; Track 34-36°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez claimed his ninth pole position of the season at Brno in an entertaining qualifying session in which the top eleven riders were covered by just half a second in Qualifying Practice 2.
Marquez's best lap time of 1'55.585 was just 0.058 seconds shy of the Circuit Best Lap record and was enough to see him grab pole position ahead of a pair of Ducati riders that claimed a front row start for tomorrow's race. Ducati Team's Andrea Dovizioso was second quickest in qualifying after clocking a time of 1'55.714 to finish just 0.012 seconds ahead of Pramac Racing's Andrea Iannone who was third quickest in QP2. Both Dovizioso and Iannone set their personal best times using the combination of the medium compound front and soft compound rear slicks, while Marquez used the medium compound front and rear slicks on the way to pole position.
Weather conditions today were similar to yesterday with cool ambient temperatures and occasional rain falling throughout the day. The rain didn't affect any of the MotoGP? sessions and the track temperature reached a maximum of 36°C - 5° warmer than yesterday's peak reading. With yesterday's Free Practice 2 session a washout, the riders used today to hone their setup on their preferred tyre combination and perform race simulations in the afternoon FP4 session. The cool temperatures resulted in the majority of riders preferring to use their softer rear slick option; medium compound for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders, soft compound for the Ducati and Open-class riders for both long runs in practice and to set a quick lap in qualifying. The majority of riders opted for the medium compound front slick today due to its balance of braking and cornering performance, with other riders preferring the better warm-up performance and edge grip of the soft compound front.
The next MotoGP? session is twenty-minute morning Warm Up at 0940 local time (GMT +1) and the twenty-two lap Czech Republic Grand Prix will get underway at 1400.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
"Yesterday we saw that the gap among the top riders was very close, with the Ducati, Honda and Yamaha riders all evenly matched and I am happy this trend continued today. This is a good indication that our 2014 specification MotoGP slicks offer good performance to all makes of machine and the pace during race simulations in FP4 was close as well. Our two main front tyre specifications for this weekend, the soft and medium compound are working well at Brno and I expect most riders to use the medium compound front for the race. The soft and medium rear slicks are also preferred by the majority of riders as this gives the best cornering performance and drive grip here at Brno. We've had many close races at Brno in recent years and the signs are good for another exciting contest tomorrow."