Pedrosa takes pole with Marquez third
Repsol Honda rider sets fastest time qualifying, as Marc Marquez places third and crashes late on.
Repeating his performance of a year ago, Dani Pedrosa took pole position in qualifying at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. It was at a session in which the two Repsol Honda Team riders both pushed for the top spot on tomorrow's grid for the Catalan Grand Prix. On his third attempt at pole, Marc Marquez crashed and was unable to improve his lap time.
In the morning, during the third practice session of the weekend, Marquez had cut more than seven tenths from his best Friday lap, finishing second behind Stefan Bradl. Teammate Dani Pedrosa managed to lower his lap times by nearly a second compared to Friday, setting the fourth fastest time. In the final 30 minutes of allotted practice, Marquez claimed the top spot on the timesheets with Pedrosa third. That order was reversed in the subsequent qualifying session.
Pedrosa decided to use two tyres in qualifying, whereas Marquez opted for three. The latter set a 1'41.135 time on his second attempt but, when using his third tyre with just 1 minute on the clock, he made a mistake and crashed. Thus his run of seven pole positions (six in 2014) came to an end. Instead, pole went to Pedrosa, who set the fastest time of 1'40.985.
In tomorrow's race, which starts at 2pm local time, both Repsol Honda riders will share the front row with Jorge Lorenzo.
Marc Marquez 3rd 1:41.135
"Today I made the first mistake of the season, so I need to apologise to the team because it was my fault. The strategy we had set out was coming together perfectly, but when riding with the last tyre I braked too late. I knew it was my last attempt, so I tried to go into the corner anyway. That was not the best choice; I should have written off the lap, but these things happen when you are riding at home; you always try to give a little bit extra. We know for tomorrow that there is no more room for improvement on that corner and that we have a good setup with which to fight for the win."
Dani Pedrosa 1st 1:40.985 40 laps 189 km
"I am very happy to have taken pole position today, in front of my family and the home fans! I am also delighted that, for the first time this year, I felt good on the bike in qualifying. I'll try and get a good start from pole position tomorrow, I am sure that it will be very hot and we will have to manage the tyres well during the race, but we will try to do as well as possible!"
Excellent third row for Yonny Hernandez, eleventh time for Andrea Iannone
Another day of scorching heat and a lot of fans a frame this special Saturday for the Colombian rider Yonny Hernandez, who gained for the first time in his career direct access to the QP2. Andrea Iannone had a harder time finding the right set-up despite the efforts of the team.
The rising temperatures did not help Andrea solve the problem of the grip on his GP14. Since the first morning session he had a hard time riding the motorcycle when cornering and even harder in fast direction changes. Andrea, who was forced to work hard, was not able to get direct access to the second qualifying session. he tackled the fifteen minutes of QP1 conquering access to the QP2. With only one good tire left for qualifying, the twenty-four did not pull off the front rows finishing in eleventh position for tomorrows starting grid.
An amazing FP3 allows Yonny to place his Desmosedici in eighth position ahead of his fellow Ducati rider gaining direct access in QP2 for the first time. The EnergyT.I. rider remains focused and determined and in QP2 puts down the best performance of his career in qualifying with a lap time of 1'41"671, earning the ninth position. He will start from the third row in tomorrow race.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing)
"Today was a difficult day, we were not able to find the solution of the problem. unfortunately I was not able to enter directly into QP2, and because of this, we had a tire in less for qualifying to and this penalized me a bit. I'm quite confident for tomorrow, there are riders in front of me who have a slower pace than mine. Tommorow will be a difficult day; I do not think we can find a solution to the problem but I will do my best to bring home valuable points for the championship. "
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing)
"I'm really pleased with the results of these two days. We managed to stay consistently in the top ten throughout the weekend. The results we are getting are the thanks to work that begun earlier in the season and now I'm able to ride with more experienced riders is a great outcome for me and my team. I want to thank the whole team, in particular, Francesco and Giacomo for putting in my hands a more competitive bike. After all the work done in these days I hope to finish the race in a good position. "
Barcelona Grand Prix Moto2 Qualifying
Circuit: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Circuit Length: 4.727 m
Bike # 5 - Johann Zarco
FP3: P4; 1'47.455 - 19 laps
Qualifying: P8; 1'47.595 - 18 laps
Bike # 2 - Josh Herrin
FP3: P28; 1'48.887 - 18 laps
Qualifying: P29; 1'48.737 - 20 laps
FP3: (Conditions) Dry; (air temp) 31░, (track temp) 44░
Qualifying: (Conditions) Dry; (air temp) 29░, (track temp) 48░
AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing rider Johann Zarco will start tomorrows Moto2 race in eighth place. After some initial set-up changes to the #5 Caterham Suter he quickly improved his time from day one, launching himself into the top four throughout FP3.
Despite being unable to better his time from the morning session the Frenchman pushed hard to qualify on the third row.
Struggling to get into a rhythm Moto2 rookie Josh Herrin was unable to achieve his target position in Qualifying but determined to progress, the American battled on to improve his time with a 1'48.737.
#5 Johann Zarco:
"Eighth position is not bad because when we started on Friday it was so difficult to be fast but we made a big improvement this morning with the set-up. My feeling was quite good and I was able to improve my lap time. I had hoped to continue this in the afternoon but it was not possible. The feeling on the bike was not exactly the same as in FP3, so I was pushing more and when I did this the times were not coming. I fought a lot to do my qualifying time.
"At this moment I am disappointed so I need to look ahead and refocus for tomorrow. Overall it is not very bad. The first rider is very quick but to second place it's quite close, so if I have the same pace as Saturday morning, even a little bit quicker, we can have a good race."
#2 Josh Herrin:
"Today didn't go as planned but I'm happy that I improved my time and we also learned a couple of things.
"I'm disappointed with my position so I need to calm down now and concentrate on tomorrow. It's going to be another difficult race so the main target is to finish. I will push to do my best."
Team Manager - Johan Stigefelt:
"We had quite a difficult day on Friday which followed with a lot of meetings and trying to fix the issues that we had.
"With Johann we managed to improve the set-up this morning and they did a very good job. The bike worked well and Johann felt comfortable with it. The times that he was doing were very consistent throughout the session which I was very happy with. For the qualifying we were quite optimistic to make a step further in that direction but unfortunately it didn't really come. There was something with the bike that didn't feel similar to the morning practice. We have to see what that is and try to make it better for tomorrow's race, which I'm confident we can be in the fight for P2.
"For Josh we have been working with a different system this weekend. It has been working quite ok but in the end he was not able to improve his position. Tomorrow we have a bit more to work on so we will see in Warm Up. I'm confident that if he can relax and get into a rhythm on the bike he will have a good race."
Hayden heads sixth row and Aoyama starts from row seven
American hopes to place in the points after two races out, whilst Japanese teammate confident of adding to tally for seventh consecutive round
Yesterday in the premier class practice for the Catalan GP, things were at their most varied this season. Espargarˇ closed the day with the fastest time, Smith dominated the afternoon and several other riders were closing in on the top positions. This trend continued on Saturday morning with the best time going to Stefan Bradl, but in the afternoon practice Marc Marquez was quickest and seemed set for a seventh consecutive pole position. The qualifying session saw him out in front from the opening minute, but fast laps from Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo -plus his own crash late on- knocked him down to third. There is a chance of rain during tomorrow's race, which is set to be a thriller if recent rounds are anything to go by.
That lack of grip is the dominant trend at this Grand Prix is nothing new, and there are several MotoGP riders who have complained about the traction deficit. The DRIVE M7 Aspar riders fought with all their might to get the best possible results today. Nicky Hayden, despite discomfort in his right wrist, did a great job throughout the day, especially in the qualifying. He managed his best time of the weekend so far in that session, placing sixteenth on the grid. The Kentucky Kid knows that tomorrow's race will be tough, but a couple of improvements made today and other ideas for the race give him motivation to take a good result tomorrow. He will be starting from the sixth row of the grid. His teammate, Hiroshi Aoyama, suffered from a lack of rear grip on the rear but tried out a thousand solutions in an attempt to improve. In the end he placed twentieth, from where he hopes to ride a positive race at a circuit he loves.
16th Nicky Hayden 1.43.043: "Riding a qualifying session with my wrist in better shape and with less discomfort would have helped me, but we are here to fight and bouncing back from these situations is part of the game. I guess that tomorrow will be a tough race because of the heat, because of how technical the circuit is and because my wrist is not in perfect shape, but I'll fight as I have done throughout the weekend to try to get the most points possible. This morning I woke up feeling quite good, my wrist wasn't hurt from yesterday after the two sessions and that's good news. We also found two improvements for the qualifying session and we have some more ideas for the morning warmup session, which gives us motivation. After this Grand Prix I will try to continue recovering as quickly as possible during the week-off before Assen."
20th Hiroshi Aoyama 1.43.564: "This morning I felt comfortable, but in the afternoon we made a change in the setup that, instead of helping us, lost our feeling. We thought we were on the right track but it was not the case, so the afternoon sessions were difficult. We wanted to take a step back for qualifying but did not have time. Still, we made some changes to try to improve slightly and to set a good time. The main drawback today was the lack of rear grip, which hurt us on the fast corners. We have seen our shortcomings, so tomorrow we will try something different."
BRADL PLEASED WITH HIS 4th SPOT ON THE GRID AHEAD CATALUNYA GP
Montmelˇ, 28 June: a frenetic QP2 for the Gran Premi de Catalunya GP concluded today with LCR racer Stefan Bradl gaining an encouraging 4th spot on the gird ahead tomorrow's 25-lap race. The German was fast and consistent even on day two at the Catalan race track confirming his good shape and registered a best lap time of 1'41.220 which secured him a second row start behind Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Marquez.
Bradl: "These two days have been very positive for us and we are quite happy about this second row. We demonstrated that our pace is pretty good in all sessions and we are not far from the front guys. Before the qualifying session we made some little adjustments on the suspensions that worked pretty good and the tyre situation is clear now. In the qualifying the yellow flags displayed for Marquez and Bautista and crashes disturbed my performance a bit, even Pedrosa blocked me in the first corner during my second flying lap but anyway it's a good feeling to be back in the front especially after Mugello".
Lorenzo Scores Second in Catalunya Qualifying
14:35 Local time GMT+2 Sunny Air 28░C
Track 47░C Humidity 42%
Montmel˛ Circuit (Spain), 14th June 2014
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo delivered a front row start in front of his home crowd this afternoon, taking second in qualifying for tomorrow's GP Monster Energy de Catalunya.
Teammate Valentino Rossi left it to the last lap to make his move, securing fifth on the second row of the grid.
In a reversal of normal practice Lorenzo was the last to leave the pits for the 15 minute qualifying heat, allowing the MotoGP pack to move on before hitting an empty race track. He moved straight into third with his first flying lap, a 1'41.463. He was unable to beat the time on his first tyre, returning to the pits with just under seven minutes remaining for fresh rubber. With just five minutes left on the clock he was back on track, ready to attack again as a late lap by rival Stefan Bradl dropped him to fourth. The local hero delivered a perfect lap with just over a minute remaining, delivering a flying 1'41.100 second lap to snatch second on the grid, just 0.115 seconds behind Dani Pedrosa on pole.
Rossi kept the tension high to the last moments of the qualifying heat, leaving the pits late like his teammate, he took tenth on his first flying lap with a 1'42.076 but unable to climb any higher on his first tyre. A pit stop with seven minutes remaining offered a fresh rear tyre and another chance to step up. As the clocked tick it took until the last minute for a clear run and a good lap, the nine-time world champion shooting five places up the timesheets with a 1'41.290 to take fifth for a second row start, 0.506 from pole.
2nd / 1'41.100 / 7 laps
"I made a very good lap, I risked a lot, especially in the braking to make it. Finally we made a good setting for this track, it's hard because with the track and temperatures it's hard to make the bike stable. Tomorrow we will try to make it even more stable. We hope to remain consistent and strong like in Mugello to fight for the win again. We all hope it doesn't rain because a wet race would be difficult to judge. It would be great to win, everyone wants to!"
5th / 1'41.290 / 7 laps
"I'm quite satisfied with this afternoon's result because the target was to stay in the top 5 and I am there at last. For sure the front row is always better and makes things easier but the three Spanish guys in front have showed to be very strong. They have a great pace whilst mine is not at their same level at the moment. Later today and tomorrow morning we'll try hard to improve the bike and stay with them, hopefully closer than we are today. As for the tyres for the race, I guess everybody is going to use the medium rear tyre, while the choice for the front is still open and will depend on tomorrow's temperature and weather conditions."
"We have improved every session and that makes us happy with today's result. Second and fifth place make us confident for tomorrow's race. We still have to slightly improve the race pace, although Jorge's job this afternoon was very good. The weather forecast for tomorrow says that temperatures might be a little lower, which is good for our M1's. It's going to be a hard-fought race, especially with the first three riders who showed to have the best race pace but I expect Valentino to be the outsider and be part of the game until the very end. We still have half day to find something to test tomorrow morning in the warm-up. I am sure at 2pm we will be ready to get the best possible results."
Challenging qualifying for Tech3 duo in Catalunya
Bradley Smith yet again produced a strong-minded display in Q2 which will see him start the 25 lap sprint tomorrow at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya Grand Prix in 8th position. The British star began today by extending his positive run in Montmelo which saw him finish yesterdays FP2 session in 1st and then setting the 3rd quickest time in FP3 this morning. This left him 4th overall in the combined free practice standings and made him progress straight through to Q2. The 23 year old Britain rode with rapidity from the word go in the 15 minute shoot out session, yet experienced some small balance issues which prevented him slightly. Nevertheless, at the close of the session Smith's best lap of 1.41,491 enabled him to clinch 8th on the grid. Additionally, his persistent efforts saw the British rider's best lap only half of a second behind the leading bike and tomorrow he will confidently battle for a top 5 position aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1.
Local hero Pol Espargaro rode with total determination in QP2 to leave him 10th on the grid for his home Grand Prix in Montmelo. Espargaro completed FP3 this morning to set a best lap of 1.41,950 which allowed him to graduate straight through to the second qualifying session for the 6th time in succession in his impressive rookie season. With the sun glaring down and track temperatures reaching peaks of 47 degrees, the 23 year old Catalan who was buoyed on by his adoring home fans and family, proceeded to battle onwards and posted a best lap of 1.41,677, less than 0.7 from the leading bike of Dani Pedrosa. Tomorrow Espargaro will be aiming to ascend up the starting grid and produce another firm display in his seventh Grand Prix in the premier class.
Position : 8th Time :1'41.491 Lap : 8
"Although I'm not where I want to be and a little frustrated I still feel positive for the race tomorrow. We tried a few different settings on the bike in which some worked better than others and I consistently went faster in every session which of course is a big positive. This was despite the fact that in the end it wasn't quite enough to get to the front. I wasn't too confident with the turning of the bike and it felt like I had my elbows buried in the ground! This is something we will look to work on tomorrow morning during the warm up. In the race I aim to get a good start then push as much as possible especially during the first laps, so that I can try to follow the leading pack for as long as possible."
Position : 10th
Time : 1'41.677 Lap : 7
"I can't be satisfied with our qualifying performance today. We struggled the whole weekend in one sector of the track, where we are losing more time than in the rest of the lap and unfortunately we cant find a solution yet. But when I was behind Jorge during the last minutes of the session I tried to follow his line and we will check the data now to compare what might be best compromise. Of course starting from the 10th position will not make things easy for tomorrow but I will try to get a good start and keep my head down to offer a good show for my fans."
Dovizioso seventh and Crutchlow thirteenth in today's Catalunya GP qualifying
Andrea Dovizioso will start from row 3 of the grid for the Catalunya Grand Prix, the seventh round of the MotoGP World Championship which will take place tomorrow at the Montmelˇ circuit, after recording a best time of 1'41.337 in the decisive qualifying session.
The Italian was particular impressive in the final fifteen-minute Q2 session, just missing out on the front row by two-tenths of a second. Dovizioso also lapped just three-tenths away from the pole position mark and is confident that his pace for tomorrow's race is quite good.
Team-mate Crutchlow was in a bit more difficulty today, missing out on a top 10 position after the three free practice sessions. He then had to take part in Q1, but he was only third quickest in that session and so was excluded from the final run. The British rider will start tomorrow's race from row 5 with thirteenth quickest time.
Michele Pirro, test-rider of the Ducati Test Team, placed two positions behind Cal with fifteenth quickest time and will also start from row 5.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) - 7th (1'41.337)
"I am very happy with my time, because I did a really good lap. This afternoon it was really hot and it wasn't easy to set such good times. Unfortunately I'll be starting from the third row, I just missed out on the front row by a few tenths! Luckily we're all pretty close together, and I don't have such a bad race pace either. We know the race will be tough and doing 25 laps in this heat will be very tiring, but I am satisfied because together with my team, we worked really well this weekend."
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) - 13th (1'42.578)
"Qualifying was obviously very disappointing. I was unable to make a good lap time, and I am way too far away from Andrea, but also from Yonny Hernandez, who with his GP13 made a very good time. For sure we need to improve if we want to get a good result in tomorrow's race."
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) - 15th (1'42.955)
"Even though the weather was a bit hotter than this morning, in the afternoon I still managed to improve my time and verify that the bike was working well with the new electronics strategies we were trying. I am quite happy because my feeling with the GP14 was much better. We have prepared as well as possible for tomorrow, hopefully we can have a good race."
t's been a day of mixed fortunes for the Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini at the Gran Premi de Catalunya: rookie Scott Redding claimed the fourth position in the Qualifying 1 session, which means that the young Briton will start tomorrow's race from 14th place, in front of all the other three Open Class Honda RCV1000R, but unfortunately his team-mate Alvaro Bautista was only 12th fastest following a huge high side crash during the decisive Qualifying 2 session.
Bautista was on his second flying lap of his first exit when he had a huge high side crash at turn 6: although battered, he went again out on track in the final stages, posting his best lap time, 1'42"024. The Spaniard was then taken to the medical centre for additional checks, wich fortunately excluded fractures but highlighted only a few bruises, particularly in the chest and right ankle.
Scott Redding put in a good 1'42"730 to claim the 14th position on the grid: the English rookie lowered his best lap time from free practice by over 0.7 seconds, beating rival Nicky Hayden, who rides a similar Honda RCV1000R, by 0.3 seconds.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (12th - 1'42"024)
"It's been a big crash and now I'm sore, especially in the chest and right ankle, but fortunately nothing is broken. Today the feeling with the bike was better than yesterday, although everything is not yet in place as we would like: during the third free practice session we were not far from the fastest riders, and it was a shame not to be entered directly into Q2. In any case, we faced the Q1 calmly, then in Q2 I fell while I was on my first attempt, with the tyres already used in Q1. At least I had time to get back on track with the other bike in the end, in order to forget soon what happened... As I said we are not one hundred percent but I am confident for the race, because our pace is not very far from that of the other riders. We'll have to keep an eye on the weather, and in any case we will give our best, as always".
SCOTT REDDING (14th - 1'42"730)
"I'm really happy with my qualifying time; it's only a shame we couldn't get into Qualifying 2, but we knew we have a big disadvantage here with two long straights. Anyway, now we need to work for the race: we want to try and collect a few more points for the championship. Today we have been the fastest ?Production Racer' Honda, which is still our target, and now we want to make the same thing tomorrow in the race. Unfortunately we don't know yet if we can use the softer tyre: it could be difficult, so maybe we have to use the hard tyre for the race distance. Hovewer, we will give everything and we will se how it goes".
"Unfortunately, after having entered into the Qualifying 2 with the fastest time in Qualifying 1, Bautista fell during the decisive session and therefore has not had the opportunity to improve further. Anyway, the most important thing is that Alvaro is good: fortunately there is nothing broken, though obviously now he's feeling some pain. We will start the race from the back, right, but tomorrow we will try our best to get a good result, as always. Redding did a very good lap time, leaving behind him all the other Open Class Honda machines: we are confident that tomorrow we can confirm ourselves as the best ?Production Racer' bike on track".
Pedrosa on pole position for the Catalan Grand Prix
Round 7: Catalan MotoGP - Qualifying Practice
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Saturday June 14 2014
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 - Dry. Ambient 25-29░C; Track 37-43░C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP - Dry. Ambient 30-33░C; Track 46-54░C (Bridgestone measurement)
Dani Pedrosa claimed pole position at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the second year running, after the Repsol Honda rider set a time of 1'40.985 to lead an all-Spanish front row at the Catalan Grand Prix.
On another hot day where track temperatures reached over 50░C, Pedrosa kept his cool to claim the front slot on the grid from Yamaha Movistar MotoGP's Jorge Lorenzo by just 0.115 seconds. Completing the front row was Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez, who crashed while chasing his seventh-straight pole position but still managed to clock the third quickest time of 1'41.135. All riders on the front row used the medium compound slicks front and rear during their time attack in Qualifying Practice 2.
The peak track temperature today of 54░C was recorded during Free Practice 4, with today's objective for the teams being to find a tyre combination that could tame the greasy track conditions brought on by the scorching temperatures. With grip hard to come by from the track surface, the riders looked for maximum grip and stability from their tyres, and as a result, the medium compound front slick was preferred by almost every rider. Rear tyre choice for the race also became clearer after today's practice sessions, with the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders, and the majority of the Ducati riders almost certain to race the medium compound rear slick. Most of the Open-class riders look set to choose the soft compound rear slick for the twenty-five lap Catalan Grand Prix.
Weather forecasts indicate a high probability of rain tomorrow, and tomorrow's Warm Up session at 0940 local time (GMT+1) may be the only opportunity for the riders to assess the circuit in wet conditions before the race commences tomorrow afternoon at 1400.
Masao Azuma - Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
"Today we had the same hot conditions and during the practice sessions the riders were able to test a few different tyre combinations, so we now have a much clearer idea of what will be used for the race. The combination of the high track temperature and the low-grip surface here at Montmelˇ means that the riders need as much grip as possible from their tyres to compensate. This means that we don't expect any Factory-class riders to use the hard compound rear slick tomorrow; instead the medium compound will be their main race tyre. Rear tyre choice for the Open-class riders is more varied, with most of them preferring the soft compound rear, while others feel the medium compound rear offers more consistent performance over race distance. Front tyre choice is more straightforward, with almost every rider preferring the medium compound front as it gives good cornering grip and strong braking performance at the end of the straights. There is still a strong possibility of rain tomorrow, in which case the teams will have two wet tyre compound options to choose from for the race. "