IMPRESSIVE CRUTCHLOW TOPS THE TIMESHEETS ON DAY ONE IN MUGELLO
PRESS RELEASE: 02 June 2017 | Mugello GP Day One
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow set the pace on the opening day of the Italian Grand Prix at a scorching Mugello. The Briton – riding with a #69 sticker on his front fender to honour the memory of Nicky Hayden – laid down an early marker as he looks to maintain his impressive early season form at round six of the MotoGP World Championship in Tuscany.
In the morning session Crutchlow was tenth fastest, but a switch to a softer rear tyre in this afternoon’s FP2 saw the 31-year-old post the best lap of the day. The LCR man finished ahead of Ducati rider Andrea Doviszioso in second, with the Yamaha of Jonas Folger in third. However, Crutchlow insists there is still much room for improvement over the weekend.
Cal Crutchlow – 1st
(1’47.635 – lap 16 of 18)
“This race is very important for my Team and it’s a good atmosphere. I don’t feel fantastic with the bike as I’ve not been feeling too good over the past couple of days. I have a couple of injuries, but I was quite happy with the overall performance today”.
“We still have to improve, in the middle of the corner the feeling of the bike is not great when turning – although that could have been the tyre we’re using. Hopefully we can improve that tonight and then do better tomorrow”.
Dovizioso second at the end of Day 1 of Italian GP practice at Mugello. Fourth quickest time for wild-card entry Pirro, while Lorenzo is tenth in today’s provisional standings
The first day of action for the Italian GP, round 6 of the championship schedule for this weekend at the Mugello circuit in Tuscany, came to a close with three Ducati factory riders in the top ten. The gaps in the MotoGP field were minimal, with the first sixteen riders in the standings separated by less than eight-tenths of a second.
Andrea Dovizioso placed second at the end of the two free practice sessions held today. The Italian topped the timesheets in the morning’s FP1 run with a time of 1’47.394 and was leading FP2 until a few minutes before the end, when his time was bettered by Cal Crutchlow by just 29 thousandths of a second.
Jorge Lorenzo finished in tenth place in the day’s combined standings. The Spanish rider, sixth in the morning, was unable to improve on his time of 1’47.747 in the afternoon, but in any case remained in the provisional top ten.
An excellent performance came from Michele Pirro, Ducati test-rider and entered as a wild-card for Mugello with the Desmosedici GP 2017 of the Ducati Test Team. The Italian, second behind Dovizioso in the morning’s session, finished the opening day at Mugello in fourth place with a time of 1’47.595.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’47.394 (2nd)
“We have started the weekend really well, much better than I expected, and it’s always important to start strongly in a race weekend. My feeling is good and we were able to keep a good pace even in the heat of the afternoon, but we were not as quick as we would have liked mid-corner, and this will be where we will focus our work. In any case we are really competitive, and today we also managed to try all the tyres available because it was important to have feedback for tomorrow and for the race.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 1’47”747 (10th)
“This morning, even though I was not totally at ease on the bike, I managed to set some good times. Unfortunately on the last lap, when I had fitted a new tyre, I found some traffic in the last corner and was not able to improve my lap time. In the afternoon we focussed on lapping with used tyres in view of the race, but we didn’t manage to be really quick. In general, I can’t be too satisfied because I’m still missing something in the settings to be able to ride with more confidence and set quicker times.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 1’47.595 (4th)
“It was a positive day for me, because we managed to work well both this morning and this afternoon and we were also quick with used tyres. Unfortunately we are still struggling a bit in the third sector and so we have to focus on improving this aspect. I want to thank the team because they have given me a very competitive bike, and tomorrow we will try and take the Desmosedici as far to the front as possible.”
Movistar Yamaha Tackle first Tuscan Free Practice Sessions
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were back on track for the first free practice sessions at the Autodromo del Mugello. Viñales was in fine form in the morning, but a crash in the afternoon cost him valuable track time, leaving him in fifth position in the combined timesheets. Rossi focused on both getting a feel for the track and assessing his condition ahead of this weekend’s Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, and set the fourteenth fastest time of the day.
Still in good spirits from his victory in Le Mans, Viñales showed a strong pace in the 45-minute morning session. With a clear track in front of him, he was quick to find a good setting and topped the standings for most of the time with a 1’47.669s lap, until various riders put in a soft tyre towards the end of FP1. However, the young Spaniard underlined how fast his race pace is, as he held third place when the chequered flag came out, 0.275s off the front.
The afternoon saw a similar start to the proceedings. The number 25 rider was quick to ride his YZR-M1 to second place in the rankings, but a fast crash, 13 minutes into the session at turn 9, lost him some valuable practice time. Despite not being able to use FP2 to the fullest, Viñales was quickly back into the groove when he headed out on his second bike and in fresh leathers. He wrapped up FP2 in thirteenth place, with a 1’48.014s lap on his last try, 0.649s from first.
Local hero Rossi was also out on track in the Tuscan sunshine this morning and impressed with his brave performance as he prepared for his first home race of the season. Despite the fact that hes still recovering from injury, the Italian completed 15 laps and tested various settings for his YZR-M1 throughout the morning practice, to finish in fifteenth place with a best lap of 1’48.513s, 1.119s off the fastest time.
The nine-time World Champion further improved in FP2. Encouraged by the loud cheering of the Italian fans, he gradually quickened his pace. He used the afternoon session to further fine-tune his bikes setting and finished strong, in twelfth place, with a fastest lap of 1’48.000s, 0.513s faster than his best time of FP1 and 0.635s from the FP2 leader.
Todays results see Viñales placed fifth in the combined session times, 0.304s from the front, with Rossi in fourteenth, 0.635s off today’s fastest time.
Position 5th – Time: 1’47.669 – Laps: 31
It was a big crash, so Im really lucky to walk away from it. There was some damage done, but Im still OK. I went back to the box and headed out on a totally different bike, with a few things that I didnt like and a full tank, but I was still feeling good, putting in 148.0s laps in these hot temperatures, which was quite nice. I think Im going to be alright for the rest of the weekend. If the session just now was OK, I think on Sunday I will be much better. We still need to modify some things on the electronics, but I feel good.
Position 14th – Time: 1’48.000 – Laps: 33
Today’s sessions were very important to get an understanding of my condition. This morning I suffered a lot, I had a lot of pain on the right, especially on acceleration, but this afternoon the situation was a bit better. I struggled physically, especially with my breathing, because I’m not at 100%, but it is getting better. We hope that tomorrow and Sunday the situation will improve. Usually Friday is the most difficult day, so we had to suffer a bit, but we tried.
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director
Though its not clearly reflected in todays time sheets, actually we had quite a good start to the weekend. Maverick showed he has a great race pace this morning in FP1. It was unfortunate that a fall in FP2 prohibited him from bettering his fastest lap from the morning, because he lost some valuable track time. Still, given the fact that he set this mornings time on the medium compound, we know that his fifth place in the combined times is only a vague indication of his form out on track. Today, Valentino made his first kilometres on the bike since his motocross incident. He used some light painkillers for FP2 and managed to make some good progress in the afternoon. He has surprised all of us with his quick recovery and his speed on the track in both sessions. I’m sure tomorrow hell feel even better both physically and on the bike.
Impressive Folger closes day one in 3rd Zarco straight up to speed
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team enjoyed a thoroughly positive first day of action at the spectacular Mugello circuit with both riders notably finishing inside the top six. Jonas Folger kicked off his weekend with a superb run to 3rd, to end up as the top Yamaha and merely 0.178 from the leading time. Whilst Johann Zarco concluded the day strongly and in 6th overall but just 0.131 behind his teammate. The riders seek to power onwards and continue the momentum tomorrow in FP3, which commences at 09:55.
Position 3rd – Time: 1’47.543 – Laps: 35
I am really happy with todays result and it was a super way to begin the Mugello round. Of course, I am satisfied with my lap time, but I am even more pleased because I am comfortable on the YZR-M1 and I already feel confident at this track even though its my first time here on a MotoGP bike. There is a big difference between the soft and hard tyres on this asphalt, so we tried the harder compound for a long time before eventually switching over at the end. Tomorrow we have to see how far we can go on the softer tyre because Johann did a lot of laps with this option and he was strong, so therefore, it could be a good option for the race. Anyway, we had a great day and I am looking forward to getting back on the track.
Position 6th – Time: 1’47.674 – Laps: 35
The first day went positively for us and I am confident for the rest of the weekend. The team and I worked with the soft tyre, which gave me a good feeling, and I was able to ride some solid lap times. However, this morning, I had to force the bike a bit, yet I found more control in the afternoon and here, I was very consistent and I enjoyed myself. It was a bit challenging to be faster because it was quite hot, and the grip level on the track is good but this means that when the temperature rises, it becomes trickier to improve, just like at the Jerez circuit. Anyway, I am still inside the top ten which is really important and I have to keep it until the end of FP3 so that I can get into Q2. I will keep working and there is some information to analyse, but overall I am happy. In addition, it may be possible for us to use the soft tyres for the race, however, we will confirm this tomorrow, yet it could be the right option to fight for another podium.
Repsol Honda Team work on race setup at Mugello
The Repsol Honda Team fully exploited the ideal weather conditions of the opening day of the Grand Prix of Italy to work on their RC213V, trying different setup solutions.
Dani Pedrosa set his fastest time in 1’47.699 in the FP2 session, while Marc Marquez recorded his own best of 1’47.980 in FP1, choosing to not use the soft rear tyre in the afternoon in order to continue focusing on preparation for the race.
Lap times were so close today that Dani finished seventh fastest in the combined standings (just 0.334” off the top) and Marc 13th, with the top 16 riders split by less than 8 tenths.
7TH (COMBINED FREE PRACTICE TIMES)
“Today we worked to adapt the bike’s setup to the track and new front tyres. We struggled a little bit with the grip, but anyway, we’ve been able to test a few things on the bike and also work on the tyres. Our rhythm was constant and that’s positive, and we’ve gathered some information that we’ll use tomorrow to further improve the feeling and the lap times. We’ll try to be fast tomorrow in FP3 as that’s important for qualifying, and in FP4 we’ll work more on the race pace.”
13TH (COMBINED FREE PRACTICE TIMES)
“Considering that for once the weather was very good from the beginning, and so are the forecasts for the whole weekend, we decided to work and try a few things on the bike setup and prepare as well as possible for the race. We worked on a few very different solutions, looking to improve the confidence in the front, and we therefore didn’t use the soft rear tyre option and sacrificed the fast laps a little bit. We’re struggling a bit, but I’m still quite happy because our rhythm isn’t so bad. It seems like we’re getting closer step by step. Tomorrow we’ll put it all together and try to be closer to the top.”
Petrux and Scott 12th and 15th after the first day of free practices action at Mugello
The first day of free practice for #ItalianGp started very well for Danilo Petrucci who showed to have a great feeling in FP1 with his Ducati Desmosedici GP ending up in seventh without using the soft-rubber. A technical problem at his moto-1 in the afternoon did not allow him to finish in the Top 10. All things considered, the feelings for Petrux still remain positive in view of the tomorrow’s FP3.
Scott’s start was a bit tougher. The English rider couldn’t find a good feeling and with his team he worked hard on set up and tires.
The two Octo Pramac Racing riders finish the first day of free practice in the 12th and 15th positions iof the combined standings
12th – Danilo Petrucci – 1’47.950
“I started very well. We had decided to use the hard-tyres ahead of the race and the pace was very good. Unfortunately the bike stopped and I had to use the second bike that had another setting. I felt a lot of chattering and did not find a good feeling. Unfortunately we lost a bit of time but the morning feeling was very good”.
15th – Scott Redding – 1’48.111
“I struggled a lot today but the gap from the Top 10 is not wide. With the medium-tires I did not find feeling and in the afternoon we went out with the hard. Things have gone a little better but I still feel that I have no feeling with the front. We will try to work to improve especially in changing direction where I still don’t feel comfortable”.