Spanish GP of Jerez # 1 Friday MotoGP Quote Machine

Rossi: ‘Sincerely, I don’t know how we will improve this, but we have to find something, because tomorrow morning it will be very important to try to stay in the top 10 and go straight into Q2.’


GP of Spain – Combined Classification after Day 1:

1. M.MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 1’37.350
2. M.VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 1’37.374 – +0.024
3. C.CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda CASTROL – 1’37.438 – +0.088
4.A.DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – 1’37.471 – +0.121
5. J.MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’37.481 – +0.131
6. J.MILLER – Pramac Racing – 1’37.487 – +0.137
7. A.RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’37.569 – +0.219
8. P.ESPARGARO – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’37.712 – +0.362
9. I.LECUONA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – 1’37.714 – +0.364
10. B.BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’37.923 – +0.573
11. J.ZARCO – Hublot Reale Avintia Racing – 1’37.940 – +0.590
12. F.MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 1’37.982 – +0.632
13. V.ROSSI – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 1’38.118 – +0.768
14. T.NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 1’38.129 – +0.779
15. F.QUARTARARO – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 1’38.152 – +0.802
16. A.ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’38.209 – +0.859
17. A.MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 1’38.212 – +0.862
18. F.BAGNAIA – Pramac Racing – 1’38.316 – +0.966
19. T.RABAT – Hublot Reale Avintia Racing – 1’38.337 – +0.987
20. M.OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – 1’38.506 – +1.156
21. D.PETRUCCI – Ducati Team – 1’38.507 – +1.157
22. B.SMITH – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’38.730 – +1.380

MotoGP Press Office

Friday, 17 July 2020
After setting the fastest time in the cooler FP1 conditions at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) takes the opening Friday honours of 2020 as he remained fastest by the end of play – but it was far from an easy return to the top for the reigning Champion. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was just 0.024 in arrears, and after having topped the last couple of tests, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) completing the top three less than a tenth off the top.

FP1 saw the action get underway as an eager Bradley Smith (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) roared out of pitlane as the first MotoGP™ bike out in an official race weekend session this year, and the morning session was the one that would count most on the timesheets for most of the grid. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) had to sit out the first 20 minutes of the session though, with the Frenchman given a penalty for training on “illegal” machinery – ie outside the regs – but by the end though the time attacks were underway full force, and it was Marquez who came out on top. With Viñales and Crutchlow so close, and Quartararo not yet having had the same running, the Jaws music need not start quite yet for the reigning Champion though.

In the afternoon it was Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) who proved the man to beat in FP2, but the times were a good eight tenths slower in a sweltering afternoon at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto. Quartararo was second in the more “race similar” conditions, and the only man to improve, with rookie Brad Binder putting in a stunner to put his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine inside the top three in the session and only a tenth off the top. FP2 also saw the first two race weekend crashes of the season: Marc Marquez and rookie teammate Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), with both lowsiding out (separately) and unhurt.

Overall though, it’s Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) who takes fourth as the veteran Italian really cranked up the pace after a more anonymous day on the Wednesday test timesheets, looking strong despite being on the way back from a collarbone injury, with Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) turning the tables on more experienced teammate Alex Rins to complete the top five. Rins was seventh, just behind Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) as the Aussie stuck it in sixth.

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) took eighth in an impressive first day, and he led a trio of KTMs in the top ten overall on Friday. Rookie Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) put in an awesome performance to end up only 0.002 off the more experienced Espargaro and take ninth, with the aforementioned Brad Binder, as well as ending FP2 in third, doing an impressive enough job with his FP1 time to take tenth overall.

Johann Zarco (Reale Avintia Racing) was P11 after a solid day, ahead of Morbidelli on the combined timesheets, with Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) next up in P13 on Friday. The ‘Doctor’ seemed to have a tougher time of it on Day 1, but remains the most recent winner for Yamaha at the track (from pole, in 2016) so he’ll be looking for more on Saturday. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) was fourteenth, with Quartararo ending the day in fifteenth and surely heading for a bounce back on Saturday.

Saturday begins at 9:55 (GMT +2) for MotoGP™ with FP3, which also welcomes in the riders’ last chance to move directly into Q2. With temperatures expected to be a little cooler in the morning, there could well be a big chance to improve – and the likes of Rossi and Quartararo will be top of the list for a time attack late in the session. Qualifying then begins at 14:10.

 

********

Ducati

Dovizioso 4th and Petrucci 21st at the end of the first two free practice sessions of the Spanish GP in Jerez

The Ducati Team riders took to the track today for the first two free practice sessions of the MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix, scheduled for this weekend at the Andalusian circuit of Jerez de la Frontera.

Andrea Dovizioso closed the first day with the fourth time overall, thanks to a fast lap in 1:37.471 posted with his Desmosedici GP bike during the morning session, when the asphalt temperatures had not yet exceeded the 50 degrees that were reached in the afternoon, allowing a quicker pace.

His teammate Danilo Petrucci, who was back on the bike again after a nasty crash suffered on Wednesday’s pre-race test that, luckily, left him with no significant consequences, ended FP2 in 13th position. The provisional classification currently sees him in 21st place at the end of the first day, with the fastest time of 1:38.507 posted during this morning FP1.

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1:37.471 (4th)
“Today went well! I am pleased because we were able to take a step further than Wednesday’s test, and that was our main goal for the day. We got very close to the fastest riders, and we also have a good pace ahead of Sunday’s race. The GP this Sunday will be very hard, and I still don’t feel completely comfortable on the bike, but we have several aspects that we need to work on, and for sure, we have room for improvements. In general, I am satisfied with this first day.”

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1:38.507 (21st)
“It was quite difficult to find the rhythm immediately after Wednesday’s crash! In this morning’s session, I didn’t feel completely well on the bike, but, in the afternoon, I started to regain the feeling with the Desmosedici GP despite the great heat. There are still several aspects that we need to improve, especially the race pace, but we have already managed to get closer to the firsts, and this makes me positive and confident for the rest of the weekend”.

The Ducati Team riders will be back out on the track tomorrow, Saturday, 18th July, at 9:55 local time for the Free Practice 3, while Qualifying will be held in the afternoon after FP4 starting from 14:10 local time.

******************

LCR

THIRD OVERALL ON POSITIVE FIRST DAY OF MOTOGP RACING FOR CRUTCHLOW
17 July 2020 | Spanish GP Practice
After 243 days since the last racing action in MotoGP, the world’s premier motorcycle racing series finally got its wheels turning once more, with the first day of practice at the closed-doors Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez on Friday.

It was an excitingly positive return to track for Cal Crutchlow and the LCR Honda Castrol Team, with the Englishman producing an excellent third place overall on board his GIVI branded RC213V. LCR’s long-term partners (www.givi.it) will shine on the Brit’s bike for 7 races this year, and will hope to join Cal in another podium celebration in Sunday’s 25-lap race.

Crutchlow was third in the morning session and sixth in the afternoon as he and the team got to grips with the sweltering summer sunshine in southern Spain. Temperatures on track closed in on 60 degrees Celsius and will be one of the main obstacles to overcome in qualifying on Saturday, as the riders go for grid position for the first of 13 provisional races in the rearranged MotoGP calendar.
Cal Crutchlow – 3rd
(1’37.438)
“Today was not a bad day at all. We worked really well as a team and it’s nice to be back into a race weekend after waiting as long as we have to get back. We tested on Wednesday, but it was great to get out there for real this morning.

“We set not too bad a lap time in the morning session, and then this afternoon we worked on the race-pace and race set-up of the bike and I think we have managed to improve that a little bit. We still have a fair amount of work to do tomorrow, however, to make sure we are ready for Sunday’s first Grand Prix. I can’t wait!”

 

NAKAGAMI RETURNS TO RACE MODE AT SCORCHING SPANISH GP
17 July 2020 | Spanish GP Practice
Eight months to the day since the last racing action in MotoGP, the world’s premier motorcycle racing series was back once more on Friday, with day one of practice at the closed-doors Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez de la Frontera.

For Takaaki Nakagami and his LCR Honda Idemitsu Team, it was a solid start to proceedings, as the Japanese rider clocked the 14th fastest time of the day, albeit having sat in higher positions throughout most of the two practice sessions.

Whereas others put in a softer tyre to set a lap-time, Nakagami didn’t do so, and instead wisely spent the day focusing on his race pace. With the 25-lap shootout promising to be brutal in scorching conditions, this extra effort could prove crucial in Sunday’s opening race.

Temperatures on track were well over 50 degrees Celsius, and the heat is forecast to continue all weekend providing a real challenge for qualifying on Saturday, as the riders go for grid position for the first of 13 provisional races in a rearranged MotoGP calendar.
Takaaki Nakagami – 14th
(1’38.129)
“It was quite a difficult day for us, especially in the morning because we didn’t put in any soft tyres – which most other riders did to get a lap time. We preferred to focus on race tyres, particularly in FP2 in the afternoon. Conditions were really tough. It is extremely hot, but there was also a lot of wind out on track, and so it was difficult to hold onto the bike in the session.

Step by step we started to improve the feeling on the bike but we need to make a lot more improvements, especially in sector four. We are losing a bit there and I need more confidence on the bike there. On this track the last two sectors are so important and require a lot of confidence, so if you don’t have the lap time. We know which areas we need to improve in, so that’s a good thing.

FP3 in the morning will be like a qualifying session and it’s going to be very hard to get through into Q2, but hopefully we will be able to manage it!”

*************

Yamaha

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi had a full-on schedule for today, leaving no stone unturned in preparing for Sunday‘s Gran Premio de España. They ended the first blistering hot day at the Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto in 2nd and 13th place respectively in the combined free practice results.

Viñales was quick to show a strong pace in FP1 and secured second place with a 1‘37.374s best lap. The incredibly hot conditions in the afternoon made it difficult to improve on his morning time, so the Spaniard opted to focus on the race set-up instead in FP2. Whilst pushing hard to get his bike‘s settings perfect for Sunday’s red-hot battle for glory, he clocked a 1‘38.596s on lap 20/21. It earned him 7th place in the FP2 timesheets, 0.471s off the fastest time. Yet his morning time was still faster and earned him 2nd position in the combined free practice timesheets, with a 0.024s-margin to first.

Rossi suffered from a lack of feeling with his rear tyre in the morning session after putting in a few laps. This resulted in him ranking 13th in the FP1 results and a busy afternoon for the Italian. In FP2 his main goal was to find more grip for Sunday‘s race, which is set to take place during the hottest time of the day. The Doctor spent the entire 45 minutes fine-tuning his bike‘s balance. His 1’39.222s fastest lap, set on lap 17/18, put him in 20th place, 1.097s from P1. However, his 1’38.118s from this morning kept him in 13th position in the combined times, 0.768s from the top.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI
TEAM DIRECTOR

It‘s been a mixed first day of school for us. It‘s great to be back in action, but unfortunately also some of our problems from previous years with tyre degradation seem to have returned, especially with Valentino. We already gathered a lot of data during the test on Wednesday, but it‘s never enough, so today‘s sessions, especially the hotter FP2 – held at a similar time as the race – play a significant role in our preparations for Sunday. On the bright side, Maverick is in his element and has been since the last part of the pre-season. The new bike with his riding style makes a good package, and together they result in a positive outcome. He has always been very motivated, but this year we can clearly see that extra fire in his eyes. He is eager to try anything and everything, and his high level is a direct result of it. Valentino suffered more from the heat. He seems to lose feeling with the tyres after a couple of laps, and accordingly he then also struggles with the balance of his bike. We will work hard this evening and overnight to find solutions for both issues to make him feel more comfortable during FP3, when we will be trying out for a place in Q2, a crucial part of the GP weekend.

MAVERICK VIÑALES

It was a good day. The feeling that I have on the bike, and also with the team, is amazing. This morning it was unbelievably good, the bike was working fantastic! I‘m also happy, because this afternoon we worked so well. We found out many, mainly positive, things for the race. I‘m actually very enthusiastic, because in the last run I did some good lap times, which were done towards the end of the tyre‘s life, and I was still fast. For sure, we will still have to improve, but I feel ready. It‘s very important to qualify at the front tomorrow. Judging by the time attacks from this morning, the qualifying times are going to be fast, but our main focus remains the race. We found a good pace today in both the morning and the afternoon conditions, but the problem is that the temperature is so high – and this is a very demanding track, you are working all the time – so it‘s very tough. It‘s also very hard on the bike and the tyres, so it will be an interesting race. We have to keep working hard to improve, especially in the hot conditions in tomorrow‘s FP4.

VALENTINO ROSSI

It was a difficult day. This morning was already not fantastic, but this afternoon it got worse. I’m struggling with the rear grip because, unfortunately, we have a tyre temperature problem, and in this heat we are suffering a lot. In the morning it’s cooler, so that’s a bit better. In the afternoon we lose a lot, so I’m not very fast. We need to work, and we need to improve the bike’s balance to try to be more competitive. Sincerely, I don’t know how we will improve this, but we have to find something, because tomorrow morning it will be very important to try to stay in the top 10 and go straight into Q2.

************

Petronas

The 2020 MotoGP World Championship finally got underway today for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo, who finished FP2 first and second respectively at Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto, Spain. The pair claimed 12th and 15th in the combined times.

Morbidelli, who is going into this first MotoGP racing weekend of the year having signed for the team for two more years, ended the afternoon session at the top of the time sheets with a 1min 38.125secs lap. It was a strong performance by the Italian and bodes well for Sunday’s race, with the high track temperatures of the afternoon indicative of what the riders will have to face. Franco’s best time in FP1 of 1min 37.982secs placed him 12th in the combined standings from the two sessions.

Meanwhile team-mate Quartararo was the only rider to go quicker in the afternoon session, where track temperatures reached 56C, to finish second with a lap time of 1min 38.152secs. The Frenchman used the day to continue improving the set up of his Yamaha YZR-M1 and will use tomorrow’s two free practice sessions to improve one-lap pace. The morning’s fastest time of 1min 38.245secs put Quartararo 17th, but the afternoon lap moved him up to 15th in the combined times.

Tomorrow’s track action will see the two MotoGP riders complete two free practice sessions, the first of which to be held at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT), before the first qualifying session of 2020 for the pair gets underway at 2.10pm local time (8.10pm MYT).

Franco Morbidelli
12th (1’37.982)

It was a really good day for us; we’ve been consistent this morning and we’ve been fast this afternoon. I’m really happy with the overall performance that we have demonstrated today. We need to put everything together and our priority tomorrow is to get directly into Q2, before we think about which tyres to use for the race. Last year was a good race for us here and with the performance we’ve had so far I’m confident ahead of qualifying tomorrow.

Fabio Quartararo
15th (1’38.152)

I struggled in the morning practice, but in the afternoon we had a good setting on the bike and it felt great. The pace was good in the heat, which is really good as the race will be at more or less at the same time as we had FP2 today. We’ve come here with a new bike compared to last year, no running since pre-season testing and that’s why I struggled a lot this morning. We need to go step by step in making improvements, but I’m really looking forward to tomorrow where we can work on our time attack pace ahead of qualifying and I’m feeling confident.

 

***********

Repsol Honda

Repsol Honda Team straight into their rhythm in Jerez

From the moment the flag dropped on Free Practice One, Marc Marquez, Alex Marquez and their respective sides of the Repsol Honda Team garage worked to maximise their return to Grand Prix action.

Having gotten back up to MotoGP speeds during Wednesday’s test, the Repsol Honda Team worked towards Sunday as action for the first MotoGP race of the year began at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto. Temperatures proceeded to rise during the day, ambient temperatures reaching 35°C and the track increasing by 16°C between the sessions – up to 51°C.

Times steadily got faster during the morning session with reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez a constant in the top five. With a best time of 1’37.350, Marc finished the session fastest. A harmless fall midway through Free Practice 2 did little to dent Marc’s momentum, restarting his Honda RC213V and continuing to lap without even returning to the pits. As with the majority of riders, Marc did not improve his time in FP2 and ended the session fourth fastest but ended Friday quickest overall.

The morning session went well for MotoGP rookie Alex Marquez, the Moto2 World Champion making big improvements in his lap time to end just 0.8s behind his team-mate in first. Unfortunately, FP2 started with a small front-end crash at Turn 8, the rider unharmed and immediately up on his feet. This delayed his session by just a few minutes before Alex returned to track. A best time of 1’38.212 in FP1 saw the rookie only 0.3s off a top ten time.

Saturday’s running brings with it the first Qualifying session of 2020, and a final chance to enter into Q2 directly through finishing in the top ten on combined times. A strong showing in the cooler FP3 session could be vital for the first time attack of the season at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España.

Marc Marquez
1st 1’37.350

“I’m happy again today. It is great to officially start the 2020 season and I felt really good from this morning, starting with the base we found on Wednesday. Then in the afternoon today we started to experiment a bit, trying a few ideas and using the time differently. I feel competitive, our opponents are fast but I’m feeling good. We had one small crash today because the track temperature is really high, making the track slippery. I went a bit wide and maybe I need to practice saving it with my elbow again, it’s just the second day back after a long break! But I was able to keep riding the bike, it was a really small crash.”

Marc Marquez

Alex Marquez
17th 1’38.212

“The first day was a positive, especially in the morning. It was like the first day of school again, you’re excited but a little bit nervous! We had a plan to push on the last exit after confirming some settings we found in the test. I made a 1’38.2 which was not bad – I was a second faster than the test. There are still some things to improve so I was pleased. In the second session I made a bit of a rookie mistake with the conditions changing, but physically I am fine. A good day of learning.”

 

Suzuki

TIGHT TIMES AND TYRES THE THEME ON FRIDAY IN JEREZ

Team Suzuki Press Office – July 17.

Joan Mir: 5th – 1:37.481 (+ 0.131)
Alex Rins: 7th – 1:37.569 (+ 0.219)

The first MotoGP practice session of the year got underway at Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto on Friday morning, and Team Suzuki Ecstar began the race weekend feeling optimistic and confident.

There was little to choose between the field as lap times proved incredibly close in the morning’s FP1 session; the top 19 riders covered by just one second. Joan Mir and Alex Rins both got into a decent rhythm from the start, with Mir featuring among the Top 5 for the majority of FP1.

As the afternoon’s FP2 session rolled around, conditions became significantly hotter, with track temperatures measuring 54°c. This made it hard to improve on times, and both riders chose to focus on the various different tyre options available for the weekend, and to prepare for Saturday’s qualifying.

Mir closed Friday’s action in fifth place on combined times, just +0.131 from the top spot. Despite the difficulties surrounding tyre choice, he is feeling strong and prepared for tomorrow’s action.

Rins was just behind his team-mate, finishing proceedings in seventh place. He reported confidence in his pace ahead of qualifying tomorrow.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“We’re happy about the work done today. This morning we confirmed a few settings, and then the riders put in good lap times within the Top 10. This is a promising sign for tomorrow’s qualifying. In the afternoon we turned to working towards race settings, especially tyre choice. It’s very hot here so it makes it trickier to choose. We collected good information and data, and tomorrow we’ll see again how the pace is.”

Joan Mir:

“The feeling was good, it’s great to be back riding properly! We did a really good job today and we were able to try a few things that we didn’t manage to do during the test day. We also spent some time today trying the front tyre options and checking which will be best for us on race day. At the moment it’s difficult to decide because the conditions are so tough. But anyway, the feeling with the bike is good and I’m ready for tomorrow.”

Alex Rins:

“I’m feeling confident with my pace and with the bike; in the morning I worked on lap times and then in the afternoon I worked on tyres. Now I feel as though I understand the limits with the used tyres. I’m happy because I tried the various options and it helped a lot to figure out how Sunday will be. For tomorrow I’ll be focusing on making sure I’m in Q2 and see what we can do from there.”

GP of Spain – Combined Classification after Day 1:

1. M.MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 1’37.350
2. M.VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 1’37.374 – +0.024
3. C.CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda CASTROL – 1’37.438 – +0.088
4.A.DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – 1’37.471 – +0.121
5. J.MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’37.481 – +0.131
6. J.MILLER – Pramac Racing – 1’37.487 – +0.137
7. A.RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’37.569 – +0.219
8. P.ESPARGARO – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’37.712 – +0.362
9. I.LECUONA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – 1’37.714 – +0.364
10. B.BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’37.923 – +0.573
11. J.ZARCO – Hublot Reale Avintia Racing – 1’37.940 – +0.590
12. F.MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 1’37.982 – +0.632
13. V.ROSSI – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 1’38.118 – +0.768
14. T.NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 1’38.129 – +0.779
15. F.QUARTARARO – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 1’38.152 – +0.802
16. A.ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’38.209 – +0.859
17. A.MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 1’38.212 – +0.862
18. F.BAGNAIA – Pramac Racing – 1’38.316 – +0.966
19. T.RABAT – Hublot Reale Avintia Racing – 1’38.337 – +0.987
20. M.OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – 1’38.506 – +1.156
21. D.PETRUCCI – Ducati Team – 1’38.507 – +1.157
22. B.SMITH – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’38.730 – +1.380

 


Return to News