Press releases from the MotoGP teams after practice on Friday at Misano:
Lorenzo starts strongly in Misano, under the lap record already
Round 13: San Marino GP – Free Practice One & Two
Misano world Circuit, Friday 2 September 2011
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
Jorge Lorenzo finished the first day of free practice for the San Marino Grand Prix on the top of the timesheets, using the hard compound slicks front and rear to dip under the existing lap record, a 1m 34.340 set by Dani Pedrosa last year.
Casey Stoner was second quickest also using the harder option slicks, and the championship leader was the first rider to better the lap record with his last lap of the morning free practice session. Third quickest was Pedrosa, the top three all under the lap record, but Dani's best time came using the softer option rear tyre.
This year is the first of the single tyre era that Bridgestone have selected asymmetric rear slicks for Misano. Last year performance of the symmetric rears was good and Pedrosa set the lap record, but the asymmetric rear slicks have clearly given a performance advantage evidenced by the fact that the laptimes are so fast right from the start of the Grand Prix weekend.
Conditions today were fine and hot and whilst the softer rears were favoured in the morning, by the afternoon practice it was the harder option fronts and rears that were favoured although some riders still used the softer rears during the session to good effect, including Pedrosa. Spots of rain briefly hit the circuit right at the end of the session but posed no problem.
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
"The times are very fast today, and even from the first session Casey was under the lap record which is very impressive. This is the first year since becoming Official Tyre Supplier that we have brought asymmetric rear slicks to Misano and I am satisfied with their performance. Last year here Dani set a new lap record so then tyre performance was already good, but as part of our drive to increase asymmetric rear tyre usage, up from six races in 2009 to 14 this year, we can see that performance has increased again. Rider feedback is positive, especially about the feeling on the left side of the tyre which is softer, so I am pleased about this. Given the high temperature today our harder compound options were favoured and consistency was good, particularly with Jorge and Casey who both seem to have strong race pace, but even our softer option rear worked well this afternoon with Dani so I am confident of our compound allocation this weekend."
Edwards and Crutchlow seek improved pace in Misano
Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow started preparations for the Misano MotoGP round with solid performances today, and the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders are confident they can significantly improve their pace for qualifying and the 28-lap race.
American Edwards set the 10th best time on the opening day of practice at a sun-kissed Misano circuit that witnessed temperatures soaring to a physically demanding 30 degrees this afternoon.
Working on improving high-speed stability with his YZR-M1 machine, Edwards was able to knock almost 0.3s off his best time in the opening session to finish with a 1.35.301.
The 37-year-old also dedicated a large portion of his 44 laps on track to evaluate the performance of Bridgestone's soft and hard compound rear tyre options to finish just over 0.3s away from the top six.
Crutchlow started well this morning and put his World Supersport and World Superbike knowledge of the 2.626 miles Misano track to good use to finish just over 0.2s away from the top 10.
Although he was able to lap over 0.3s quicker in this afternoon's 45-minute session, the British rider wasn't rewarded for that impressive improvement and he slipped down the order to 15th. Crutchlow is confident he can improve his pace tomorrow to challenge for a top 10 place on the grid, as he aims to focus on gaining more grip and confidence with Bridgestone's hard rear tyre.
Colin Edwards 10th 1.35.301 – 44 laps:
"Today was a solid day withou t being too spectacular. We rolled off the truck from Indy not terribly fast and it is always nice to come out of the blocks with a bit more speed than I did. My biggest problem today has been high-speed stability and you can lose a lot of time in the three really fast right-handers here. The front-end was also tucking quite a bit this afternoon and at times the sensation was like I was riding on a flat tyre. We made some changes which we felt were going to make the bike better but we just ran out of time, so we'll sit down tonight and look at some data and come up with a plan for tomorrow. I feel confident and reasonably comfortable and with a couple of changes to the bike for tomorrow I'm sure we can come out all guns blazing. We also need to find something to help me with the hard rear tyre. I'm lacking a bit of entry grip, so we'll work on that too. Initially it feels fantastic but the lap times were no better. We got some ideas to get more side and entry grip with the h ard tyre, so I'm sure we'll be much faster tomorrow."
Cal Crutchlow 15th 1.35.622 – 42 laps:
"Today wasn't an easy start to the weekend but I don't think 15th place is a true reflection of our potential. I had a few issues with getting the hard rear tyre to work, so we'll need to have a look at a big improvement in that area for tomorrow. I ran the same soft tyre I'd used this morning in the second session and even with 36 laps on it, I went just as quick with that as what we did with a brand new hard tyre. Lorenzo is more than 1.5s quicker on the hard tyre and I can't get it to work, so we need to have a look at the setting and perhaps make the bike more similar to what we ran in Indianapolis. We'll have a look at the data tonight and see what we can work out for tomorrow. I'm trying my hardest and I don't think I'm that far away beca use 0.5s would put me eighth."
Karel Abraham makes a significant progress and finishes fourteenth
The Cardion AB Motoracing rider Karel Abraham made a significant progress during the first and second free practice for the Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini and finished fourteenth, 1,494 seconds behind the reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
Riding on board the Ducati Desmosedici GP11, Karel Abraham set a best time 1:35,423 in the last moments of the final free practice despite changeable weather conditions which prevailed at the Misano Circuit.
"We found the perfect set-up in the first free practice, but in the second free practice we had a problem with the grip of the front tire again," Karel Abraham, who did not finished the Indianapolis Grand Prix due to the same problem, said.
Although Karel Abraham finished fourteenth in the combined timesheet from the first and second free practice, he was only 0,092 seconds behind the nine times world champion Valentino Rossi.
"Of course, the fourteenth position isn't brilliant, but the gap between the ninth and thirteenth rider isn't too big and I believe I'm able to reduce it even more," the twenty one years old Czech rider added.
Lorenzo Sets the Pace in Misano Practice
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo wound up today as the pacesetter in the first day of practice for the Grand Prix of San Marino. The reigning World Champion struggled to find top form in the morning practice but worked hard with his crew to make key set up changes over the lunchtime period. The afternoon session saw the improvements fire him almost immediately to the top of the time sheets where he remained unchallenged for the entire session, leading at times by over second.
Lorenzo's team mate Ben Spies was one of the men to beat in the morning session, clocking some impressive lap times. He was the fastest rider until the last seconds of the session; ultimately finishing up in second, just 0.286 from first. The afternoon practice was spent trying a number of different set ups for rider position, the Texan ending in fifth 0.54 seconds from Lorenzo in first.
Position : 1st Time: 1'33.929 Laps: 43
"I feel much more comfortable on the bike this afternoon with the changes we made. The setting we made is very similar to the Mugello one and there I won the race. To be honest I didn't expect so much change because we improved more than one second. We are now quite close to a victory I think. Casey and Dani are still so fast but at least we are there with them."
Position : 5th Time: 1'34.466 Laps: 42
"Not bad today, it wasn't a great second session but we had to try a lot of things. We've been working a little bit on rider position since before Indy and we came up with a good direction for me. We tried to go more in that way this afternoon but it was too much so we lost a bit of the second session on it. Other than that we tried all the tyres we wanted to and went pretty fast with quite a lot of laps on them. Overall a positive day, we tried some stuff that worked and some stuff that didn't. We need to work harder for tomorrow and improve some grip levels but the overall feel and speed I'm happy with."
"We analysed the morning session well, the guys worked hard and we changed the bike a lot for the second session. We had better traction and Jorge could stop the bike a lot better than this morning. We improved over a second but we still have some issues. Now we are up there and ready to improve a little more tomorrow. It was a tough afternoon but the guys did really well to deliver the package."
"We started with the right foot forward this weekend. This afternoon we tried different things with set up and tyres for Ben, now we have to fix a couple of issues but overall we are quite satisfied. Jorge made a great second session, very fast and consistent which is important. We will keep working and tomorrow we will finalise our set ups for the race."
Strong start for Bautista at Misano
Publish Date: Friday, September 02, 2011
Álvaro Bautista got Rizla Suzuki's San Marino Grand Prix weekend off to a strong start today in Misano as he recorded the seventh fastest time.
Bautista (1'35.023, 40 laps) continued where he left off at Indianapolis last weekend and produced another positive two sessions, this time at the Misano World Circuit in Italy. Suzuki's Spanish racer tried a new swinging arm this afternoon on his GSV-R and immediately noticed an improvement in the cornering ability of his machine. Bautista and the crew will work further on the set-up tomorrow to obtain the best setting for Sunday's race.
Today's practices were held in warm and sunny conditions with air temperatures hitting 30ºC. Reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo produced the fastest time of the day with current leader Casey Stoner second.
Bautista has another practice session tomorrow morning, followed by an hour of qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday's 28-lap race is round 13 of this season's championship and it will also see the Spaniard and the Suzuki GSV-R sport a fantastic one-off limited edition ‘Rizla Micron' livery that will be launched at Misano on Sunday morning.
"I think we did a good job today! This morning we started at the same sort of pace that we had in qualifying last year, so that gave us a good base to begin with for the weekend. The feeling with the bike was quite good, but I did not feel very well because I had been a bit ill yesterday – I think it was an upset stomach from something I had to eat. Thanks to the guys at Clinica Mobile because in the afternoon session I was feeling much better. We wanted to test a new swinging arm in the second session and I started on the bike with the standard setting, but after three laps my engine said ‘stop!' and I couldn't continue with that bike, so I jumped on the other machine- with the new swinging arm. The feeling was good and we were able to turn a little bit better in the corners and this is good because this is what we wanted to improve. I think we have made a step forward and now I am sure we can improve the lap-time and the rhythm. We are not so far from the first place and I am quite happy about that. Thanks to all the crew for their hard work today after the long trip straight back from Indianapolis."
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
"I think we can be happy with the performances today of both Álvaro and the Suzuki GSV-R. We made some further detailed changes compared to the Indianapolis weekend and so far everything we have done has taken the bike forward a little bit each time. Unfortunately we lost our first engine of the year – there was definitely no hiding from that! But it was very much a Friday engine that had already covered a lot of miles so it wasn't completely unexpected. We'll just keep pushing and try to improve tomorrow, and then something special in qualifying."
POSITIVE FIRST DAY FOR TEAM SAN CARLO HONDA GRESINI
Marco Simoncelli enjoyed a satisfactory first day at his home circuit today, making constant progress and establishing a solid pace during the opening two free practice sessions. Simoncelli gradually closed the gap to this afternoon's pacesetter and is hopeful of further progress tomorrow, in particular in terms of fuel consumption which promises to be a key area for race set-up and is currently proving to be the Italian's 'Sword of Damocles'. It was also a positive day of practice for Hiroshi Aoyama, who looks to be recovering pace and confidence on his bike. The Japanese rider was satisfied with his performance today and is also confident of improvements tomorrow.
Marco Simoncelli (4th 1' 34" 444) "I am happy because we have improved quite a lot from this morning and I set a decent rhythm. We are already quicker than my qualifying lap time from last year but we still need to improve more because Lorenzo and Stoner are three or four tenths quicker than me. Anyway for the moment I am satisfied and I am starting to like Misano more as a circuit – hopefully I will be in love with it by Sunday evening. The only thing I am worried about at the moment is fuel consumption and we have a few problems to solve in this area tomorrow."
Hiroshi Aoyama (9th 1' 35" 282 ) "I didn't have a good feeling this morning but in the afternoon things went much better. The grip was better and I was able to push more on the bike, which gives me confidence for tomorrow. With some small improvements we can be pushing for a good position on the grid. I really want to have a good race for myself and for the team, who are all working so well."
Fausto Gresini "For the first day I am happy with how things are going. We improved the set-up of the bikes with the changes we made from the morning to the afternoon and we are not too far off the lap times being set by Lorenzo. We have good potential and I am sure there is more to come. Things are looking good for the race even though we have work to do on consumption. Hiroshi has also gone well today and that was a pleasant surprise. His pace is good and he also has room to improve so I am confident."
FASTEST DUCATI AT MISANO BELONGS TO MAPFRE ASPAR TEAM
Héctor Barberá starts San Marino challenge with eighth fastest time in free practice
Just when it seemed that Casey Stoner was set to extend his dominance at the top of the MotoGP World Championship, Jorge Lorenzo provided a resounding response at Misano to finish the opening day of free practice on top of the timesheets. High temperatures at the Italian circuit along with tiredness and jetlag made for a tough start for the premier-class riders although the pace was relentless as always. Dani Pedrosa was consistently in touch with the lead two and Marco Simoncelli was a short distance behind, with Spanish pair Héctor Barberá and Álvaro Bautista also in the hunt and looking to spring a surprise tomorrow.
Seventh in the morning and eighth in the afternoon, MAPFRE Aspar rider Héctor Barberá has started his weekend stronger than ever. The Spaniard is just a second off the fastest time and at the home of Ducati he was the fastest rider on track on the Italian machinery today. Héctor warned earlier in the week that this was a good circuit for him and he is keen to make the most of the opportunity to finish with a good result. Having improved his pace and consistency throughout today, he is looking forward to continuing the job tomorrow.
8th Héctor Barberá 1.35.111 (39 laps): "We are doing a good job and it is showing. Practice has been going well for us at the last few rounds and we have just been missing that extra step in the races. Our pace has been consistent though and I think sooner or later we are going to spring a surprise. It could be here because this is a good circuit for me. The fastest Ducati on the first day is a good start for us. We were fighting to be the first Ducati to the finish line at the last race so that is what we will try for again this Sunday. My team is helping me a lot and gradually we are improving in certain areas. I always ride my hardest but there are things we can do better and we are finding them so that is the most important thing. We have a base set-up that we try to get the best out of at each track and the best way forward has proven to be making small changes to a setting we know works."
Repsol Honda on fire in hot Misano
The Repsol Honda Team began the Grand Prix of San Marino in good shape, only five days after racing in Indianapolis with a very different layout but similar weather conditions. Casey Stoner, the current MotoGP World Championship leader, and Dani Pedrosa, the winner here last year, immediately got down to business in Misano and finished the first day of free practices in second and third positions respectively, while Andrea Dovizioso recorded the sixth fastest time on his return to his home GP.
Both Stoner and Pedrosa lapped under the circuit record (1'34.340 set by Pedrosa in 2010), Stoner achieved this in FP1 with a 1'34.005 lap, and Pedrosa in FP2 with a time of 1'34.205. Dovizioso will work with his team and analyse the data from both sessions to understand where he is losing valuable time.
All three Repsol Honda riders compared the performance of the soft and hard compound Bridgestone tyres. As was the case in Indianapolis, this will be a key point for completing the 28 lap race.
CASEY STONER – 2nd 1'34.005
"We made a pretty good step this morning, everything felt pretty good and the bike was working well. We tried a few things this afternoon, but had a slight problem with some air in the brake line which cost us some time. Then we did race distance on the soft tyre and got some good data from that, we're doing some reasonably competitive times but not good enough yet, we'll go away tonight and work in preparation for tomorrow. We still need to get the bike feeling a little more comfortable in the middle of the corner and on the exit, with traction as well as turning. If we can improve these areas then I'm confident we can also improve the lap time quite a lot".
DANI PEDROSA – 3rd 1'34.205
"We had a good start in the morning, I felt quite comfortable from the beginning, but in the afternoon we didn't improve as much as I would have liked. When Bautista's engine blew in front of me I thought the track would become dirty, so I did some slow laps to check and I lost some time and rhythm. We have to keep working with the suspension to get better traction and stability under hard braking, so we will focus on this tomorrow. I tried both tyre compounds, the hard one only this afternoon, and we still don't know which one will be better for the race".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 6th 1'34.989
"Today we worked on the general set up of the bike and in the afternoon we made some changes to the rear setting but we didn't achieve the results we wanted. We need to continue working on the set up to reduce the pitching in the front and the rear. This is a slow track but with many hard braking areas and strong acceleration so we will analyse the data to understand the most critical areas where I am losing time. It was very hot today but the track conditions were ok. We rode with both soft and hard tyres and I felt good on the bike, so now the first thing to do is to study the data and evaluate the best direction to follow in preparation of the qualifying and race. I'm confident that we can recover the gap from the front riders".
TWELFTH PLACE FOR RANDY DE PUNIET, SIXTEENTH FOR CAPIROSSI AT MISANO
A pair of free-practice sessions were completed today at Misano, site of the MotoGP world championship's thirteenth round. Randy De Puniet finished with the twelfth-best time (1:35.418), just a few hundredths behind the factory Ducati of Valentino Rossi. The Frenchman is confident heading into tomorrow's qualifying session, having dropped his time by more than a second following today's first session. Loris Capirossi, who is still dealing with pain in his shoulder, finished in sixteenth place (1:35.826).
Marco Rigamonti - Randy De Puniet Track Engineer
"We changed many things between the first and second free-practice sessions. The updates for the afternoon were much more effective. It's hard to say if the tires also helped us, since we only used the hard this morning. We can say that we were helped by many components this afternoon. Tomorrow we must finalize additional details. In the meantime, thanks to Ducati for providing us with another frame, which enabled us to prepare two different bikes and save a lot of time."
Randy De Puniet – Pramac Racing Rider – 12th best time in 1:35.418
"This afternoon went much better; this morning I had a problem with corner entry—it was impossible to ride the bike. In the afternoon we made some changes and I was much faster, thanks mainly to the tyres. I finished the first day in twelfth place, but more importantly, I'm very close to the top positions. Tomorrow we'll try to improve. I'll have to push a bit harder in the corners and take a few more chances."
Loris Capirossi - Pramac Racing Rider – 16th best time in 1:35.826
"Despite the progress made compared to the first free-practice session, it's still not enough. I found it very difficult to make right-hand corners, as my shoulder still bothers me and is very painful. Maybe rain would help us in our current conditions, but I'm still convinced that we can do well. We're all close, so just finding a few tenths would move us up several positions."
ELIAS LOOKING FOR MORE REAR GRIP AT MISANO GP OPENING DAY
Misano, 2 September: Just one week after their last outing at Indianapolis in the US, the premier class riders had to battle against the hot conditions today at Misano race which hosts the San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix this week. LCR Honda racer Toni Elias is a big fan of the 4.226 Km race track and, other than Pedrosa, he has been the Honda rider with the most success here over the past three years.
The Spaniard's first outing this morning has been affected by some rear grip issues that he tried to solve for the afternoon session improving his pace. But the 17th position is not what the Moto2 World Champion is expecting on this surface and will try different adjustments tomorrow. Today's pacesetter Lorenzo set the fastest lap time on 1'33.929.
Elias: "I am a big fan of this track and experienced a thrilling victory last year in Moto2. From this morning to this afternoon we made some adjustments on the bike aiming to improve our rear grip which is our main issue. Later on in the afternoon we have tried some different directions about the front geometry but it was not successful. So tomorrow we will go back to our initial set up trying to fine tune the package ahead the qualifying session and we will also compare rear tyres in order to take our decision for the race".
DUCATI TEAM SEARCHES FOR SETUP AT MISANO
The first day of practice sessions at the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini featured sun, very high temperatures and high humidity levels, making quite conditions very challenging for all the riders.
Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden worked to find a setup that will work with the fairly slippery asphalt and, toward the end of the second session, the Italian managed to have a decent run with the soft tyre. Tomorrow, both riders will work to improve their setups for the qualifying session.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 11th (1:35.331)
"Fortunately, I managed to do two or three good laps at the end of the session, and to make up a few positions. We struggled because we wanted to ride with the hard tyre in order to work for the race, but unfortunately, following a promising start, I found it more difficult as the pace steadily improved. We lacked rear grip, especially with the bike leaned over, so we mounted the softer tyre at the end of the session. Today I did a '35.3, but tomorrow we'll try to cut at least half a second, working to also improve the feeling with the front under braking. We'll start with the base setting from Brno and Laguna, and we'll try some difference changes on the second bike."
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 13th (1:35.419)
"This obviously isn't how we hoped to come out of the gate here. I like this track okay, but it seems like every time I come here, it's very hard to get up to speed. Basically, I'm pushing the front on corner entry and can't get it stopped. My ideal time is '35.0, but I can't be consistent and put laps together. The track isn't bad, but it's hot and slippery and a little bit bumpy, and those things really don't favor me on this bike. We're definitely up against it but we'll try a different solution for tomorrow."