Press releases from the MotoGP teams after a wet first day of practice at Jerez:
Solid start for Dovizioso and Crutchlow at rain-hit Jerez
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow began their preparations for the start of the European phase of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship in challenging and unpredictable conditions at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain today.
Track conditions in this morning's opening practice session weren't sufficiently wet to evaluate Bridgestone rain tyres or dry enough for slicks, and with no possibility of carrying out any meaningful set-up work, Dovizioso and Crutchlow didn't complete a single lap.
The tricky track conditions remained for this afternoon's second practice, with the session commencing on a wet track under threatening grey and cloudy skies. Patches of dry tarmac started to appear by the end of the session but Dovizioso and Crutchlow spent their time exclusively assessing Bridgestone's wet weather tyres in case Sunday's 27-lap race takes place in similar conditions.
Dovizioso was sixth quickest on board his Yamaha YZR-M1 machine this afternoon and seventh on the combined timesheets. His best time of 1.53.070 ensured he finished leading non-factory rider but the Italian is looking to improve rear traction in the wet with rain forecast to play a major part in proceedings for the rest of the weekend.
British rider Crutchlow, who made a sensational start to the 2012 campaign in Qatar earlier this month when he cla imed a maiden front row start and fantastic fourth position, was only 0.3s behind his team-mate.
The 26-year-old set a best time of 1.53.352, which put him eighth quickest in the session and ninth overall ahead of factory Yamaha rider Ben Spies. He too will concentrate on improving rear grip in tomorrow's final practice and qualifying sessions.
Andrea Dovizioso 7th 1.53.070 - 11 laps:
“It has been a day of pretty much constantly changing weather and track conditions and unfortunately that meant we were not able to try anything on the set-up of the bike. We did not have dry conditions at all and even though it has been raining we didn't get the chance to ride in full wet conditions. I went out to try the bike because we might have the same conditions for the race on Sunday, s o it was important to go out and collect some information. For tomorrow I just hope that we can do some more meaningful work. I don't care if it is wet or dry but anything is better than mixed conditions so that we can focus on improving the bike.”
Cal Crutchlow 9th 1.53.352 - 15 laps:
“If we get more of the same conditions for the rest of the weekend then we have a lot of work to do. To be honest we struggled a little bit with a lack of rear grip and that is where we are going to have to work on because we could be racing in similar conditions on Sunday. This track dries really fast and with the rain tyres we are having a lot of spinning. Although we've got some issues with the rear grip, I am really happy with my position on the timesheets considering the problems and that makes me really confident that if we make the settin g better I will be very competitive.”
TWELFTH POSITION ON WET TRACK FOR PASINI IN THE SECOND FREE PRACTICE AT JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA
The first two sessions on track for the second event of 2012 season were held today, at the circuit of Jerez de la Frontera.
A light rain prevented the MotoGP riders from taking full advantage of the morning session: the track conditions were mixed and most of the riders preferred to stay inside the pit box, waiting for a more defined weather. Pasini completed only three laps, postponing any work to FP2.
In the afternoon, Mattia brought his ART machine in twelfth position, the second CRT of the session. The track conditions were more homogeneous than in the morning, which gave the Italian and his crew the chance to start studying the set-up in case of rain. Because of a small crash without consequences, Pasini couldn’t make the best out of the session, and therefore tomorrow will be essential to verify the choices made for the setting.
Mattia Pasini #54 - 12th with 1’54.370
“This was a particular day. In the morning we basically didn’t do anything, we just got out on the track to verify that everything was in its place. The weather was more stable in the afternoon, the track was wet but more homogeneous. We were fast at the beginning of the practice, even if in the tests we were actually faster. Now we’ll check the data we have and we’ll look into the biggest differences, to get ready for the sessions of tomorrow, in case it was to rain again. Generally speaking I’m satisfied, it’s a shame I crashed out as that made us change our work schedule.”
FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE IN JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA : HECTOR HAS HAD SOME ISSUES
Round two of the 2012 MotoGP Championship got underway in Jerez today, with the Pramac Racing rider Hèctor Barbera getting his first European track lap times of the season.
In rain and windy conditions at the Andalucian circuit Hèctor set a best lap time of 1’54.581 to finish 15th overall on combined times.
Hèctor Barberà - Rider Pramac Racing Team - 15th place in 1’54.581
"Today I had a difficult practice session and I can’t be happy for the result.
It’s a shame that the morning practice was done on a damp but not drying track, because of numerous riders, included me, did not take to the track to test the bike’s set-up.
On the other hand, during the afternoon practice, the track was fully wet and I had few issues in the entrance of the corners, where we seem to be struggling to get the bike to turn.
We could have had a much more productive day than we did, but I have had some troubles, in particular with the confidence with my Ducati.
Despite that i would be optimistic for tomorrow’s qualifying practice".
Marco Rigamonti - Crew Chief Pramac Racing Team -
"We still have a few things on the bike that we need to work on, especially in the corners and with the use of the electronic controls.
Tomorrow we will make several changes to allow the rider to sense even the smallest changes and we hope for good things to happen".
Pedrosa fastest under difficult weather conditions in Jerez Free Practice
The Grand Prix of Spain, second round of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship, got under way at Jerez circuit today with Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, who makes his 100th premier class start on Sunday ,leading the time sheets with a fastest lap of 1'50.780, and team mate Casey Stoner in fourth position.
The first day of practice was affected by sporadic rain. The Repsol Honda riders didn't get out on track in the morning session and both Dani and Casey started working with the wet set up in the afternoon to prepare the first european race that is expected, and most likely to be under rain conditions.
DANI PEDROSA 1st 1'50.780
"It has been a strange day due to the weather conditions. In the morning we decided to not go out because the track was not wet enough then we had more or less the same conditions in the afternoon, but it was necessary to do some laps and get some rhythm. The first feeling on the bike was good for me, the bike felt good and I'm riding well but I hope we have better weather tomorrow, full dry or full wet. Anyway, it is important for us to do a good qualifying practice tomorrow and we will need to be clever and quick because the conditions can easily change and in one minute can be the option to make the lap time for the pole and one minute later can be a disaster. So let's keep focused and try to do a good job".
CASEY STONER 4th 1'52.106
"It's been a strange day, but at least we managed a few laps to get some sort of feeling in wet conditions. We came back in to try and change the bike to give more rear grip but by the time we went back out it was already starting to dry a little and the conditions were constantly changing and we couldn't really get a good understanding of the bike. Towards the end we were fast compared to everyone else but it didn't really matter by then. it's just been one of those days, not a lot to be taken from it, we know we have some things to improve if it continues to be wet, hopefully we can get some good track time tomorrow morning before qualifying in the afternoon. At the moment my arm feels ok, but it's difficult to know when the conditions are like this as you're not stressing it like in the dry".
Damp Start to Jerez Grand Prix
The Grand Prix of Spain got underway today at Jerez with mixed weather conditions providing a frustrating experience. The majority of the MotoGP riders were forced to sit out the morning session as track conditions which were not fully wet or dry meant no valuable set up data could be assessed. The second session in the afternoon proved equally frustrating, starting wet but gradually drying over the 45 minutes.
Championship leader Lorenzo spent the afternoon hunting extra grip from the rear as the wet tyres quickly degraded on the drying track. Team mate Spies concentrated on finding an optimum tyre set up for the first half of the session, also making some small set up adjustments in the hunt for optimum performance.
Position : 4th Time: 1'51.873 Laps: 13
“This morning we couldn’t practice and this afternoon it was wet and then finally drying at the end. In these conditions we are not so good because the middle of the tyre is dropping a lot, after eight or ten laps we don’t have any more grip so we have to slow the pace. We have to work on that for Sunday if the conditions are going to be the same as today. If it rains with a lot of water then that’s one story but if it’s like today we are not the fastest so we need to gain some grip on the rear.”
Position : 10th Time: 1'53.409 Laps: 18
“Today was good, we started with a wet track and we had to fiddle round with some tyre pressures for a while. We got that sorted and made some changes to the bike to the point where I was comfortable. The tyres had got quite bad by that point; the times were dropping so we were slower, but still as consistently fast as everyone out there. I’m looking forward to tomorrow to see what we can do.”
“A very strange first day in Jerez, this morning no practice and this afternoon a half/half practice, not completely wet and drying at the end which ruined the tyres. Difficult to say if we learnt much, we’ll have to wait until tomorrow and hope for either a completely wet or dry session. Today was in the middle, I wouldn’t say useless but nearly useless.”
“Unfortunately we didn’t have the perfect weather today. The first session was useless but we worked quite well in the afternoon. We found a balance that Ben liked and he seems quite satisfied with the set up so we’ll see for tomorrow. On Jorge’s side we are still hunting for some more grip from the rear in the difficult condition but we should make a step tomorrow.”
Early effort sees Silva quickest in wet Friday practice
Round 2: Spanish MotoGP - Free Practice One and Two
Circuito de Jerez, Friday 27 April 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard
Weather: Wet. Ambient 19-21°C; Track 21-23°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Avintia Blusens’ rider Iván Silva put in a hot lap on slick tyres during a damp first practice session at Jerez to finish Friday on top of the timesheets.
With conditions neither fully wet nor dry during the first practice session, only eight riders chose to go out in FP1 and those that braved the rain only turned out a few laps in the hope that conditions would improve towards the end of the session. However, sporadic rain continued falling throughout the morning session and continued right until the start of FP2.
The earlier downpour resulted in enough standing water on the circuit to necessitate wet tyres in FP2 and it was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who was quickest in the afternoon session with a time of 1:50.870. Second quickest in FP2 and six-tenths of a second back was a resurgent Valentino Rossi on the Ducati GP12 while Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo continued his affinity with the Jerez circuit by posting the third fastest time of the session.
Wet conditions are predicted for Saturday and in accordance with the new wet tyre regulations, Bridgestone, following consultation with race direction after FP1 has made available an alternative wet tyre compound, which at Jerez is the soft compound, for the remainder of the race weekend. Riders can now select a maximum of two front and/or two rear tyres in the alternative wet compound as part of their total allocation of five sets of wet tyres. This change in regulation was proposed by Bridgestone and ratified at the last GP commission meeting at Qatar and ensures riders have greater flexibility in choosing a wet tyre that works best for them.
MotoGP action at Jerez will resume tomorrow from 1010 local time (GMT+2) for FP3, with qualifying scheduled to start at 1355 local time.
Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Track conditions today were not the best due to the intermittent rain. Our decision to make the hard wet compound the main wet tyre at Jerez was vindicated during FP2 today, as the extra durability of this option meant riders could better manage tyre wear in what were not fully wet conditions. I am pleased with how the wet tyres performed today in the challenging conditions.
“As wet weather is also forecast for tomorrow, the change in wet tyre regulations which have come into effect this weekend will allow riders to choose a maximum of two sets of tyres in an alternative wet tyre compound, which at Jerez is the soft compound, for use over the rest of the race weekend. Bridgestone proposed this change to give riders greater choice when selecting a tyre for wet conditions and is another step in our efforts to constantly improve the safety of MotoGP riders.”
Valentino Rossi third in Spanish free practice, Nicky Hayden sixth
The Ducati Team enjoyed a good start to the Spanish MotoGP weekend in Jerez de la Frontera, with Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden very fast from the beginning. Bad weather affected the day from the beginning, with morning conditions being neither completely wet nor completely dry. This made the first session useless for both Rossi and Hayden, who elected to stay in the garage.
The asphalt was wet enough in the second session to permit the use of rain tyres, and both Ducati Team riders were fast. The Italian was at the top of the time chart for some time before eventually finishing with the second-best time in FP2, behind Dani Pedrosa. His teammate finished the session a respectable fifth. In the combined times for the two sessions, Rossi and Hayden were third and sixth respectively, despite having sat out the morning.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 3rd (1:51.440)
“We go pretty well in the wet. We’re happy to be second this afternoon because it confirms that the GP12 has the same good feeling in the wet that last year’s bike did, and that’s important. I felt good immediately today. We worked on the setting a bit but because we had already started with a good feeling, I was able to immediately ride at the limit and do some good times. Now we have to wait to see what the weather does tomorrow, and especially on Sunday.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 6th (1:52.254)
“It’s a shame about the weather. This morning it wasn’t really wet and wasn’t really dry. If we had unlimited rain tyres, I probably would have gone out and had a look, but with rain forecast for the whole weekend, I didn’t want to waste any. We did some laps in the afternoon and checked a couple things. It was hard to say if we made any improvements because the track dried out at the end and was almost ready for slicks. The bike felt decent in the wet, especially the geometry and turning, but it lacked some grip on the edge, which is where we’re we’ll focus tomorrow.”
Rainy practice in Jerez brought 13th position to Karel Abraham
Czech MotoGP Rider Karel Abraham closed first day in Jerez on 13th position reaching his maximum 1:54,378. In practices affected by rain lost Karel Abraham 3,598 second to fastest Dani Pedrosa.
„First practice was unusable we really used only the second one. Track was wet at the beginning, but getting dry during the practice. And that is terrible for us. You can ride in these conditions with wet tires in lower classes, but in MotoGP it´s a big problem. MotoGP bike has extreme power and destroys rear tire very fast. We are doing worse lap times on drying track than on wet track. And that´s the today´s problem. Before we set the bike, track started to dry and I wasn´t able to ride faster. When the tire is destroyed, it slips not only at corners but also on straights. We´re looking forward to weather forecast. I´m not excited of rain but it´s not a tragedy. I know that I´m able to do good results on wet track.“
Marco Grana, chief mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
“Conditions were particular today - no wet, no dry. Rear tire is coming hot immediately and this make a spin. So we can´t be fast in acceleration, we can´t keep good times. We couldn´t change the tire, because we must keep it for tomorrow. Today we´ve tried a different set up. In the end it was quite OK, but the tire was destroyed, so we couldn´t do better lap time. But I hope that we understand the problem and know what to do tomorrow.”
FIRST DAY IN JEREZ SPOILED BY RAIN FOR BRADL AND HIS COLLEAGUES
Jerez, 27 April: opening day of Grand Prix of Spain got underway today at Jerez circuit under cloudy skies and sporadic rain affected the premier class outing. Also the LCR racer Stefan Bradl had to cope with very mixed conditions placing his Honda in 10th position.
The German rookie riding the RC213V feels he did not learn so much from his first day at the Iberian track due to the tricky conditions and he thinks there’s much more to come from his machine. Bradl posted his fastest lap time on 1’53.409 while today’s pace setter Pedrosa gained a best lap time of 1’50.780.
Stefan: “Nothing special to say today... we had some better Fridays because the weather was very tricky. This morning it started to rain but the surface was not completely wet and not completely dry so we lost the major part of the first session. Then in the afternoon when the track was more wet we had a good pace in the beginning but after we struggled a bit because our tyre was older than the others as I used that in the morning session so we could not push very much. Anyway the general feeling with the bike in the wet is good and in the end we went out with slick tyres because the asphalt started to dry up but I felt it was a bit dangerous”.
BAUTISTA SEVENTH AT WET JEREZ
Mixed weather on the opening day of the Spanish Grand Prix made for difficult conditions at Jerez. Alvaro Bautista completed only a handful of laps in the damp this morning but spent most of the afternoon session lapping on the fully wet track. The conditions were certainly not beneficial to the team's CRT project, which is in desperate need of dry track time to develop the bike.
Alvaro Bautista (Free Practice 2 - 7th 1’ 53.166) “It has been a very difficult day because of the mixed weather. This morning the light rainfall did not wet the track enough for us to use the wet tyres properly so we only managed four laps. It was pretty damp this afternoon though so we were able to gather some confidence with this bike in the wet and found a way forward with the set-up, although a couple of little problems slowed my progress. As the track dried it was more and more difficult to work so we'll have to wait for tomorrow now and see what we get.”
Michele Pirro (Free Pratice 2 - 19th 1’ 56” 067) “These are the worst possible conditions for us to try and work on the set-up of our bike. We still have a lot of problems with the electronics and with mixed conditions on the track it makes things even harder. Hopefully we get a bit of luck tomorrow because we need it.”
Fausto Gresini “It has been a tough day and difficult conditions to work in. Alvaro has done a good job despite suffering from a chatter problem for the first time. It is the first time we have used wet tyres so maybe this was the reason. We will work hard to put things right tomorrow. As for the CRT we are still not there yet with the electronics package so these conditions were not what we needed. Hopefully the weather is on our side tomorrow and if so I think we can improve a lot.”
WATER IN THE WORKS FOR POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR TEAM AT JEREZ
Randy de Puniet disappointed with progress on opening day of Spanish round
POWER ELECTRONICS riders Randy de Puniet and Aleix Espargaró endured a difficult start to the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez today, with both of the opening free practice sessions hit by rain. Only eight riders bothered to take to the track in mixed conditions this morning, with wet tyres degrading quickly on the partly dry surface.
The Frenchman and the Spaniard had shown good pace here at this circuit during winter testing but they were unable to repeat that form in the wet this afternoon, De Puniet setting consistent 1'54s on his second and best run but Aleix some way behind.
11th Randy de Puniet (1.54.155, 6 laps): "This morning was no good because we only got three laps in just to check the bike over. In the afternoon the conditions were still not completely wet but I tried to get a feel for the suspension and unfortunately we were getting too much rebound. We are really struggling with the rear and I had to come in too many times during the session withouth finding a solution. At least we know that we have a good base setting in the dry from the IRTA test."
21th Aleix Espargaró (1.57.789, 5 laps): "Like last year I am struggling in the wet. Obviously we don't have a clear set-up either so that doesn't help but my corner speed is so slow, I can't turn the bike. We are going to sit down tonight and compare my data with Randy's and see where I can improve. If it rains again this is something we can work on."
THE RAIN OPENS SPANISH GRAN PRIX
After the Qatar Opening, the MotoGP returns in Europe with the Gran Prix of Spain. The protagonist of the first day of practice is the rain that has conditioned the morning practice.
The Came Iodaracing Team rider Danilo Petrucci has been on track down only in the second free practice because the light rain of the morning made useless any test. On the wet Danilo has gotten with his TR003 the eighteenth time with 1'55.752.
Simone Corsi concludes the two wet practice in the twentyfourth place to 3.673 from the best time of Zarco. The rider of the team Came Iodaracing Team in the afternoon practice has attended for a long time in the pit that the conditions of the asphalt getting better.
In Moto3 Gigio Morciano is in Jerez, Jonas Folger is forced to jump this competition and probably also the next one in Portugal because of the mononucleosis. The rider of the Ioda Team Italia has done only six laps during the morning on the dry for a small problem to the clutch of his TR002, while in the second on the wet he has gotten the twentyeigth time after sixteen laps.
Wind and rain can´t stop the NGM Mobile Fprward Racing Team
After a difficult weekend at Losail that resulted in a very important achievement for Colin Edwards and the team NGM Mobile Forward Racing, now again ahead of them lays a new Challenger at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit for the Spain GP.
The less than ideal weather conditions this morning only allowed the American rider a very short test of the track. On the second free practice in the afternoon on the other hand, Edward finished the session 15º at only .126 from Hector Barbera’s satellite Ducati.
Tomorrow the team will focus on the setup of the bike in for rain conditions, given that the weather forecast indicated that the both qualifying and the race will be under the rain.
Colin Edwards - 5 - 1´54.707
“Today I don’t know if we learned as much as we wanted to. It was the first real session in the rain and this morning was pretty much a waste, not dry enough, not wet enough to really accomplish anything. I’m still learning and the team is learning about what I want in terms of the bike. We know dry stuff and we need to figure out what we need in the wet. I tried to translate as much info as I could for the bike setup and finally got around to something that I was more comfortable with. We still need to work on the squirt off the corner that the bike is missing at the moment.
I am reasonably happy and getting more comfortable, I like the rain; I’ve always gone pretty well in the rain. If we have a chance this year to get on the podium or top five its probably going to be in the rain. I was looking forward to riding today in the rain, we still need more time but it’s coming.”