2012 Mugello MotoGP Friday Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams after the first day of practice at Mugello:


Dovizioso and Crutchlow make solid start in Mugello

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow made a positive start to the Gran Premio d'Italia TIM at the fast and technical Mugello circuit in Italy today.

Dovizioso was happy with the set-up work he carried out on his YZR-M1 machine, the Italian capitalising on hot conditions to show the speed that has seen him claim three stunning podium finishes in the last four races.

Dovizioso made a positive start in front of his home crowd this morning and a lap of 1.49 .038 put him in sixth position on the timesheets.

Modifications to improve front-end feeling for the second session helped Dovizioso lower his lap time by 0.7s in hot and sunny conditions this afternoon. Temperatures reached 26 degrees, giving Dovizioso the perfect opportunity to evaluate Bridgestone's hard rear tyre option, and he finished fifth on the combined timesheets with a best lap of 1.48.308.

Dovizioso's best time was only 0.232s behind pacesetter Jorge Lorenzo and having not yet opted to use Bridgestone's soft compound rear tyre, he is confident he can be much faster in qualifying tomorrow to challenge for a front row grid position.

British rider Crutchlow was satisfied with the progress he made today and a lap of 1.49.023 put him fifth this morning. That was less than 0.2s outside of the top three.

He needed just four laps in hot but windy conditions this afternoon to better his pace from the first practice session and a lap of 1.48.650 put the 26-year-old in an encouraging eighth position.

Crutchlow was less than 0.2s behind reigning World Champion Casey Stoner in sixth and he is optimistic that he has plenty of margin to improve ahead of Sunday's 23-lap race, which marks the halfway point of the 2012 MotoGP series.

Andrea Dovizioso 5th 1.48.038 – 41 laps:

“I am really happy with the way my home race has started. I arrive in Mugello in front of my home supporters full of confidence after the podiums in Assen and Sachsenring and we have made a positive start. We made a big improvement to the set-up of the bike this afternoon. I have more feeling with the front-end and I was much faster than in the morning, even though the conditions were worse. The temperature was hotter but the wind was much stronger this afternoon, so I'm happy to have improved by so much. The gap to Lorenzo is only 0.2s and I only used the hard tyres to focus on the race set-up for Sunday. We need to improve the bike to help the lap times comes a little bit easier but I am confident that we can find another big step like we did today.”

Cal Crutchlow 8th 1.48.650 – 41 laps:

“It was a decent day and my final position in eighth is probably not a true indication of my speed at the moment. I am sure I could be much faster but I didn't really push for a fast time and concentrated a lot on work ing on the set-up for the race. There are a couple of areas we can improve the bike but I am confident we can do that and I will be fighting for a good grid position tomorrow. I lost a bit of time this morning with a small technical problem but I was still able to set a fast and consistent pace all day. My potential is definitely higher than eighth, so I am looking forward to tomorrow and carrying on the good work we have completed today.”


SIXTEENTH POSITION FOR PASINI IN THE SECOND FREE PRACTICE AT THE CIRCUIT OF MUGELLO

This weekend the MotoGP class gets out on the track at Mugello, for the ninth round of the 2012 World Championship.

In the first free practice of the day, Mattia Pasini and his crew decided to focus on the tyres, verifying the durability and the performance on the Italian track, setting some competitive lap times, which were very close to the times set by the other ART machines.

In the afternoon, after a positive beginning of the session, the Italian had to deal with some chattering, which prevented him from imrpoving his lap times. The rider and his technicians will work to solve the problem and to be fighting with the fastest CRT machines in the next sessions.

Mattia Pasini #54 - 16th with 1'51.384

“This morning everything went well, I had a good feeling with the bike and it all worked as it had to. In the session of the afternoon, however, we had a good start, but soon after we got slowed down by some chattering. This prevented me from being as fast as I wanted. Now we’ll go over the data and check what happened. We’ll work to understand what provoked the problem and to be competitive. It’s my home GP and I’d really like to do well, I want to fight with the other ART machines.”


Lorenzo Leads Day One in Mugello

Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo proved to be the man to beat today, setting the fastest times in both morning and afternoon practice for this weekend’s Grand Prix of Italy at the Mugello circuit. Last year’s race winner was clearly comfortable from the off, setting an impressive record beating 1’48.076 lap and remaining unchallenged at the top of the timesheets.

Fellow Yamaha Factory rider Ben Spies spent the day working through several set up options in the hunt for the perfect Mugello solution. A small crash in the morning session reduced his time on track but he was unhurt and back out for the afternoon session. Spies wrapped up day one in seventh but just 0.464 seconds from Lorenzo in first.

Jorge Lorenzo

Position : 1st Time: 1'48.076 Laps: 22

“I’m really happy because from the beginning we’ve been quite fast. We haven’t had to make many changes to the bike, the feeling is great with the track and it’s working well. I feel good with the suspension, throttle and braking. Everything seems quite clear, we have to work on some small details but we’ve made an excellent beginning.”

Ben Spies

Position : 7th Time: 1'48.540 Laps: 24

“It wasn’t a bad day, nice and hot. The first session was ok, then the second session we tried a couple of different bike settings and wasted a bit of the time finding something that didn’t work. We went back to the setting we know that works and had it going pretty well by the time the tyres were pretty used. I’m happy we were doing the times we were with race distance on the tyres and we know we can make the bike better for tomorrow. We need to be a bit closer to the front but the bike’s working well so we just need to make some fine adjustments.”

Wilco Zeelenberg

Team Manager

“A very fast practice day. We made the requested long run for the Bridgestone tyre and it seems to be under control. I think so far we are the only one who did it so we have space to work tomorrow. Maybe not to get faster but definitely keep a rhythm and push a little more in qualifying.”

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

“It’s been a good start today. Unfortunately this morning we had a little crash which compromised the second part of the first practice. Ben’s base set up is good, we tried a long run to check tyre life and I think everything is on the same page. All in all a positive first day.”


EXCELLENT START TO MUGELLO GRAND PRIX FOR BARBERA’

The 9th round of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship kicked off today in Italy at the Mugello circuit.

After the tricky weather conditions in Germany, sunny Tuscany is a welcome change for the riders and the White and Green rider looked in fine fettle around the 5.245km track today.

The Grand Premio D’Italia began very well for the Pramac Racing Team rider Hèctor Barberà, with two promising free practice sessions, despite a spectacular crash in the afternoon’s session.

The 25-year-old rider was able to finish the day with a great fourth place, after a big crash at the Casanova Savelli turn, while he was making a long run to try Bridgestone’s new tyres.

Hèctor had a consistent pace, setting a best lap time of 1’48.254, just 0.178 seconds off leading man Jorge Lorenzo and he also claimed the highest speed of the session with 346.7 km/h.

The Spaniard is planning to try a few changes tomorrow to try to maximise the potential of his Ducati around this high-speed track, but he is feeling relaxed after the flying start of the weekend.

Hèctor Barberà – Pramac Racing Team Rider – 4th place in 1’48.254

“I’m happy about these sessions and I’m feeling quite good, even if I crashed out. We were making a long run to test the new tyre compound, when I crashed. I didn't have a great feeling while I was trying the new tyre, but I decided to finish the long heat to understand the new Bridgestone's potential.

Unfortunately, after a few laps, I crashed in the gravel at high speed but I escaped relatively unscathed. In the last minutes of the afternoon session I used a new soft tyre and this allowed me to regain the confidence with my Ducati, storming into the top four.”

Francesco Guidotti – Pramac Racing Team Manager –

“Hèctor had some issues during the long run, as he had a lack of confidence and feeling with his Ducati. But he decided to continue the run, until he crashed.

After this glitch, we started again with another short run to restore Hèctor’s confidence both with the track and the bike. We used a soft tyre and this marked a positive step forward for us, also for tomorrow’s qualifying session, during which we will look to achieve the best grid position possible.”


Repsol Honda Team take to the track in Mugello

The Repsol Honda Team had a good start on the first day of free practice sessions at the Grand Prix of Italy, with Dani Pedrosa finishing the day in second position, just 0.031 off Lorenzo, and Casey Stoner in sixth, 0.4 off the best lap time.

Dani and Casey made the most of the perfect weather conditions to test the performance of the Bridgestone tyres in the fast and flowing Mugello circuit to start setting up their RC213V machines. Both riders worked with the standard hard rear tyre, the most likely choice for the race distance of 23 laps.

Dani, who won at Sachsenring last week and here in Mugello in 2010, made a big step forward in the afternoon session and with a best time of 1'48.107, lapping three tenths under the circuit record (set by Lorenzo last year with 1'48.402), while Casey, a winner here in 2009, finished close behind with a best lap time of 1'48.527.

DANI PEDROSA 2nd 1'48.107

"We had some troubles with the tyres in the morning, but in the afternoon we made a step forward that I'm happy with in order to keep improving tomorrow. We struggled to get up to the pace a little in FP1, but during the day we were getting closer to Lorenzo, who seems to have the set up quite clear from the beginning. In the afternoon we wanted complete the 12 laps Bridgestone requested on the standard hard option tyre. I went out planning to make this long run on my first exit but I couldn't complete it due to the red flag. Anyway, we finished the day quite well and we have some ideas for tomorrow; we need to find some more grip and better braking to gain three or four more tenths".

CASEY STONER 6th 1'48.527

"We haven't had a great day and aren't too impressed with our pace on the bike. This morning we began very far off the pace and slowly made our way forward. This afternoon we were trying to get the hard tyre to work, but every time we went out it didn't work so we came back in to try something different and then go back out but it was still the same. We can't seem to get the same tyre temperatures that the others are getting at the moment, we're trying to find it through different set ups, but we haven't found it just yet. We have some thinking to do tonight and will try to come back tomorrow with something different".


Lorenzo tops both sessions in Mugello Friday practice

Round 9: Italian Grand Prix – Free Practice One and Two

Mugello, Friday 13 July 2012

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard* (Asymmetric)

Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)

* The hard compound rear slick tyre is available in both regular and special constructions at Mugello this weekend.

Weather: Dry. Ambient 24-28°C; Track 36-47°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Last year’s Italian Grand Prix winner Jorge Lorenzo took over from where he left off at Mugello after the Yamaha Factory Racing rider topped both Friday practice sessions.

Lorenzo’s best time of 1:48.076 fell just short of last year’s pole position time yet was enough to edge Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa into second place by three hundredths of a second, while Nicky Hayden gave cause for the Ducatisti to cheer by finishing third fastest on Friday and just eight hundredths of a second off the pace.

Both practice sessions today took place in warm and dry conditions with a peak track temperature of 47°C in FP2 and riders took advantage of the dry track time to test both the regular and special construction rear tyres available at Mugello this weekend. Some riders were undertaking race simulations on the hard compound rear tyre in FP2 before a red flag halfway through the session brought a halt to proceedings, and further testing of both the regular and special construction rear slicks is planned for tomorrow. As Mugello features the hardest braking zone on the calendar at the entry to San Donato, most riders opted for the greater stability of the harder front slick for today’s practice sessions.

MotoGP action returns to Mugello from 1010 local time (GMT +2) for Free Practice 3 with qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix kicking off at 1355.

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“We had typical Mugello conditions today with hot and dry weather causing track temperatures to reach almost 50°C though as is usual for Friday, grip levels for FP1 were not the best but improved throughout the day as more rubber was laid down on the circuit. Some riders tested the special construction rear tyre we brought to Mugello and the feedback was encouraging, with a negligible difference in feel compared to the regular construction rear slick and some of the riders also managed to set their fastest lap of the day on this special construction rear tyre. Testing of both the regular and special construction will continue tomorrow in what should be very similar track conditions and for the front tyre, the harder front slick was widely used today and I expect this option to be the popular choice both for qualifying and the race. With the extra power of the 1000cc machines down Mugello’s long straight, it is looking very likely that both the top speed and pole position records for this circuit will be surpassed tomorrow during qualifying.”


BRADL SEEKS IMPROVEMENTS ON DAY ONE AT MUGELLO SURFACE

Mugello, 13th July: under sunny yet windy conditions the MotoGP contingent hit the famous Mugello circuit today for the first day of practices. The circuit that twists through the Tuscan hills north of Florence is one of Stefan Bradl’s favourites who set the 10th fastest lap time of the day.

Bradl’s goal is to continue making the progress he has shown in recent weeks, which culminated with a fifth place last Sunday, and capitalise on the confidence he has found with the Honda RC213V.

Bradl: “Actually it has not been the perfect day for us because I can not get the bike breaking in the proper way so we need to fix this. We made some adjustments getting some improvements but it’s still not good enough. Basically we are struggling too much with edge grip and we are losing consistence in every section but we are not completely lost. We will work hard to reduce the gap because I love this circuit and I aim to stay up in the pack”.


POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR'S ESPARGARÓ STRIKES FIRST IN CRT BATTLE AT MUGELLO

Spaniard sets fastest CRT time in twelfth place, with team-mate De Puniet just two tenths behind

After watching his compatriot Dani Pedrosa establish his victory credentials from first practice in Germany a week ago, today Jorge Lorenzo fired the first shot at Mugello, setting the pace in both of the opening two free practice sessions. A crash strewn day that saw Lorenzo hit the deck along with the likes of Bautista and Barberá highlighted the technical difficulties of riding at Mugello although lap times are already on par with the best from last year - the new 1000cc engines making hay down the longest straight in the championship.

The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders encountered their own difficulties with the track, Aleix Espargaró running into the gravel this morning and Randy De Puniet doing the same this afternoon. However, the Spaniard and the Frenchman continued to set the pace amongst the CRT machines with a second advantage over their rivals. Aleix struck first in the private battle with his team-mate, clocking a 1'50.015 on his fourteenth lap at the end of a long, hot day. De Puniet finished just two tenths behind his team-mate after suffering a gearbox problem that forced him to run off track twice, fortunately without consequences.

12th Aleix Espargaró 1.50.015 (33 laps): "I am really happy with the work we have done today and surprised by our pace this afternoon. We didn't expect to set these lap times already on day one and thought we would be losing out a lot more to the factory bikes down the straights. The bike is working well and we have to keep going like this. I am looking forward to getting back out there in the morning and making sure we are totally ready for qualifying. I would like to have a good race here in front of the company that made this bike. We have found a good base to work from and have a new engine to put in tomorrow that should help."

13th Randy De Puniet 1.50.269 (33 laps): "We have started well and the feeling with the bike is great. The afternoon session was going well until we ran into a gearbox problem that we have suffered before. It sent me straight on a couple of times but thankfully I managed not to crash. Something was broken so we switched to the second bike but only got two laps in. Anyway, I want to be positive and the good thing is we have the pace so I'm sure will work on the problem tonight and fix it for tomorrow."


DIFFICULT FIRST DAY AT MUGELLO

It proved to be an unhappy first day at the Italian Grand Prix for Alvaro Bautista today, the Spaniard running off track in the morning due to a technical problem and then crashing in the afternoon, putting the skids under any progress at Mugello. Michele Pirro also struggled slightly to match the pace of his CRT rivals, who have prior testing data from Mugello whereas the Italian and his team are running the bike here for the first time.

Alvaro Bautista ( 11th 1’ 49” 208 ) “Today was a day to forget, unfortunately not a good one for us. This morning I had a problem with the brakes and ran straight into turn one, then crashed in the gravel. We didn't manage to solve the problem and I wasn't able to ride as I want. In the afternoon we worked on the set-up but I crashed almost straight away, losing the front with no warning. I changed onto the other bike but the brake problem hadn't been fixed and I was really struggling under braking. We changed the disc and pads and managed to put some decent laps together at the end on used tyres. But we have a lot of work to do tomorrow to improve my confidence and my position.”

Michele Pirro (14th 1’ 51” 230) “This is the first time at this track so the others have an advantage having already ridden here. We are slightly more behind the best CRT than we have been in recent weeks, when we have been really close. Obviously we will keep working to reduce the gap and I am optimistic we can do it.”

Fausto Gresini “It has been a tough first day and the two crashes have made life difficult. It wasn't easy for Alvaro but I think with some changes tomorrow can be a different story and he will be back up where he belongs. We are a little bit further back from the best CRT than we have been but we've not been to Mugello with this bike before whereas the others have and that data makes a big different. We have work to do but I am confident we can have a good race on Sunday.”


Ducati Team starts setup work at Mugello

On a sunny but breezy day, Nicky Hayden posted a respectable third-best time in the second free practice session for the Italian Grand Prix. Valentino Rossi, who followed a different line of work, preferring to not sample the soft tyre yet, finished the day ninth.

Tomorrow both riders will continue working on the Desmosedici’s setup, with Valentino also planning to try a long run in order to check tyre endurance, although the fact that his best time today came on tyre with 20 laps on it is promising in that regard.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 3rd (1:48.157)

“Things started out pretty well this morning. I did a 14-lap run with times that were steadily pretty good. From there, we haven’t really made a big step with the hard tyre. My best time was with the soft, which we tried for a couple laps just to make sure there are no surprises when we put it in for qualifying. We’re struggling a bit with grip on rear entry, which hasn’t been the case lately, but we have some ideas to try. This track is tough, but I like it, and there’s still time to improve before Sunday.”

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 9th (1:49.017)

“We wanted to do a long run this afternoon to check the tyres, but I had to interrupt it due to a problem with chatter. We had made a change to the fork setting compared to the morning and maybe that was what caused it because after returning to the previous setting and making some other small changes to the setup, it immediately worked a bit better. Anyway, I kept using the same tyre for the entire session, about 20 laps, and I did my best time at the end. Tomorrow we’ll try again to do a long exit, although there shouldn’t be any big problems with temperature or endurance here. We didn’t try the soft tyre today, so tomorrow we’ll also see how we go with that. There are still a few things to adjust, especially on the second half of the track, because I’m quite fast on the first part. We have some ideas, and we’ll see tomorrow.”


Complicated start at Mugello for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing

The Mugello circuit characteristics force Colin Edwards and the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team to double the efforts in order to get back to the performance level achieved in Sachsenring five days ago, where they had their best result of the season since Qatar.

Mugello presents itself as a more complex track in terms of the bike’s setup. The American rider completed 28 laps today, with a 1´51.857 as his personal best of the day, three tenths faster than during the morning practice but that are not enough for him to fight for the top CRT yet.

Colin Edwards – 5-

“After our good result last week, we came here positive and ready to go, but it seems like we have the same problems we had at the beginning of the season. The bike doesn’t turn, it only turns pretty good on gas, which is why we had such a good result in Sachsenring and here we are struggling. The bike setup here is very similar to the one we had in Sachsenring. There are two different motorcycles; you’ve got the breaking side off gas that doesn’t turn and as soon as you open the gas it decided it wants to turn. It’s a struggle right now. We will see how tomorrow goes.”

Sergio Verbena - Crew Chief

“Unfortunately here at Mugello our weekend has started with some difficulties that we didn’t have during the last week in Sachsenring. We knew we wouldn’t have started off as well as in Germany because Mugello is a very different track that magnifies the problems that we have had from the beginning of the season. We are trying to solve part of those to allow colin to reduce the gap with the other CRTs. As of today the gap is very present but we know in which direction to work on to get close to the others.”


2012

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