2012 Misano MotoGP Saturday Post-Qualifying Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after qualifying for Sunday's race at Misano:


10 YEARS OF A COLLABORATION TO REMEMBER

Castrol and Honda Gresini celebrated 10 years of fruitful collaboration yesterday at Misano. A decade of successes, statistics and memories shared in the World Championship. A collaboration in MotoGP since 2003 and taking in the Moto2 class, with Toni Elias’ World Championship title in 2010. 58 podiums and 21 wins have come during the collaboration, taken by riders such as Sete Gibernau, Colin Edwards, Marco Melandri, Toni Elias, Alex De Angelis and the late Marco Simoncelli –who was the most recent rider to take Castrol and Honda Gresini onto the podium, last year at Phillip Island.

Fausto Gresini – San Carlo Honda Gresini Team’s Manager “It's been 10 fantastic years, over the course of which we have enjoyed so much excitement and success on track together. A long working relationship gives satisfaction to everyone involved. To have a partner as prestigious as Castrol by our side has opened the door to an important technological platform for the development of lubricants for our RC213V... it really is a collaboration that has given more horsepower to our bikes! There is also the common relationship with Honda Italy, who have been the glue and the catalyst in the partnership. We hope that Castrol and Gresini Racing continue together long into the future -and that we can get together soon to celebrate similar achievements to this one."

Donald Smith – Castrol Sponsorship Manager - “Castrol are proud to celebrate 10 years of partnerships with Gresini Honda MotoGP Team. This successful partnership sees the two organisation working together and sharing common values around performance, a passion for racing and team work. MotoGP provides the ultimate testing ground for our Castrol lubricant products and we are proud that a specially formulated Castrol Power 1 product is used in the Gresini Honda RC213V ensuring Castrol continues to push the technology boundaries of motorcycle lubrication to the extreme to extract maximum horsepower whilst also providing ultimate engine protection.”


Confident Crutchlow aims for more podium success

Cal Crutchlow will start tomorrow's GP Aperol di San Marino e Riviera di Rimini confident he can challenge for another rostrum finish after qualifying his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team machine on the front row of the grid for the fifth time in 2012.

The British rider's best lap of 1.34.001 around the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli looked on course to secure him a maiden MotoGP pole position when he headed the timesheets with less than two minutes remaining.

Spanish duo Dani Ped rosa and Jorge Lorenzo though were able to improve their pace right at the end of an exciting session, but Crutchlow was still able to secure a seventh front row start for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team this season.

Crutchlow's performance was particularly impressive considering he had only completed 10 laps prior to this afternoon's qualifying session. The session took place in conditions normally witnessed at the Misano MotoGP, with bright sunshine a welcome respite from the grey and gloomy skies that had dominated and disrupted yesterday's and this morning's practice.

Crutchlow's pace was only 0.144s behind Pedrosa's pole time and the 26-year-old will start the race brimming with confidence that he can follow up a stunning career first podium in Brno last month with another top three in the 28-lap encounter.

The tricky track conditions in practice prevented Andrea Dovizioso from completing any meaningful preparations until this afternoon and the Italian was able to qualify his YZR-M1 in an encouraging seventh position.

The Italian worked tirelessly with his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew to make up for the lost track time and he ended with a best lap of 1.34.916. That left him less than 0.3s off the top six and Dovizioso remains positive that he will be a serious contender for a podium in front of his home crowd tomorrow.

Cal Crutchlow 3rd 1.34.001 – 27 laps:

“I am really happy to be on the front row again and I am particularly pleased for my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew because they did a fantastic job in giving me a great bike, despite the lack of time on track. To be honest I felt a bit rusty because after missing the whole of yesterday's practice with the weather, Brno felt like a long time ago. The start of the session was quite difficult and I was struggling for rear grip. I spoke to Jorge and he said he was also having an issue getting temperature into the tyre but every minute the track was getting better and the grip was improving. I'm happy to be on the front row and I am fast in all parts of the track. If my four best sector times were put together I'd have been in pole position. It is going to be a hard race because nobody has had the chance to properly work on their dry set-up, but I am really looking forward to it. I am feeling really confident after scoring my first podium in Brno and the good thing is we have carried that momentum to here. Hopefully we can put on a good show for all the fans that turned up yesterday and this morning when not a lot was happe ning on track."

Andrea Dovizioso – 7th 1.34.916:

“I can't be satisfied with the work we did when I am only seventh on the grid. We should have done a better job but I am still on the third row and I am convinced I can fight for the podium tomorrow. It is going to be a very difficult race because we are going into the unknown a little bit with so much track time lost because of the weather. It will be a bit of a gamble on the set-up but we did manage to gather a lot of good data this afternoon and I know we will be competitive. Hopefully tomorrow the weather is good and I can avoid any problems at the first two turns, where it is very tight. I need to make a good start and I am looking forward to battling for another podium in front of my home crowd again.”


Lorenzo Continues Spanish Duel in Misano Qualifying

Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo continued his Spanish duel with rival Dani Pedrosa today. The two protagonists kept the pressure on to the last minute, Lorenzo eventually taking second on the grid, just 0.018 seconds from pole for tomorrow’s Grand Prix of San Marino. The afternoon’s on track action was the first dry session of the weekend, leaving the riders little time to find an optimum set up.

Fellow Yamaha Factory rider Ben Spies started qualifying well, consistently running in the top five as his crew worked on their dry set up. An unfortunate crash in turn one after hitting a bump off the racing line then relegated the Texan to his second bike which had a different set up. As a result he was unable to improve his time in the remainder of the session so will start from eighth on the grid.

Jorge Lorenzo

Position : 2nd Time: 1'33.875 Laps: 27

“The session was really hard as it was our first dry one. I struggled at the beginning to get the pace as we only had that hour of dry conditions. At the end I was able to get much better every lap and improved the bike a little bit. In the end we missed pole by such a little time. We are very close to Dani so I think everybody is waiting for a big battle tomorrow.”

Ben Spies

Position : 8th Time: 1'34.988 Laps: 26

“It was unfortunate this afternoon, we just got off the line a little and hit a bump in turn one. That was the bike with the set up we were comfortable with. I had to go out on the other bike and there was no time to change the set up. We still need to make some changes to the other set up for tomorrow as we know we had some things to work on before the crash. I’m actually confident we can go pretty quick but with the way the weekend has been we haven’t had enough dry time yet to finalise a perfect set up.”

Wilco Zeelenberg

Team Manager

“A very hot qualifying session, again Jorge and Dani were very close. It was pretty interesting as the first dry practice, the two of them ending up so close should make it exciting for the race. The bike feels ok, but it’s not perfect yet which is expected with so little dry time. We’ll work on it and try to have something even better for tomorrow.”

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

“Unfortunately we lost three sessions due to the weather so today we couldn’t have two bikes with the same set up for qualifying. Ben’s crash damaged the bike with the better set up, then he jumped on the other one but the set up didn’t allow him to be faster. Tomorrow we’ll try to improve it in warm up and I am confident we can be with the front guys in the race. Jorge did a good job, they worked hard to find a good set up and I think they will find another step tomorrow for him.”


Important pole for Pedrosa and 3rd row for Rea in San Marino Qualifying

Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa scored his 4th pole of 2012 in a hectic Qualifying session for tomorrow's San Marino Grand Prix. The last time Dani took the pole position in Misano was in 2010, when he completed a perfect weekend: pole, circuit record and victory. He is now the most successful Spanish rider of all time in pole positions in the premier class with 23, and equals Max Biaggi in sixth position overall.

Dani squeezed out Jorge Lorenzo by 0.018s to steal pole on his final flying lap of the 60 minute session, during which both sides of the Repsol Honda garage worked non-stop to make up for lost time caused by bad weather yesterday and in this morning's FP3.

Dani's team-mate, Jonathan Rea, taking part in his first MotoGP race weekend, progressed throughout the session and will start from 9th position alongside Ben Spies and Andrea Dovizioso.

In tomorrow's 28 lap race, Dani will be looking for his 3rd consecutive win and to close the gap to Jorge Lorenzo, and Jonathan will aim to further his experience on the RC213V MotoGP machine.

DANI PEDROSA 1st 1'33.857

"It was a pretty tight session and no time to rest as we had to test the tyres, suspension and find some settings, as well as finding some feeling for myself! At the end we managed a good lap to take pole, which is very important as the first part of the circuit is very tight, so a good start is necessary. The setting on the bike is good so I hope to have a good race tomorrow. Thanks to all my team, we did a very good job in a very short time after a strange weekend due to the weather conditions, but we remained focused to have a good qualifying session and be ready for tomorrow's race".

JONATHAN REA 9th 1'35.358

"I woke up this morning pretty stressed after yesterday's missed sessions and then FP3 was also pretty useless so I've got to be happy with a 3rd row start and my goal was top 10. I'm learning something on every single run and the team did a great job on translating my feedback to give me good settings on the bike. I'm taking things step-by-step and the limit is still quite a way off, but I don't really want to find that limit just yet, I'm taking my time. I want to thank Repsol Honda for this opportunity, I'm really enjoying the experience and don't want it to end! I know tomorrow's race is going to be tough, I just want go out, give my best and have a clean race. I'm pretty nervous but when the lights go out I'll be in race mode and we' ll see what happens".


Good qualifying session for Rossi at Misano, Hayden slowed by injured hand

Following three weather-affected free practice sessions for the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, qualifying took place on a dry track. Valentino Rossi, who found a good setup for his Desmosedici, equipped with a new frame and swingarm, rode to the sixth-best time and will start tomorrow’s race from the second row.

After having ridden well in the wet morning session, when the requisite slower pace put less stress on his hand, Nicky Hayden had difficulty improving. The right hand, which is still healing following his crash in Indianapolis, still lacks the strength to push to the limit, and the pain becomes quite severe after a while.

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 6th (1:34.619)

“Today went pretty well. The work we did in the test was definitely positive, but we also tried a setup today that I really liked, and which allowed me to be faster. That’s why we did the entire session riding at a pace that was closer to the others, improving exit after exit. I thought I could have done even better and gone into the low 1:34s, but it’s okay anyway. We’re on the second row, and we’re not far off on pace either. We’ll try to refine a couple of things tomorrow in the warm-up because I think that the others will improve.”

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 10th (1:35.401)

“This morning in the wet was great. Even without working on the setup, the bike was good right away. Then the track dried out, but I didn’t go out with slicks because I didn’t want to take any risks. The qualifying session went by really quickly. We made a couple of little adjustments and got going better, but although I hate to use excuses, my hand was quite weak and painful. When I went out for the last exit, there was a bunch of CRT traffic. I thought I had time for one more flying lap to try and get on the third row, but the chequered flag was out when I came by. We’ll see how things feel in the morning.”


BRADL TAKES TERRIFIC FOURTH SPOT ON THE GRID AHEAD TOMORROW’S GP

Misano, 15th September: in much improved conditions for MotoGP qualifying at the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini in Misano the LCR rider Stefan Bradl took the fourth place (1’34.221) ahead tomorrow’s 22-lap race with yet another terrific performance in his first season in the premier class.

The German rookie riding the RC213V was consistent top runner in this afternoon 60-minute sunny qualifying session gaining the pole position with 10 minutes to go. On his last Q tyre while holding the 4th position, he was on a front row pace but was blocked by some CRT riders costing him two tenths to make his first front row.

Stefan: “I am quite happy about this qualifying but I think it was hard for everybody because we had no data and no track time in the dry due to the bad weather of last 2 days. The grip condition was not perfect but since the beginning we made a combination of the two bikes using data and adjustments of the last Monday test sessions in Brno and Aragon and at the end I decided to stay on one bike which was better for today’s surface situation. We lost a bit of front-end feeling and we had to adjust it twice because I was losing too much in the entry of the corners. At the end I could make a good lap time thanks to those adjustments but we still have to fix it properly. In my last run I found some traffic and I probably waited too long for the tyre to warm up before my flying lap… Anyway I could enjoy this session and I think we are in a good shape for tomorrow”.


POSITIVE DAY FOR BAUTISTA AND PIRRO

With the sun finally breaking through the clouds at Misano this afternoon Team San Carlo Honda Gresini were able to complete their first dry session of the weekend in qualifying. Alvaro Bautista was fast and consistent throughout, eventually sealing the fifth fastest time and a second row start for tomorrow's race. Michele Pirro was close to being the fastest CRT, giving Team San Carlo Honda Gresini plenty of optimism ahead of their home race.

Alvaro Bautista (5th 1’ 34” 299) “Today we were finally able to get a dry session in and make some changes to the bike that addressed the problems we've been having in recent races. I feel like I have more confidence with the bike now and even though it is still moving around under braking it is not as bad as before and my feeling is better. We were able to maintain a strong pace throughout the session and set the lap time without taking big risks. The second row is positive and now I am feeling confident with the bike. It will be important to start well and stay in touch with the lead group and get back to the level we were at a few races ago. I want to thank all the guys because they have done a great job and I hope I can give them a great result at their home track.”

Michele Pirro (15th 1’ 36” 340) “I am happy. Unfortunately we had a problem with the clutch but the guys did a great job to change it and get me back out on track. I am a few thousandths of a second off the second fastest CRT and the gap to the top guy is not that big so if we can keep this up tomorrow there is no reason why I can't at least fight to be the top CRT. That would be a great result for us.”

Fausto Gresini “What a great day! Alvaro rode well and we were able to try a new suspension package from Showa that worked well and that was important for us. Alvaro has more confidence in the bike and is able to get more out of it. His pace is good and if we can improve in the one part of the track where he's struggling I am confident of a good race tomorrow. Michele also did well, setting practically the same lap time as Espargarò and very close to De Puniet. So I am happy and I hope we can have a good race tomorrow and fight to be the top CRT.”


San Marino MotoGP: Abraham on 11th place in qualifying practice

The weather conditions has again changed a few times during the Saturday MotoGP sessions. After the slower start to the qualification practice the Czech rider Karel Abraham has been faster lap by lap. He set his best time 1.35,648 in the end of the thrilling qualification and lost only 1,791 sec to the poleman Dani Pedrosa from Spain.

Karel Abraham

„The track in the morning was unfortunatelly half dry and half wet. We did not get the chance to try something with bike setting. If we are talking about the afternoon, we are almost satisfied. In the very last lap, which was supposed to be the fastest one, I had the highsider on the front and I was very lucky not to crash. I lost free or maybe four tenths, which we needed to catch Hayden or Rea. On the other hand I feel good with this result because the crash could have had bad massive impact.“

Marco Grana, chief mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing

„The weather were again very tricky today. In the morning was the track again half and half. The qualification was in fact the first session under the dry conditions and we started from the begining. In the first part of the practice we were trying to understand the problem with the front setting of the bike. The rider complained about the instability in the fast corners. We solved it hopefully but unfortunatelly we made a mistake in the last fastest lap and lost a few tenths. We are happy until now and we are ready to fight with the top rider tomorrow.“


RANDY DE PUNIET TOP CRT QUALIFIER AT MISANO

POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider to attempt repeat of Brno breakaway tomorrow, with teammate Aleix Espargaró once again his main rival

The MotoGP class found itself in the same position as Moto3 on Saturday, enjoying a dry session for qualifying after contesting every previous practice run in the wet. Dani Pedrosa took the most advantage of the conditions, dominating the run and taking pole by 18 thousandths of a second from title rival Jorge Lorenzo. With ten minutes remaining, Lorenzo had the provisional top spot but after turns for Bradl and Crutchlow, Pedrosa usurped them all on his final lap. Pedrosa and Lorenzo will continue their title fight tomorrow at Misano, with Bradl and Crutchlow looking to act as spoilers.

Despite having barely ridden this weekend thanks to adverse weather, Randy De Puniet continued to be the reference rider of the CRT competitors. The Frenchman only had teammate Aleix Espargaró as a rival in the final stage of the qualifying session as he qualified twelfth overall. Both POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar complained about a lack of grip with the rear of their ART machines, spending much of the session trying out improvements. There was no definitive solution found, but the duo were nonetheless the best of the new sub-class on Saturday. Espargaró placed fourteenth on the grid. The two have a warm up session tomorrow morning in which to look for further steps forward.

12th Randy De Puniet 1.35.756 (25 laps): "This is turning out to be a very strange weekend, because we have hardly been able to ride. Despite the condition of the asphalt not being very good in qualifying and the problems that we were having on corner entry, I felt good. We have tried to solve our grip problems with the rear with engine braking. We improved a lot in the qualifying run, so I am happy with that and the fact that we were the best CRT. I think that we will have to improve a little bit more tomorrow. I am very motivated for the race and my aim is to break away like at Brno to be the top CRT finisher."

14th Aleix Espargaró 1.36.284 (22 laps): "Today I had difficulties finding my pace in qualifying. We lost a lot of time this weekend due to the weather and today we still had work to do going into qualifying. At the start of the session we had a lot of problems with rear grip. I was unable to make the bike turn as I would have liked. We tried a lot of solutions out. In any case, I am calm because we are in a good position and I know that my team will continue pushing as much as necessary to give us a definitive solution. Despite not being comfortable, my pace wasn't bad and I think that with a small step forward we can be up there with Randy. We have to look at the telemetry later and see what we are lacking."


Pedrosa pips Lorenzo to Misano pole position

Round 13: San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix – Qualifying Practice

Misano, Saturday 15 September 2012

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

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

Weather: FP3 - Wet. Ambient 20-19°C; Track 17-18°C (Bridgestone measurement)

QP - Dry. Ambient 23-23°C; Track 31-31°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Dani Pedrosa will start on pole position for tomorrow’s San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix after the Repsol Honda rider set a time of 1’33.857 to qualify 0.018 seconds ahead of his main title rival Jorge Lorenzo.

Pedrosa set his benchmark time on his penultimate lap using the harder front and softer rear slicks; the most popular tyre combination during the session. Starting alongside Pedrosa and Lorenzo on the front row will be Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow who was third quickest in qualifying, while the top CRT qualifier was Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet who posted the twelfth best time.

The poor weather that plagued the first three sessions of the weekend lifted in time for qualifying, with the track temperature reaching a peak of 31°C during the afternoon. Track conditions improved throughout the one hour qualifying session, but the lack of dry setup time and rubber on the tarmac meant lap times were slower than expected.

Tomorrow’s Warm Up session at 0940 local time (GMT +2) will give the teams and riders a final opportunity to work on a setup for the race which commences at 1400.

Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“Yesterday’s weather forecast proved to be accurate, with the morning drizzle clearing allowing the qualifying session to be run in dry conditions. The dry track for qualifying meant teams had their first chance this weekend to work on a dry setup for the race, though track conditions were still not at their best due to the earlier rain. With limited time to find a dry setup, most riders selected the same tyre combination for qualifying that was widely used at last year’s race; the softer rear slick combined with the harder front slick. This combination gives the best edge of rear edge grip for better drive out of corners combined with better cornering and braking stability at the front.”


SEVENTEENTH POSITION FOR PASINI IN THE QUALIFYING PRACTICE AT MISANO

The third free practice and the qualifying session of the MotoGP class were held today at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

The day kicked off with another session on damp track, during which Pasini and his crew just tried out some small changes to the setting, in order to improve it in case of rain. The Italian set a better time than in the sessions of Friday, completing a total of 11 laps.

In the qualifying session, Mattia and his technicians had the chance to work with better weather conditions and on dry track. The Italian was in eleventh position, when he crashed out half way through the session. The rider managed to get out on the track with his second bike, and he finished with the seventeenth placement on top of his ART machine, with the time of 1'37.162.

Mattia Pasini #54 - 17th with 1'37.162

“In the qualifying practice we finally managed to work with good track conditions. We started off well, there was no problem with the bike. Halfway through the session, however, I crashed out and there was no chance to bring our first bike back to the pitbox. We finished the session using the second bike, but we didn’t improve the grid position. I’m satisfied with the first half of the session, now we’ll try to take advantage of the warm up to improve a little bit more.”


HECTOR FINALLY BACK IN ACTION!

After three free practice sessions characterized by mixed weather conditions, the sun finally arrived at the Misano circuit, just in time for the qualifying session to decide the starting grid for tomorrow’s race at the Gran Premio di San Marino e Riviera Rimini.

The Pramac Racing Team used the sixty-minute qualifying to get Héctor re-acquainted both with the track and the bike, following the six-week absence due to his recent injury.

The white and green team spent the majority of the qualifying session trying to improve Héctor’s confidence with his Ducati machine, without looking for the best set up.

Tomorrow's twenty-minute warm-up should be used at its best to improve Héctor’s bike and make him able to fight for better positions during the race.

Héctor Barberà – Pramac Racing Team Rider – 13th place in 1’36.048

“It’s a special day: I get back on the track after two months of absence and I needed to find again the feeling to ride my Ducati.

Obviously, 13th place was not where I wanted to be, but I’m optimistic about the race. Tomorrow I’ll grit my teeth and try to decrease my lap times by one second or more and to find the best setup possible. I’m confident that we can do a steady step forward, achieving a positive result.”

Francesco Guidotti – Pramac Racing Team Manager –

"Lap by lap, Héctor returned to having the right feeling with the bike, and this is the most important thing. Tomorrow we have to improve our setup, working on a variety of aspects on the bike and trying to catch a good result during the race. And I know we can do it!"


Round Number: 
13
2012

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