Grand Prix of Qatar (1st day): The comments of the MotoGP riders

Publicado: 5 abril, 2013 en MotoGP World Championship (english)
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JORGE LORENZO (1st – Yamaha Factory Racing): “It’s a very good way to start the season, on top. To have three Yamahas in the first three positions like in Jerez means this track can be positive for us. We need to improve though because the other guys will come in the next practice. We’ll make the step little by little by riding, improving the bike and also the track will improve. Today we tried both bikes and tomorrow we will try the new chassis here.”

CAL CRUTCHLOW (2nd – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “It was a very good first session on a personal level with me finishing second and also for Yamaha with a clean sweep of the top three. As is always the case on the first night in Qatar the track was quite dirty, particularly off the racing line. Even on the racing line it was quite slippery but I am happy to be right in the mix from the start. We need to make some changes to the bike for tomorrow because I felt we had too much weight transfer on braking and acceleration but I’ve got to be happy to finish in second and ending up in between Jorge and Valentino. Second place is great but I am not reading too much into it. As the track conditions improve some of the rest will get faster and it is still going to be very tough to be on the podium. I am looking forward to the race and being so competitive from the sta rt certainly gives my confidence another lift and helps me carry on the momentum gained in testing.”

VALENTINO ROSSI (3rd – Yamaha Factory Racing): “The first practice was very positive for us, we are in third position and we are very close to Jorge. Our pace was ok, especially because I used just one set of tyres to understand if I could be fast with a lot of laps. The setting and balance of the bike is good so it looks like we can be competitive.”

MARC MARQUEZ (4th – Repsol Honda): “I’m quite happy because we started well from the beginning. The grip levels here in Qatar aren’t perfect but step-by-step I tried to find the best setup, tried to work always thinking about the race and at the moment we still need to work a lot. I know the grip will be better tomorrow and every rider will be faster. We need to keep that level and concentrate on our work, but I think we have started pretty well. If I’m being honest, I was a little bit nervous…, especially at the beginning when I went out. It felt a bit strange on the bike on the first lap, but after that I just tried to ride like I did during the pre-season and everything was fine.”

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (5th – Ducati Team): “I’m pleased with the lap time, especially because I did three laps like that and I could have been even better if I hadn’t come across traffic. Anyway, the times aren’t really a reference in terms of pace, as the first session is always a bit strange here due to the sand. It’s definitely possible to improve. The riders ahead of me used soft tyres, and I was the only one to use the hard front. Tomorrow there are two important sessions in which we can work on our pace.”

ALVARO BAUTISTA (6th – Go&Fun Honda Gresini): “Unfortunately I wasn’t in the best shape tonight because as the laps went by there was more and more pressure on the fingers I broke at Jerez. As usual here in Qatar the track conditions were not ideal on the first night and the first few laps in particular were a struggle but overall it hasn’t been a bad start for us. Hopefully the track improves tomorrow and the changes we have planned for the bike help us make that step forward in quality that will get us closer to the front and help us to improve on last year’s performance here.”

STEFAN BRADL (7th – LCR Honda): “Actually the 7th position was not our target but I feel better than what is on the paper. When we changed the front setting it took me some time to adapt but at the end I found my rhythm. Our weak point is the braking area and we spotted the same issues of Jerez pre-season test so I missed some confidence in the braking areas right now. However I am quite sure that we can improve the package before tomorrow and this makes me really happy with this first day of practices. We do have the potential to improve our pace and our position on this track.”

DANI PEDROSA (8th – Repsol Honda): “Today wasn’t our best day. We weren’t able to ride well with the bike, because I had a little issue on corner entry. That’s why we didn’t get better lap times. We hope that things go better tomorrow and that we can get better one-off times again.”

ALEIX ESPARGARO (9th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “I am really happy, I don’t even know myself where that performance came from tonight. The bike worked perfectly and it allowed me to ride with ease and the more I saw the lap times drop the more I wanted to push. I was able to follow the factory bikes around certain parts of the track, which is something that has never happened before. Clearly the new ART is working even better than last year, it is more nimble and it is helping me a lot in the direction changes. The engine has a bit more grunt, especially at the top end and the feeling here is even better than it was in Malaysia and Jerez. Anyway, it is only the first session and we have to keep our feet on the ground. As usual on the first night here at Losail the track was very dirty and we will need to adapt our set-up as the grip improves over the next couple of days.”

NICKY HAYDEN (10th – Ducati Team): “It’s certainly good to get the season started. I was having a lot of trouble in my first exit, and I’m not sure what the problem was. When we switched to my other bike with different tyres, the feeling improved and I started putting in some decent laps. I was getting better as the track cleaned up, but I was losing a lot of time in the last three rights. If I can figure out that section and get it to wheelie less, I should be able to improve quite a bit. It’s not a great start, but I think if we can improve a couple of things, we can put up a good fight here.”

BRADLEY SMITH (11th – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “I’m really happy with my performance in my very first practice session in MotoGP. It’s nice just to get rid of the initial nerves and tension that has been building up as you get ready for the beginning of the season. With such little time on track in 45 minutes we didn’t tweak the bike too much. I just wanted to get familiar with the track because the lines and braking points are completely different to what I am used to in Moto2. Being on track with the rest of the field at the same time helps because I can pick up some pointers and I’ll watch a video of the session again to understand where I can improve and be faster for FP2 and FP3, where it will be important to finish in the top 10 for the new qualifying format. I’m satisfied with my posit ion though and I am not a million miles behind Nicky and 1.6s off the best pace is the closest I have been since I first rode this bike, so that shows I am moving in the right direction.”

ANDREA IANNONE (12th – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing): “I had to stop immediately after the first lap because we had a problem with the gear lever, but the guys were very quick to address the issue and I didn’t lose too much time. I have a completely new feeling with the bike on this track, and I feel a little bit lost. During the first part of the session, I couldn’t find the right braking point. I’m happy anyway, and tomorrow I hope to improve my pace.”

BEN SPIES (13th – Ignite Pramac Racing Team): “Today is Thursday, and it’s good to get the first session out of the way. We weren’t exactly where we wanted to be, but for the first time I felt good on the bike and was having fun. I had different feelings. The shoulder is getting better for sure, but I’m trying to take it easy and not go too crazy after not having a great testing season. We still have work to do, but our speed was okay for the first session, and I’m happy about it.”

RANDY DE PUNIET (15th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “I was looking forward to the season starting but to be honest my feeling with the bike wasn’t what I expected in this first session. I have struggled to get a feel for the front end and I’m not sure why but I just couldn’t brake where I wanted to. I was having to brake early to stop myself from running wide and that affected my corner speed. The positive side is that it’s only the first session, we still have a lot of work ahead of us and the track was very dirty tonight so maybe that was the root of the problem.”

BRYAN STARING (22nd – Go&Fun Honda Gresini): “There was a lot for me to get used to tonight, a new track and the first time under lights. It wasn’t easy and to be honest I am not really happy because I know that I can ride a lot faster, especially when the track conditions improve. Tonight there was virtually no grip but we have to stay upbeat and keep working with the team to improve the situation.”

Sincerely,
Eduard Ballús

——————————

The timesheets

1 – Jorge LORENZO – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha – 1’56.685
2 – Cal CRUTCHLOW – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha – 1’56.743
3 – Valentino ROSSI ITA – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha – 1’56.756
4 – Marc MARQUEZ SPA – Repsol Honda Team – Honda – 1’57.276
5 – Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – Ducati – 1’57.538
6 – Alvaro BAUTISTA – GO&FUN Honda Gresini – Honda – 1’57.601
7 – Stefan BRADL – LCR Honda MotoGP – Honda – 1’57.670
8 – Dani PEDROSA – Repsol Honda Team – Honda – 1’57.749
9 – Aleix ESPARGARO – Power Electronics Aspar – ART – 1’57.843
10 – Nicky HAYDEN – Ducati Team – Ducati – 1’57.926
11 – Bradley SMITH – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha – 1’58.369
12 – Andrea IANNONE – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing – Ducati – 1’58.559
13 – Ben SPIES – Ignite Pramac Racing – Ducati – 1’58.575
14 – Hector BARBERA – Avintia Blusens – FTR – 1’59.608
15 – Randy DE PUNIET – Power Electronics Aspar – ART – 1’59.633
16 – Karel ABRAHAM – Cardion AB Motoracing – ART – 1’59.758
17 – Colin EDWARDS – NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR/Kawasaki – 2’00.341
18 – Yonny HERNANDEZ – Paul Bird Motorsport – ART – 2’00.426
19 – Hiroshi AOYAMA – Avintia Blusens – FTR – 2’00.563
20 – Claudio CORTI – NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR/Kawasaki – 2’01.227
21 – Danilo PETRUCCI – Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter – 2’01.438
22 – Bryan STARING – GO&FUN Honda Gresini – FTR/Honda – 2’01.942
23 – Lukas PESEK – Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter – 2’02.079
24 – Michael LAVERTY – Paul Bird Motorsport – PBM – 2’02.135

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