Grand Prix of Qatar (2nd day): The comments of the MotoGP riders

Publicado: 5 abril, 2013 en MotoGP World Championship (english)
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MARC MARQUEZ (1st – Repsol Honda): “Practice today went pretty well – better than expected. I was very comfortable on the bike and this is the important thing. Our foundation isn’t bad at all – we are improving in every session and working with Sunday’s race in mind. What we are missing is a bit of pace and consistency. We will have to make the most of the 30 minutes that we have before qualifying tomorrow to improve those points.”

JORGE LORENZO (2nd – Yamaha Factory Racing): “I’m very happy with the changes we made on the bike because it improved a lot. In the last moments the track was better this evening, in the beginning it was very dirty. I think we can still improve the bike more tomorrow, we still haven’t decided which chassis is better; today it is the new one, yesterday the old one. I’m very curious to see how the qualifying goes with the new formula, we will just be concentrating on making four fast laps, the maximum performance we can get.”

CAL CRUTCHLOW (3rd – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “The track was not in a good condition again tonight and it was very dirty but I am still happy with my performance and it is good to remain inside the top three. I was confident I’d be in the top 10 to move straight into QP2 and I am looking forward to the 15-minute session to decide places on the grid tomorrow night. I think it will be exciting for the fans and also for us because nobody will be hanging around. I felt comfortable on the bike again in the second session because we made a couple of changes earlier that didn’t really work. I still need to improve in the braking zone and I’d like to improve the rear grip too, but I have been fast in every session so far and that bodes well for the race on Sunday night.”

VALENTINO ROSSI (4th – Yamaha Factory Racing): “The practices are not so bad, we are continuing to work for the race. We still have to decide which tyre to use; that will be very important for Sunday. We are ready for tomorrow for the qualifying practice to try and start as far in front as possible and aim for the front row. For the rest it’s not so bad, we continue to work and improve. Yesterday after the practice I had a problem with a very strong headache so I wasn’t at 100% today. Now I’m not so bad and coming better and tomorrow I will be at my maximum.”

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (5th – Ductai Team): “I’m very happy with the position, but I’m especially pleased with the gap to the front. Fifth place is good, but the gap of three tenths is even better. I didn’t expect to be so close, especially because up until this session, we didn’t really have true parameters. In fact, this was the first faceoff with the soft tyre, and we can say that we were pretty close to the others when the tyre is new. We still have to see how things are in race configuration, and tomorrow before qualifying, we’ll decide if we should go ahead with the soft tyre.”

DANI PEDROSA (6th – Repsol Honda): “We improved a little today and are now further up the order. We are faster and entering corners better, but we’ve still got a way to go. We hope to gain a little rear grip, which would allow us to ride more comfortably. The times keep dropping with every session, but we are going to try to keep getting better and prepare for qualifying and the race. The track isn’t in good condition this year and I don’t think that this will change; maybe it will improve slightly as more laps are completed. However, this doesn’t mean making any big changes to the bike – just improving the setup for the conditions we have.”

NICKY HAYDEN (8th – Ducati Team): “It certainly wasn’t easy tonight, as conditions were changing a lot. The wind was really strong in FP2, and there was a lot of sand on the track, but when things improved for FP3, I could push a bit harder. I kind of treated the session like qualifying, because it’s important to advance to QP2. My position isn’t great, but the gap to the front isn’t so bad. We want to make the bike more controllable in the wind and improve traction on corner entry, so if we can keep working in a good way, maybe we can do well in qualifying. It should be exciting.”

BRADLEY SMITH (9th – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “I am really happy because one of my big objectives was to make sure I was inside the top 10 tonight and straight into the second qualifying session. Now I’ve done that I feel like it is a big achievement that I am really proud because it was not easy. I found well over a second in the final session and to finish just over 0.8s away from the top is a fantastic result for me. I didn’t realize just how hard you have to push the bike to get down to that pace and it is going to be very hard to ride at that intensity for the whole race. Credit to the other guys who run a consistently fast pace throughout the race because it is incredibly hard and something I will need to focus on improving. My Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team did a great job tonight. They gave me a bike that gave me a lot of confidence and that was proven in just how much faster I was in the final session. I am less than 0.5s away from Valentino so I am really pleased. There’s still a lot of work to do on the race set-up but I am truly happy to be inside that top 10.”

STEFAN BRADL (10th – LCR Honda): “From the beginning of the session we worked on a race set-up on used tyres and we thought we found a good direction but, towards the end, when we fit a new rear tyre the extra grip affected the balance of our bike and I had to push the front in every corner entry. So I was not capable to keep the corner speed and risked a crash couple of times. But this is just the FP3 and we will have more track time tomorrow to fine-tune the bike so I am still confident”.

ANDREA IANNONE (11th – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team): “Fortunately, my right forearm didn’t hurt as much during FP3, as the pain had forced me to return to the garage on the fourth lap of tonight’s first session. I wasn’t able to control the bike, and I lacked strength. Nonetheless, we were able to make some small changes to the bike, and they allowed me to improve quite a bit and to give a clearer idea of the direction to take. I still don’t have much reference on this track, so I definitely need to do more laps.”

BEN SPIES (12th – Ignite Pramac Racing Team): “I’m okay, even though tonight’s session didn’t go exactly the way we wanted. We tried something a little bit different before our practice, and it didn’t work out. We had to make a change during the session, which cost me some time. We know we missed about 50% of testing due to my injury and learning a new bike, so realistically, our testing is starting now. It was the first time that we pushed the bike hard, and I’m learning things about it. We’re changing stuff and getting used to it, but we need more time. The feeling with the bike is getting better every time out.”

ALEIX ESPARGARO (13th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “The bike performance was better today, although there was some front end chatter which I guess is normal in these conditions. For the second consecutive day I felt really good on the bike and we’re close to the top riders on one of the longest and fastest tracks in MotoGP, so that gives us great motivation to work hard throughout the rest of the weekend. Being just 1.3s off is a great achievement and I’m very happy. We keep getting a bit better each day and we’re looking forward to the new qualifying format tomorrow. I aim to keep riding at this high level.”

RANDY DE PUNIET (16th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “Things were a bit better today but we had some of the same problems as yesterday. Lack of rear end confidence means I’m losing speed on corner entry which affects my overall pace. The track conditions don’t help but they are the same for everyone, so we need improvements however they come. Aleix is a second ahead so we need to bridge that gap. We’ve got tomorrow to come and we won’t stop working until we find the solutions we need.”

COLIN EDWARDS (17th – NGM Mobile Forward Racing): “The first session today we thought we would go ahead and try thehard tire, which is with what I raced here last year and we decided to give ita go but the track wasn’t up to par, dirty and dusty. Didn’t get a lot accomplished,had a couple ideas and started the second session making changes to thesuspension and the change we had ready from yesterday on the electronics on thethrottle pickup and between those two things we made a huge step. The bikefeels comfortable now and that’s the main thing. We got over that hump and feelgood and comfortable. Obviously we went on to use the soft, tires thisafternoon, not sure if they can do the race but I don’t think we have a choiceright now. We are going to test the hard one again tomorrow and we will see.Thanks to my electronics guys and Ohlins, I think together we put together agood package.”

KAREL ABRHAM (18th – Cardion AB Motoracing): “Today´s first free practice was quite good, not so good was the second one. I´ve got problem with chattering of the front and it´s really uncomfortable for me. We must speed up one more second to achieve our goal and it´s gonna be hard, because we have only one free practice left just before the key ten-minutes long qualification.“

DANILO PETRUCCI (20th – CAME Iodaracing): “Maybe we’re still blaming the day yesterday when I could not find a right set. Even today I still have grip problems especially at the front. I’ve got problems in braking and corner entry where I cannot stop. We are still improving lap after lap. The bike is new and the fact that starting with references last year penalized us because the Ioda-Suter is completely new in compare to the 2012. Anyway, on slippery tracks I cannot do very much. Unfortunately, others are far especially Espargarò that’s really strong. I will try to be in the second group of the CRT. “

LUKAS PESEK (22nd – CAME Iodaracing): “Even in this round of testing we have made many changes to the bike. However, every session is positive for me, this time we have improved over a second which is really a lot. We are still working on some details, but not bad indeed. We are not going so slowly and we can do even better. For me is as if I was for the first time. I’m learning as a rookie, it is quite difficult, but what I really need is just to work hard. “

CLAUIDO CORTI (24th – NGM Mobile Forward Racing): “It didn’t go as well as we hoped. We had a few technical problems during the second session making us waste precious time. We haven’t been able to find the right setting and the right feeling with the bike, especially with the front of the bike. I will take full advantage of tomorrow’s first session to find the right setting and improve the race pace. I would like to reduce the gap with the other CRTs and be closer to Colin and the other Italian riders. We will be looking at the data tonight to find the right solution for tomorrow hopping to have a good qualifying results.”

Sincerely,
Eduard Ballús
_________________________

The timesheets:

1 – Marc MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – Honda – 1’56.084
2 – Jorge LORENZO – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha – 1’56.085
3 – Cal CRUTCHLOW – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha – 1’56.326
4 – Valentino ROSSI – Yamaha Factory Racing – Yamaha – 1’56.416
5 – Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – Ducati – 1’56.417
6 – Dani PEDROSA – Repsol Honda Team – Honda – 1’56.502
7 – Alvaro BAUTISTA – GO&FUN Honda Gresini – Honda – 1’56.572
8 – Nicky HAYDEN – Ducati Team – Ducati – 1’56.670
9 – Bradley SMITH – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – Yamaha – 1’56.901
10 – Stefan BRADL – LCR Honda MotoGP – Honda – 1’56.984
11 – Andrea IANNONE – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing – Ducati – 1’57.169
12 – Ben SPIES – Ignite Pramac Racing – Ducati – 1’57.308
13 – Aleix ESPARGARO – Power Electronics Aspar – ART – 1’57.420
14 – Hector BARBERA – Avintia Blusens – FTR – 1’57.956
15 – Yonny HERNANDEZ – Paul Bird Motorsport – ART – 1’58.211
16 – Randy DE PUNIET – Power Electronics Aspar – ART – 1’58.396
17 – Colin EDWARDS – NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR/Kawasaki – 1’58.863
18 – Karel ABRAHAM – Cardion AB Motoracing – ART – 1’59.180
19 – Hiroshi AOYAMA – Avintia Blusens – FTR – 1’59.212
20 – Danilo PETRUCCI – Came IodaRacing Project – Ioda/Suter – 1’59.755
21 – Bryan STARING – GO&FUN Honda Gresini – FTR/Honda – 1’59.758
22 – Lukas PESEK – Came IodaRacing Project – Ioda/Suter – 1’59.837
23 – Michael LAVERTY – Paul Bird Motorsport – PBM – 2’00.080
24 – Claudio CORTI – NGM Mobile Forward Racing – FTR/Kawasaki – 2’00.439

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