MotoGP: Misano Friday Rider Talk

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MotoGP Friday Results

The MotoGP weekend began this Friday morning with four teams and their set of riders topping the top eight spots at the Misano Circuit in San Marino. The top three teams (Honda and Yamaha) all posting under the 1:36 mark at the Misano Circuit

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa posted the quickest time of 1.34.772, which was also set a new fastest lap at Misano. The closest rider was over a half-second slower, as Andrea Dovizioso couldn’t get his Repsol Honda RC212V to perform as quickly as his teammates.

Third was series leader, Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo. His teammate Valentino Rossi followed only three-hundredths of a second behind.

The next two spots went to the American duo on the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team, as Colin Edwards posted fifth fastest, and Ben Spies sixth fastest.

After Friday’s practice results, here’s what the riders were saying:

Dani Pedrosa says: “It’s been a really good start here in Misano compared to last year and I’m very happy about that,” said the 24 year-old. “We are coming from a strong result at the last race and it’s important to keep the momentum going, which we have done so far. But we need to remain very concentrated and focused because we still have some areas to improve, and I’m sure our rivals will also go quicker tomorrow.”

“Our pace has been quite fast today and Andrea is close to the front as well, so this is a good sign for the team. Here the grid positions are very important again because the first corner is close to the start and it’s a tight bend. Because of this we need to make sure we have a good pace tomorrow so that we can qualify well, and also so that we are ready for another long and tough race. I can say this was one of my best Friday practices, but I’m not going to relax at all. We need to keep working towards the race distance, and for lap times.”

Andrea Dovizioso says: “I’m happy with the work done during this session and I’m satisfied to be second. Six tenths from Dani is quite a big gap but I think we have the opportunity to close this. At the end I was able to improve my lap times with the tires I used for the whole session, so I’m confident we can move forward tomorrow. I think everyone was struggling for grip today and it was easy to lose the front, but we found a set-up solution that was effective to help with this so we’ll continue working in that direction tomorrow.”

“Tire selection for the race will be very important, and both the harder and softer option Bridgestones look like possible choices at the moment. I think there are many of riders who can be strong this weekend so we have to work hard tomorrow and do a good job in qualifying”

Jorge Lorenzo says: “Today was quite difficult for us, more so than we expected. It’s not my physical condition, I feel completely recovered from the hard weekend in Indianapolis, but we really struggled today and I didn’t have enough confidence in my bike or in the tires. We have some small problems in braking, corner speed and acceleration so I don’t feel like I can ride how I want to at the moment. We are still third so it’s not too bad but we have some time to make up if we are to match Pedrosa. I have great confidence that my team will find the right way to improve and I hope we will be in better shape tomorrow.”

Valentino Rossi says: “I’m quite happy because we did a good job during today’s practice, especially towards the end when we made a big improvement to the setting of the bike and I was able to make some faster lap times. We have some more things to try, some electronics and some tyre settings, but I already feel confident so this has been a good way to start. We’re quite far from Pedrosa, who was very impressive today, but we’re close to Dovizioso and Lorenzo. Tomorrow we will try to find some tenths and improve our time a bit. My physical condition is okay, I don’t have too much pain but this track has two or three hard braking sections to the right and I suffer a bit with my shoulder at those points.”

Colin Edwards says: “That was a good start to the weekend and I’m really happy with the bike. We had a bit too much weight on the front at the start of the session and a little adjustment to get more weight on the rear really helped my confidence. I kept the same rear tyre for the whole session and it felt really good. It was the softer option but it already looks like that’s going to be the race tire.”

“It performed really well over a long distance and my fastest lap was on lap 26, so we’ve got no worries about it being good for the whole race. And I didn’t really have any spinning issues and I told my guys it felt like the best grip I’ve had all year, so a big thanks to Bridgestone. I think we can only make the bike better and I feel like my first top six of the season is definitely attainable on Sunday.”

Ben Spies says: “I’m happy with today and it’s another decent start. Like Colin, I stayed on the soft tire for the whole session and while I’m happy with the lap times, I know we can find some more time. We can make the rear better because I was just missing a bit of grip and stability that would allow me to go that little bit faster. And we can definitely make the front-end better. It wasn’t a big problem but I wasn’t as comfortable as I can be in the session. We’ve had a look at that already and know what we’ve got to try to make that better for tomorrow. So with a couple of minor issues I’m happy it was a solid session. There’s definitely not one second we can find in the bike but there’s definitely a few tenths we can find with some different settings we’ll try tomorrow.”

Nicky Hayden says: “That wasn’t the smoothest session we ever had and I’m losing a lot on T3. I hoped to start out a bit closer to the top than that. We need to look for some tenths, maybe by finding some better turning in the front and also adjusting the gearbox a bit better. To be honest it’s not one big area we have to improve very much but small improvements in a few different areas.”

“We also had a little issue with the fairing, which came a bit loose and my leathers got caught on it so I had to get back to the pit. We were trying something and after that I had basically one chance to make a good lap so we are not sure it is the right direction, which was a bit of a bummer. We are going to try it again tomorrow morning but this is a big weekend for us and we will try to move up the order.”

Casey Stoner says: “That was a difficult session for us, basically because we didn’t have any information from last year because I didn’t race here. The characteristics of the current engine are very different to the one we used in 2008 so it requires a completely different gearbox set-up and obviously that affects a lot of different things.”

“We took a bit of a shot in the dark with what we thought would work but unfortunately it wasn’t quite right and we had to spend a lot of time today making adjustments. Hopefully the data we gathered can give us a much better idea of where to start from tomorrow and I’m sure we can quickly close the gap to the guys at the top. It is too early to worry but we need to make a lot of progress in the sessions that remain before what is a very important race for everybody at Ducati.”

Loris Capirossi says: “It has been a long time since we have had a Friday like that. I am not happy about the position, but I am very happy with the bike today. We did a really good job with the bike and didn’t have to make too many changes from the original setting, but what we did change also seemed to work well. The base settings for the electronics was also better today, it’s not perfect and we still need to do a bit more work on it, but for now it is fine. I am happy for the whole team because it has been a much better day and we hope that we can keep this up for the whole weekend. We need decent weather on Saturday and Sunday and if we get that I am sure we can have a good weekend.”

Álvaro Bautista says: “It has not been a good practice for me because I have had a problem entering the corner as I didn’t have a lot of rear grip and I cannot enter as quickly as I want to. I started with the harder compound rear tyre, but on the second run I used the softer option, because with the harder one it was almost impossible to get any grip. We tried to do some changes in practice, but the improvements were not that big, so we will need to work on the data for the rest of the day to find a solution to that and hope we can work it out for tomorrow.”

Aleix Espargarò says: “The first few laps were really difficult for me, I could not ride the bike in the best way. We adopted the same set-up we had use in Indianapolis but the thinks were not so positive as we thought. I than changed the bike and managed to reduce my lap. We then have still have to do some modifications to my bike and try to be fast at all the sectors of the track. I can be very fast in the third sector, while I still have difficulties in the second sector where I had the best second last time. Tomorrow I’m sure that with the changes made on my bike, I will certainly obtain a better lap time. ”

Mika Kallio says: “Three seconds of gap from the first are really too much for me, I do not know what happened today, but I was not able to push hard. We started the practice with the same setting of Indianapolis race because that is a track very similar to Italian one, with many slow corners alternating with quick sectors. Indianapolis’s track setting that allowed me to go very fast during that race, was unfortunately not good for this track. During the tests we changed the bike trying to increase the weight on the front tire, because we didn’t have enough grip on that tire.”

“The result was not the best. We have than taken the first solution modifying some settings to make it more easy to ride. The result was not remarkable but it was good for me to contain the gap I had from the first rider. Tomorrow we will try new solutions that should allow me to reduce my gap.”

Marco Melandri says: “Finally we have started out with a good session without major problems. We managed to set a consistent pace and gradually improve throughout the session so now it’s just a case of picking our tyre for the race and working a little more on the engine management. However, we’ve found a good base point and I am satisfied. It will be important to have a good qualifying session tomorrow.”

Marco Simoncelli says: “That was a tough and demanding session, we tried a lot of things. Some things worked well and some not so well and at the end of the session I tried a different tire, which was quite interesting. I am a little down on the time sheets but confident that I can improve tomorrow and close the gap to the top, although maybe not Pedrosa. We have some ideas about what to change and we’ll experiment tomorrow.”

Randy De Puniet says: “I am pretty satisfied about this first outing because, after the bad week end in Indianapolis, I felt more comfortable on the bike. I came out on my bike number one with the base set up but after one lap I had a strange feeling on the rear.”

“We realized there was a blister on the rear tire and Bridgestone staff is now investigating. So I came out with bike number two which was set up with different regulations but my pace on hard tires was pretty good: half second off the sixth position. We still have to make some adjustments but overall I can say that I am back on my normal condition.”