The Suzuki GSX-RR made quite the statement during qualifying for round seven of the 2015 MotoGP Championship at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales, respectively, claimed the 1-2 qualifying positions for Sunday’s 25-lap Grand Prix of Catalunya. Espargaro earned his second-career MotoGP pole in dominating style – he broke the lap record set by Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa in 2013. This was also the first pole for Suzuki since Chris Vermeulen at 2007 Assen MotoGP.
Espargaro claimed the pole with a lap of 140.893, and Vinales followed 0.083 of a second behind. Taking the final front-row starting position was the man who won the last three rounds of 2015 MotoGP, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo.Speaking before a home crowd, Espargaro says: “Unbelievable. I push 100 percent. With the first tire I push a lot but not to the limit, the second tyre I push, everything or nothing! I almost crashed because I opened the throttle so early. First and second for Suzuki is great after the work they have done it’s like a present for them. Hopefully we can be near the front tomorrow.“Let’s cross our fingers and hope for a dry race for all the people coming tomorrow. I think it’s much better dry than wet. We did a lot of laps on used tires in FP4, 25 like the race. I think our pace is very similar at the top. Yesterday I said pole wasn’t important, but it will be a dream to fight with Jorge, Marc and Vale for the podium.”Lorenzo earned his fourth-consecutive front-row start, the two-time MotoGP Champion finishing 0.1 of a second behind Espargaro.Heading up row two is the reigning MotoGP Champion who has struggled so far this season, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez. The Spaniard, who set a quick pace during the final lap only to peter out in the final sector, finished 0.208 of a second behind Espargaro.Joining Marquez on row two is Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, who finished on the podium four times this season, and the other Honda RC213V pilot, Dani Pedrosa.The winningest rider at Catalunya, nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, will start seventh on his Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1. He was followed by Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Bradley Smith and CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who crashed on turn 10.The leader of the Open class standings, Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing), will start from the head of the fifth row in 13th, just ahead of Marc VDS Racing’s Scott Redding. As for the sole American in 2015 MotoGP, Aspar MotoGP Team’s Nicky Hayden will start from 18th.AB Motoracing Honda’s Karel Abraham suffered a horrible crash in FP4, and will be sidelined for Sunday’s MotoGP; he dislocated his left foot’s big toe.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week’s episode features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the beautiful new Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST that is loosely based around the original FXRT Sport Glide from the 1980s. Hailing from The Golden State, these cult-status performance machines became known as West Coast style, with sportier suspension, increased horsepower, and niceties including creature comforts such as a tidy fairing and sporty luggage.
In past episodes you might have heard us mention my best friend, Daniel Schoenewald, and in the second segment I chat with him about some of the really special machines in his 170 or so—and growing—motorcycle collection. He’s always said to me that he doesn’t consider himself the owner, merely the curator of the motorcycles for the next generation.
Yet Daniel is not just a collector, but I can attest a really skilled rider. His bikes are not trailer queens, they’re ridden, and they’re ridden pretty hard. Actually, we have had many, many memorable rides on pretty much all of the machines in the collection at one time or another.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!