Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will start tomorrow’s Grand Prix of San Marino side by side on the front row after an intense qualifying battle this afternoon at the Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’.
As usual Lorenzo was the first rider away onto the track and immediately set the pace with a 1’33.824, the fastest lap of the weekend at the time. He went on to immediately improve, shaving a little off to lap in 1’33.797, beating last year’s pole time. With nine minutes remaining he relinquished pole position to rival Marc Marquez and returned to the pits for fresh rubber. With just over six minutes remaining he returned to the track and with his seventh lap brought his time down to a 1’33.428 to secure second place on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
Teammate Rossi was quick to follow Lorenzo out at the beginning of the session but was forced to sit up in the opening lap due to heavy traffic, the Italian having to wait until there were just eight minutes remaining to find suitably clear track to climb from 12th to an impressive third position with a 1’34.025. He then returned to the pits for a fresh rear tyre and was back on track with just over five minutes remaining. The nine-time world champion then delivered a scorching 1’33.659 with two minutes left on the clock to take provisional second place, only to be bettered by teammate Lorenzo soon after and moving to third. Another step on his final flying lap saw the lap time drop even further to a 1’33.573, securing third place and keeping him on the front row for the second time this season.
Position 2nd – Time 1.33.428 – Laps 8
“I expected to struggle less this weekend and go faster than last year but I couldn’t be faster and I couldn’t improve the bike so much. We improved a little but not enough to be closer to Marc. He made an amazing lap. We are struggling to stop the bike in braking and we have more spinning than normal in acceleration, that is why the lap time is not great. I will try to make a good start tomorrow and maybe the best strategy is to follow Marc and see how our performance is during the race.”
Valentino Rossi Valentino Rossi
Position 3rd – Time 1.33.573 – Laps 9
“We are satisfied with yesterday and today because we worked very well during the practice, I was always strong and we improved the setting step by step. This afternoon my bike was fantastic; it had a great setting with a lot of grip. With the second tyre I was alone with no traffic and I pushed very much from the first corner with a great feeling with the bike and I improved my lap time a lot. I’m happy because it’s very important to start on the front row tomorrow as Marc and Dani are very fast and also Lorenzo is very strong and very fast. Tomorrow I want to arrive on the podium so starting with them from the beginning is important to fight for it. I want a great race and I want to be on the podium!”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing – Team Manager
“The second day is done in Misano and we qualified second on the front row, which is good for the race. Of course we would have liked to have gone a bit faster; we are still trying to find some solutions for some extra grip. Overall, we are on the front row, which is what matters but for tomorrow’s race we would like to improve a little bit.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing – Team Director
“A really good qualifying session, having both riders on the front row is very important, especially here where it is difficult to overtake. For me we have done a really good job so far. We came here with important new items for the bikes and were able to make good use of them, although we still have some adapting to do. Tomorrow is going to be a really good race, it’s going to be a tough one but I think we are ready. Looking at the rhythm both riders have we should be confident.”
Crutchlow digs deep to claim second row in Misano
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow maintained his excellent qualifying form in 2013 to claim a fantastic fifth position on the grid for tomorrow’s 28-lap Misano MotoGP encounter in San Marino.
For the first time since the new qualifying format was introduced for 2013, Crutchlow found himself having to participate in the opening 15-minute QP1 session. The British rider though comfortably advanced into QP2 with a best lap of 1.34.694.
Still searching for the optimum set-up with his YZR-M1 to allow him to show the potential that has taken to four rostrum finishes and two pole positions in 2013, Crutchlow dug deep to find his best form of the weekend in a record-breaking QP2.
In gloriously sunny and hot conditions at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, which lies just a short distance from the Adriatic coast, Crutchlow shaved another 0.6s off his best pace to claim a place in the middle of the second row for tomorrow’s 13th round of the campaign.
Crutchlow’s brilliant performance this afternoon ensured in 13 qualifying sessions this season he has not yet finished lower than fifth position.
British teammate Bradley Smith also featured in QP1 and he came tantalisingly close to making it through to the second session when a time of 1.34.869 saw him miss out on a top two place by just 0.175s.
The 22-year-old was pushing hard on his final lap to try and join the battle for the top 12 grid positions when he suffered a small front-end crash at Turn 14. He was uninjured in the spill and he will start tomorrow’s race from 13th on the grid, and he remains optimistic that he can fight for a ninth top 10 finish in his rookie season.
Position 5th – Time 1.34.014 – Laps 9
“It has not been an easy weekend at all and having to go into QP1 for the first time this season was proof of that. So considering how difficult it has been I am really pleased to be starting on the second row of the grid. This afternoon was much better and as I always do, I managed to pull something out of the bag in qualifying. I am always strong in this situation but I really had to be today to get myself out of trouble. We still need to find something else for the race because the gap to the front is pretty big. I am definitely trying my hardest but I have lost some confidence on the bike since the middle of the season and now I have to improve to go faster. One area I definitely need to look at is T3 because I am not fast enough in that sector. I’ll try and get a good start and go with the leading group and I will be doing my best to deliver a positive result for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team.”
Bradley Smith Bradley Smith
Position 13th – Time 1.34.869 – Laps 8
“Unfortunately today didn’t go according to plan at all and being 13th on the grid is not ideal. I improved my pace from yesterday by over a second but clearly it is not enough. I’ve crashed twice now this weekend by losing the front, so it shows we have a problem and we will have a good look at the data tonight to find some improvements in that area. We made a really good step overnight with the bike for FP3, but this afternoon we didn’t really make any progress. It is going to be a very tough race and if I can get a top 10 finish I will class that as an amazing result.”
2013 MotoGP San Marino
Misano, San Marino 14/09/2013
1 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 1’32.915
2 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’33.428
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’33.573
4 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’33.726
5 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1’34.014
6 Aleix Espargaro ART ESP 1’34.028
7 Stefan Bradl Honda GER 1’34.098
8 Alvaro Bautista Honda ESP 1’34.230
9 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 1’34.338
10 Nicky Hayden Ducati USA 1’34.338
11 Michele Pirro Ducati ITA 1’34.467
12 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 1’34.519
13 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 1’34.869
14 Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki USA 1’35.174
15 Hiroshi Aoyama FTR JPN 1’35.534
Hot and Sunny
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Marc Marquez, 15-9-2013)
Last Years Winner: