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Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Commences Catalunya Challenge

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team_061215

Today Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi concluded the first free practice sessions in seventh and eleventh place respectively in the combined session times, as they prepare for another sizzling battle at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

After a short break, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were back on tarmac today for the first free practice sessions ahead of this weekend’s GP Monster Energy de Catalunya.

Enjoying the support of his home fans, Lorenzo consistently upped his pace in FP1. Despite difficult track conditions due to the heat, he was quick to set a second fastest time with a 1’42.458 lap. The local hero spent the remaining time of the session concentrating on perfecting his setting and ended the morning in fourth place.

The track conditions improved slightly in the afternoon. More comfortable aboard his YZR-M1, Lorenzo posted a fastest time of a 1’42,034. This hot lap pushed him up to provisional second place in the time sheets, before the pace quickened in the final stages, moving him down to seventh.

Rossi also enjoyed the first outing in Montmeló. After quickly re-familiarising himself with the track he set the second fastest time on his first flying lap. Focused on the task at hand he bettered his time to a 1’42.938 as the pace quickened, wrapping up the first session in eighth position.

The Doctor had a similar approach in the afternoon. He wasted no time to shoot up to the second spot and used the remaining minutes on the clock to work towards a solid race set-up until the time attack in the final stages of the session. He dropped a 1’42.367, moving him briefly up to third in the time sheets,and finished FP2 in eleventh place.

The results put Lorenzo in seventh in today’s combined times, 0.876s from first, and Rossi in eleventh, 1.209s from the front.

Jorge Lorenzo

7th / 1’42.034 / 8 laps

“I think we did a great job from the morning to the afternoon. In the morning the grip of the track was a lot worse compared to Mugello. The bike moved around a lot, especially in acceleration. We did a great job in making the bike more stable, so the performance improved a lot and we have a consistent pace. This will be very important for Sunday’s race. Here, compared to the first lap, the pace can drop a lot in the middle of the race, so if we have a good set up we can have an advantage at the end of the race.”

Valentino Rossi

11th / 1’42.367 / 8 laps

“It wasn’t a bad start. At the end of the practice we found a better setting and balance of the bike and I didn’t feel so bad. I’m just a little bit worried about the position, because I’m not inside the top ten. The reality is that everybody rode incredible lap times and pushed very hard. I feel good with the bike and the pace is not so bad. We have to better our times and try to improve the position tomorrow. A lot of riders rode a very good lap time to stay in the top ten to secure a place in tomorrow’s Q2 in case of bad weather conditions tomorrow. I went on track thinking 1’42.3 was enough to guarantee me a spot, but unfortunately Redding overtook me and I’m in eleventh place. However, the feeling with the bike is more important and we hope for some good conditions tomorrow.”

Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“Today, especially during FP1, the circuit conditions weren’t great for the Yamaha, but it got better throughout the day. We improved the bike’s set up even if the standing doesn’t reflect our potential. We are quite happy with the consistency of the lap times, especially Jorge’s. There is still a bit of work to do for Vale’s side of the garage, but we are confident it will get done in time. We are going to work tonight to improve the areas where the riders are not completely satisfied. We are confident that we can achieve the performance we are looking for.”

Home hero Espargaro confident after first day at Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya

Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Pol Espargaro kick-started his home campaign in front of his passionate crowd by completing the opening day in 9th position in the combined standings. The 24 year old rider started his weekend by making the initial steps in setting up his Yamaha YZR-M1 for Sunday’s 25 lap sprint as he concluded the practice in 14th place. In FP2 the temperature increased and Espargaro continued his work whilst aiming to improve the setup of his bike. After undertaking 20 laps around the 4.7 kilometre circuit, he finished with a best time of 1’42.313 in the tightly contested opening day of action. Tomorrow he will intend to clinch a top grid position in the all-important qualifying session, for round 7 of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship in front of the ever-ecstatic Catalan crowd.

Meanwhile, Bradley Smith concluded the opening shake down at the Catalan Grand Prix in 14th position in the combined standings. The young British rider began the day by making the first alterations to his MotoGP bike with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team and finished FP1 in 15th place. As soon as free practice 2 began, Smith got straight to work and continued his relentless efforts in getting prepared for the 25 lap battle on Sunday, whilst completing a total of 21 laps around the circuit. This was the highest number reached in the MotoGP field and the young rider met the chequered flag in 13th with a best lap of 1’42.645. He now aims to make additional adjustments for his race setup tomorrow in preparation for the Monster Energy sponsored Catalunya Grand Prix on Sunday.

Pol Espargaro

9th / 1’42.313 / 38 laps

“Overall, I am pleased with how the day went as we performed a lot better than the time sheets indicate. We have the same handicap as usual whereby the MotoGP open class bikes with the soft tyres, are in front of us. Furthermore, the Ducati’s have a clear advantage as well on the long straight because of their engines. Yet, we still did a solid job as we are only just behind Lorenzo and in front of Rossi. The bike is working well at this track and although we still have some margin of improvement to make, we are doing our best in getting ready for Sunday which is the day it really counts.”

Bradley Smith

14th / 1’42.645 / 42 laps

“It was a slightly tricky opening to this round. This was due to the fact the track has a little less grip than in previous years, so we struggled a bit to get the optimum traction. However, we made a lot of setting changes in order to find a good direction to head towards tomorrow, which we now have, especially after I was able to check over both of the front and rear tyres today. At the end of the practice I focused more on getting a good rhythm with the soft tyre, instead of setting a hot lap time as I believe this compound will be the one for the race so I tried to remain in the 1’42’s consistently. Overall, I am pleased with the bike and now we just need to find a little bit of additional grip. If we achieve this, I believe we can have a strong showing and finish we were want to.”

Good practice sessions for the Athinà Forward Racing team

The Athinà Forward Racing team was on track today to practice the Catalan circuit where the Grand Prix of Catalunya will take place this Sunday.

Stefan Bradl and Loris Baz went on track to try new solutions on the front that might improve their race pace. This weekend the two riders will be fighting again for the lead in the Open class.

After showing a good speed in the morning, Bradl could not find the right feeling with the bike on the corner entrance and he was not able to progress in the afternoon. His best lap time was 1’43.536 which earned him the 22nd position.

Teammate Baz found a good solution for the front in the second practice session. He managed to post a solid 1’42.968 which earned him the 16th place.

Loris Baz

16th / 1’42.968 / 31 laps

It was a long day of work, we had some new solutions to try and I feel we are going in the right direction. This afternoon we kept working on that and we found some improvements for the electronics. I’m happy as I was able to push hard with a fresh set of tyres. We have to improve our pace for tomorrow but we made a big step compared to this morning.”
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Stefan Bradl

22nd / 1’43.536 / 36 laps

“This morning the practice was good, we tried to make some improvement on the bike but unfortunately I cannot flick the bike as fast as I would like into the corners and I think we are losing some speed there. We stay positive for tomorrow and we keep working.”

2015 MotoGP Spain

Catalunya 12/06/2015

1 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki ESP 1’41.158
2 Marc Marquez Honda ESP 1’41.443
3 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1’41.789
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati ITA 1’41.823
5 Maverick Viñales Suzuki ESP 1’41.922
6 Andrea Iannone Ducati ITA 1’41.938
7 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1’42.034
8 Cal Crutchlow Honda GBR 1’42.044
9 Pol Espargaro Yamaha ESP 1’42.313
10 Scott Redding Honda GBR 1’42.354
11 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1’42.367
12 Yonny Hernandez Ducati COL 1’42.417
13 Nicky Hayden Honda USA 1’42.623
14 Bradley Smith Yamaha GBR 1’42.645
15 Hector Barbera Ducati ESP 1’42.697
16 Loris Baz Yamaha FRA 1’42.968
22 Stefan Bradl Yamaha DE 1’43.536

Circuit Length:
4727

Weather:
Sunny

Lap Record:
1’42.358
(Daniel Pedrosa, 1-1-2008)

Fastest Lap Ever:
1’40.893
(Daniel Pedrosa, 16-6-2013)

Last Years Winner:
Marc Marquez