Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo emphatically displayed his intent to win a fourth consecutive San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix by securing his first pole position of the season at Misano today, and consequently his first ever premier-class pole position at the Italian circuit.
After showing impressive pace in the Free Practice 4 session, Lorenzo extracted even more performance from his Yamaha YZR-M1 machine in Qualifying Practice 2 to post a 1’33.238 on his final lap to finish 0.051 seconds ahead of Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone who was the second best qualifier. On the other Movistar Yamaha MotoGP machine, Valentino Rossi rounded out the podium in third place with a best lap time of 1’33.302 to finish just 0.013 seconds behind Iannone. Today’s QP2 session was fiercely competitive with the riders on the first two rows of the grid ultimately being separated by less than two-tenths of a second. All riders on the front row used the medium compound front slick to set their best lap time during the time attack in QP2, but whereas Lorenzo and Rossi used the medium compound rear slick, Iannone took advantage of the soft compound rear slick available to the Ducati and Open-class riders at Misano to clock his quickest time.
Yesterday’s cool and wet weather gave way to dry and warm conditions today, with a peak track temperature of 34°C recorded at the end of QP2. With this morning’s FP1 session presenting the first dry track time, the majority of riders initially used the soft compound front slick paired with their softer rear slick option; medium compound for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders, and soft compound for the Ducati and Open-class riders, to get a feel for the Misano tarmac. Although the Ducati and Open-class riders experimented with their two rear slick compound options during the two Free Practice sessions, the Factory and Yamaha riders stuck to using just their softer option, medium compound rear slick for the entire day, with the hard compound rear slick remaining untested. For the front tyres, the majority of riders preferred the medium compound front slick in today’s sessions, although all three front slick options; the soft, medium and hard compound front slick were utilised and all of these options could feature in tomorrow’s race.
Even warmer conditions are forecast for tomorrow’s twenty-eight lap San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix which starts at 1400 local time (GMT +2). The twenty-minute morning Warm Up session starts at 0940 and will be an important session as riders look to use every second of dry track time before deciding on their race tyre choice.
“Finally after a long, long time, we make a pole position so I’m very proud. From the beginning we’ve been competitive, not like in Silverstone where we had some issues. It seems like the Yamaha is working very well as Valentino is also very fast. I pushed hard in the beginning but maybe didn’t know the perfect lines for the perfect lap. Then in the second tyre I made a very good lap time but just in the first section I lost one or two tenths because I made some mistakes and went wide. From section two I made an unbelievable lap so I’m very proud. The important thing is tomorrow, it’s the day we get the points so we have to make a good start and try to lead the race and win. Being on pole gives a small advantage at the start so I will try to make profit of it and push away in the first laps. It won’t be easy to go away as Vale has a good pace and the others will be there but I’m going to try.”
“I’m really pleased with the result today! It was definitely my best qualifying session this year. It is the third time that I start from the front row, but to do this result in Misano and in front of my fans has a better taste. Here it is very important to start from the front of the grid to be able to find a good rhythm because it is very difficult if you get closed in the group to gain positions. I knew that using the soft tire I had some advantage. For the race tomorrow I want to make a good start, plus we have an idea to improve the setting of the bike that can lengthen the life of the tire. I thank the entire team and Ducati for the support they give me. “
“This morning was not so bad but this afternoon we made a huge step with the setting of the bike and with a used tyre I could be very fast, which is the most important thing for tomorrow. I’m so satisfied because it’s the first, first row of the season. I always struggle in qualifying. In the last races I was able to improve my level to stay always on the second row but the front row is so important fortomorrow, it’s much easier to start at the front. I’m also happy because my lap time is close to the pole position, I feel good with the bike, I had a good practice and I have a good setting. It looks like the Yamaha is very competitive here so we have to fix some small things and be ready for tomorrow.”
“This is the first time this season that I’ve been off the front row, maybe because we haven’t yet found the best setup for this circuit. However, we still have the warmuptomorrow in which to try things out and improve. Yesterday’s practice sessions were both wet, so that is why today we found it a little difficult to find the optimal setup. Nevertheless, I am happy because I felt fairly comfortable on the bike –which is important for the race– but we will have to fight hard to finish on the podium.”
“I had a very good feeling today in Misano, although this isn’t reflected by my position on the grid for tomorrow. The times today have been very close between everyone, but tomorrow in the end we start from the second row. I’ll have to get a very good start and push on the opening laps. It will also be important to make the right choice with the front tyre, because that will be the key to the race. We will have to fight to the maximum, because this is a very long race.”
“This afternoon we had a few problems and were unable to complete all the scheduled work load. Unlike the last few races, we didn’t manage to get into qualifying with the best possible set-up and as a result this didn’t allow me to get the best out of my technical package. We could have done a better qualifying session, but at this point it’s vital to get a good start from the second row, and then figure out the pace to maintain during the race”.
“I’m obviously disappointed not to go into the last qualifying due to a technical problem with the bike but this is racing and we have to continue to work hard for tomorrow’s race. I was confident in Q1: we made a good start, we had some things that we wanted to try and I believe that we could have made a big improvement on the lap time with the second tyre, but we had the problem with the bike. Despite everything, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race: I think we are faster than our position on the grid for sure and hopefully we can have a good battle in the race.
“Considering that we just had one day of dry track time, I’m really satisfied with our qualifying performance. We have been truly fast plus a gap of just three tenths to the pole position is something we should be quite proud of. However, we could have been even higher up the grid but I made some mistakes in sector 1 and 2 on my fast lap which definitely cost me a lot of time. We have to be confident for tomorrow as the start will be crucial due to it being difficult to overtake at this circuit. I’m still a bit unsure about our race pace as due to the conditions we could not try a lot of laps with the same tyres, so tomorrow morning’s warm up will be another important occasion for me to try a few more adjustments in order to be as prepared as possible for the 28 lap sprint.”
“Finishing ninth for sure means things did not go according to plan and once again the start will be crucial for our performance tomorrow. I hoped to be a bit further up the grid but my feeling with the second tyre was not the same. I always use the first tyre in Q2 to get up to speed and then do my quick lap on the second but this time after we changed the tyres, the bike didn’t handle comfortably and I had high sides on each corner entry. With the nature of this circuit I wanted to be in the top six so that I could be in the best position for tomorrow. However, despite this it goes without saying that I am ready to get stuck and give it my all. As for the race pace, I’m still a little unsure but I rode FP4 on old tyres where I managed to do 1’34 lap times and of course when we start with fresh rubber it’s always easier. There’s a few things to try in warm up, but I am very pleased with how the bike handles during braking which is very important at Misano and I will need to be doing a lot of overtaking tomorrow to get to where I want to be.”
“We are only four tenths from the pole and we are all very close so tomorrow it will be a good race. I like Misano a lot and I expected a better result on this track. Yesterday we struggled, crashing twice. Anyway I’m optimist for tomorrow. Regarding the tyre for the race, I think we will go for the hard option.”
Alex De Angelis
“My wrist is very painful and this prevents me to ride as I would like. Regarding the bike, we are struggling under braking, so we will continue to work on the set up of the bike trying to improve my feeling. As it happened at Silverstone, I couldn’t take the maximum out of the soft tyre during the qualifying, while the feeling with the hard compound is good and this is positive thinking about the race.”
“I guess all the riders will be happy today, the weather conditions have changed a lot from the first day and we were able to work smoothly. This morning we worked in a particular direction to try to find the best set-up. In the afternoon conditions changed because the temperature increased so we had to adapt. We are happy with our work, but we have to raise the race and see if the tyres will perform properly for all the race. We still need to get a bit more grip and the bike to turn better. We will work during the morning warm-up session to tune it in, as we need to try to be a little faster.”
“I had so much fun riding in the final practice session. I am generally happy with the feelings today, the work on the bike allowed me to ride without taking too many risks. Since yesterday we have improved a lot, even in the wet. Today in a short time we felt very comfortable and we improved in each outing. In Q1 I improved three tenths from FP4, and hoped to improve a little more in the latter part of the circuit, but I started to notice that we were losing the front end so I had to be careful. We are happy because we have done a good job and we’re ready for tomorrow’s race. We have narrowed the gap with riders such as Redding, but even so we still have one more step to try to match their level. Our pace is optimal but I will not pressure myself to predict a result. Tomorrow I’ll go out and enjoy the riding as I did today, and then we’ll see how far we can go.”
“Today was not good, for sure: this morning we already had a lot of problems and I’m not able to feel the contact of the tyres on the ground, so we are struggling a lot. During the FP4 we tried some set-up solutions which didn’t work, therefore in Qualifying I used the same setting as before. We need to try something which can help me, otherwise I cannot push hard: everytime I try to push, I go straight on corner entry, because it’s vvery difficult to stop the bike in these conditions. Maybe keeping a good rhythm in the race will be easier than make one fast lap, so for tomorrow I hope to make a good start and then fight like I did at Silverstone”.
“Today was strange for me, I had two crashes and I struggled to get the right feeling on the front: there was no front grip and both crashes were caused by that. When I start to turn the bike I don’t have confidence on the front, but we will work hard tonight to find a good solution and to try to be stronger in the race. Maybe we took the wrong direction, but now I just need to clear my head a little bit after the crashes, because I was really frustrated for that”.
MotoGP 2014 Misano QUALIFYING RESULTS Results
- FRONT ROW
1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’33.238
2. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Pramac Racing 1’33.289
3. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’33.302
- SECOND ROW
4. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’33.360
5. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’33.418
6. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 1’33.439
- THIRD ROW
7. Pol Espargarò (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’33.557
8. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) NGM Forward Racing 1’33.713
9. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’33.761
- FOURTH ROW
10. Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda MotoGP 1’33.995
11. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Energy T.I. Pramac Racing 1’34.283
12. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Go&Fun Honda Gresini 1’34.640
- FIFTH ROW
13. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Ducati Team 1’34.495
14. Scott Redding (GBR) Go&Fun Honda Gresini 1’34.919
15. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Drive M7 Aspar 1’34.966
- SIXTH ROW
16. Leon Camier (GBR) Drive M7 Aspar 1’35.275
17. Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing 1’35.292
18. Michael Laverty (GBR) Paul Bird Motorsport 1’35.589
- SEVENTH ROW
19. Alex De Angelis (RSM) NGM Forward Racing 1’35.679
20. Brok Parkes (AUS) Paul Bird Motorsport 1’36.317
21. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing 1’36.689
- EIGHTH ROW
22. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Racing 1’42.497
23. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo IodaRacing Team 1’37.417