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Aug 23, 2013

Bradl Tops MotoGP Free Practice Two At Brno (Updated)

FIM MotoGP World Championship: Stefan Bradl (6).
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Brno, Czech Republic
August 23, 2013
Free Practice Two Results (all on Bridgestone tires):

1. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), 1:56.500
2. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:56.538
3. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:56.600
4. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:56.726
5. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:56.733
6. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), 1:56.800
7. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:57.351
8. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:57.401
9. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:57.754
10. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), 1:57.896
11. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:58.039
12. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), 1:58.217
13. Michele PIRRO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:58.958
14. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:59.235
15. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:59.288
16. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:59.390
17. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (ART-Aprilia), 1:59.539
18. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:59.613
19. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:59.719
20. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), 1:59.799
21. Michael LAVERTY, UK (PBM-Aprilia), 2:00.338
22. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (ART-Aprilia), 2:00.413
23. Martin BAUER, Austria (SUTER-BMW), 2:00.730
24. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 2:01.549
25. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), 2:01.746




More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Crutchlow and Smith make positive start in close Brno practice

The start of the 11th round of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship in Brno saw Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith in fast and consistent form at the end of a closely contested opening day of practice.

After the long trip back to Europe from last weekend’s Indianapolis round in America, Crutchlow and Smith quickly got back down to business and were able to set the sixth and seventh fastest times respectively in sunny and warm conditions.

Crutchlow has fond memories of the fast and undulating Brno track, as it was a year ago at the Czech Republic venue that he scored a career first MotoGP podium.

The British rider’s quest for a repeat of that success got off to a flying start this morning when he set the third best time in FP1, while continuing to work on a new fuel tank and seat unit upgrade he raced for the first time at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway five days ago.

This afternoon’s second 45-minute session was an incredibly close battle, with a personal best time of 1.56.800 putting Crutchlow in sixth position.

His time was only 0.300s off the fastest pace and just 0.2s outside of the top three, with Crutchlow optimistic that he has the pace to challenge at the front for a fifth podium of the season in Sunday’s 22-lap race.

Smith’s encouraging form in his rookie premier class campaign continued on a positive day for the 22-year-old, who was comfortably lapping inside the top 10 in both sessions.
Eighth fastest this morning, Smith shaved over 0.5s off his pace in hotter conditions in FP2 to climb up the rankings into seventh and he was only just over 0.5s behind teammate Crutchlow.

All six riders in front of Smith today have won a race or finished on the podium in 2013 and his performance is further evidence of the outstanding progress he is making in his first premier class campaign.

Cal Crutchlow 6th 1.56.800 – 32 laps :
“It wasn’t an easy first day here in Brno but the positive point is I was very consistent and the lap times between the top six are very close. The overall lap time is not the best but I am able to lap in the 56s consistently and that is encouraging for the rest of the weekend. We need to improve the bike, so I am hoping it stays dry tomorrow and we can try the modifications we need to improve. I can’t turn the bike well and I am also struggling a little bit for rear grip. I got my first podium in Brno last year and it would be great to repeat that achievement on Sunday. It will be tough but I will be giving it my all.”

Bradley Smith 7th 1.57.351– 32 laps :
“Today was a positive start to the weekend although I encountered a couple of small issues with the front-end. I need to get some more grip to allow me to carry more corner speed but I am happy because I was able to make a big step in the second session. This is a track that the Yamaha really likes and I am enjoying riding the YZR-M1 here, so if I can get some more confidence with the front I am sure I can be even stronger. It is going to be difficult to make that final step to get into the 56s but we will pour over the data tonight and try and find a solution to help me do that.”





More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Bradl the boss in Friday MotoGP™ practice at Brno

Round 11: Czech Republic MotoGP™ - Free Practice One & Two
Brno, Friday 23 August 2013

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 19-20°C; Track 23-24°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Dry. Ambient 25-28°C; Track 38-38°C (Bridgestone measurement)

LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl topped the timesheets in Friday free practice at the Czech Republic Grand Prix, the German rider setting a time of 1’56.500 on his penultimate lap of the day to lead a tightly-packed field at Brno.

Bradl spent his first stint in FP2 evaluating the hard compound rear slick before a late switch to the softer rear unleashed the potential of his Honda RC213V, enabling the German rider to finish the day 0.038 seconds quicker than his closest challenger, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo. Having finished top in the morning FP1 session, Lorenzo’s best time in FP2 saw him narrowly miss the top spot, but placed him 0.062 seconds ahead of Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who ended the day third overall. Once again Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the quickest of the CRT riders, his best lap time of 1'58.217 sees the Spaniard end the day twelfth overall.

Conditions throughout the day at Brno were fine, with track temperatures reaching a peak of 38°C in the afternoon FP2 session. The fine weather allowed the riders to test a wide range of tyres, with all five slick options brought by Bridgestone to this race evaluated today. The cooler morning session saw riders prefer the softer slick options front and rear, while in the afternoon session both the softer and harder slick options were used. The preferred slick options at this stage of the race weekend are the hard compound front due to its greater braking stability, while at the rear, the softer slick options – which give greater drive through the sweeping sections of this circuit were favoured. Initial feedback from those riders that used the harder rear slick options show that this option is working well when track temperatures are higher.

The weather forecast indicates a chance of rain tomorrow and Sunday, which could make the rankings from today’s practice sessions all the more important for the line-up in tomorrow afternoon’s QP sessions. The next scheduled MotoGP™ session is FP3 at 955 local time (GMT +2).

Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“Today’s practice sessions went very well with all slick options evaluated today. Most riders preferred the softer front slick this morning but once the track condition improved with the warmer temperatures, most riders used the harder front as this option gives better stability in the downhill braking sections that this circuit is famous for. Although track temperatures were higher in the afternoon, there were not at a level that resulted in many works riders deciding to try their harder rear slick option, but the feedback we did receive shows that this option does work well in higher temperatures. Overall, performance of all slick options was very good and lap times are a few tenths quicker compared to the Friday practice sessions last year, so we could be in for a record-breaking qualifying session tomorrow.”




More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Factory MotoGP Team:

Yamaha Makes a Flying Start in Brno

Brno (Czech Republic), 23rd August 2013

Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi both made a flying start today in the first practice sessions for this Sunday’s Grand Prix of the Czech Republic.

The benefit of a recent private test at the Brno circuit was clear to see as Lorenzo shot straight to the top of the time sheets at the beginning of the first practice and remained unchallenged throughout. By the end of the session he was within one second off the pole record for the track and wrapped up the only rider under the 1’57 mark with a 1’56.698 second lap.

The afternoon practice saw him start in the same fashion, quickly taking the top spot and going under his morning time with a 1’56.538. The reigning world champion then spent the remainder of the session testing various settings with his YZR-M1, finishing the day second in the combined times, 0.038 seconds from the top.

Valentino Rossi’s morning was equally successful, the Italian cracking straight on to the pace as the session got underway and mixing times with the top three riders. His first run saw him get down to a 1’57.425 lap. With 35 minutes remaining of the session he was in second position, improving on his second run to get down to a 1’57.243 lap.

The nine-time world champion made another big step in the afternoon, breaking into the 1’56s with a 1’56.726 to take fourth overall and separated from the top rider by just 0.226 seconds.

Jorge Lorenzo
2nd / 1'56.538 / 19 laps
“I started in a very good way in the morning and also in the beginning of the second practice. Then we started to try some things on the bike that weren’t as good as we expected. We spent all the practice trying things so I wasn't very fast at the end of the session. Anyway, the positive thing is tomorrow we have a clear direction so we can go more quickly to a better lap time. We can improve tomorrow on braking, and the smoothness of the bike at the beginning of the corner.”

Valentino Rossi
4th / 1'56.726 / 29 laps

“I think that we are equal at this track because Dani won last year with the Honda after the battle with Jorge on the last lap. For sure the Yamaha is more competitive here in Brno and also I am more competitive because I like the track and I ride in a better way than in Indianapolis. Today it was a positive day for me, especially this afternoon, we modified the bike and I improved a lot. I was fast with the soft tyre and the hard tyre and I have quite a good pace. We are all very close; we are five or six riders within a few tenths. We hope for tomorrow and Sunday we have good weather because the forecast says it’s not so positive.”

Yamaha Factory Racing Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager
“It’s the first day in Brno and we are quite satisfied with the result. The pace is very consistent and Jorge feels good on the bike. We need to make some small adjustments tomorrow so let’s hope it stays dry. We are on the right path to getting a good result.”

Yamaha Factory Racing Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“It’s been a positive first day. We still have a lot of things to try and improve the set up as much as we can. Anyway we have started in the right way. We have a big advantage as we tested here a few weeks ago so we will try to keep this step ahead until Sunday afternoon. We were able to test both tyre compounds. It seems both are working but one slightly better than the other. We are in a good shape and we are optimistic we can continue like this.”




More, from a press release issued by Cardion AB Motoracing:

Injured shoulder still limits Abraham; first day finishes on twenty-second position

Karel Abraham reached twenty-second time during first day of bwin Grand Prix of Czech Republic. The Czech rider is still limited by his injury after big crash in Indianapolis one week ago. Abraham still has to ride under anesthetics. In the evening he will undergo another medical examination, but he wants take part of the rest of the weekend.

Karel Abraham
„The shoulder hurts a lot, I got a bigger dose of anesthetics and I let put me on a special lidocaine patch. Even after all this process, last laps were true hell. The bike is working very well, we had a problem with slippery wheels, but in the afternoon we figured it out. However we are still not satisfied. Sure is, that last setting we tried, is not the best one. We have to do some changes with gearbox because on three straights I got to the limit. So let’s see what brings tomorrow, anyway I count on to ride.“

Marco Grana, chief mechanic of team Cardion AB Motoracing
„We wanted to go to the free practices as „normal“ as if Karel has no health problems. In the morning we had problems with slippery wheels, but in the evening we solved it. Our aim was to remain under 2 minutes, but closely did not succeed it. At the end of the second free practice were prepared for this, but tyres were very used and Karel felt worst. We will do everything to make Karel feel well on the bike. And we have to hope that his health condition will not limit him more than today. Our aim is to be on the point in Brno.“




More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Confident start for the Repsol Honda Team in Brno

Round eleven of the MotoGP World Championship kicked off today in the Czech Republic. Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Championship leader Marc Marquez had a productive day aboard their Honda RC213V machines.

Dani was third fastest in the combined times with a time of 1'56.600 on lap 11 of 16, just 0.1s off the fastest time (Stefan Bradl 1'56.500). Teammate Marc was 5th fastest for the day with his best lap of 1'56.733 arriving on lap 7 of 17.

Dani Pedrosa 3rd 1'56.600
"Today was a little more difficult than expected, as I felt more pain than I have in the past few days. I was unable to ride at 100%, but still we were able to have two good sessions. We tried some different setups with the bike and different tyres. Let's see if tomorrow I feel better and can improve aspects of the bike to lower my time"

Marc Marquez 5th 1'56.733
"I felt really good from the start which is good news! I thought it would take a little more time and that we would be further behind Jorge and Valentino, as they have tested at this circuit recently. In general, the feeling was good but there are still aspects of the setup where we can improve a lot, which will hopefully give us more comfort and in the end more speed. I'm not worried, we know that tomorrow the times will come down, but we must continue working in the same way and focus, because we know that we can perfect the setup"




More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Ducati Team hampered by lack of grip on day one at Brno

Just five days after racing in the Indianapolis GP, Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden were back on track today in the first two free-practice sessions for the Czech Republic GP.

Neither Ducati Team rider was able to find a good setup for his Desmosedici GP13, as both complained of a lack of grip on the fast, flowing Brno circuit. At day’s end, Dovizioso and Hayden sat ninth and tenth, respectively, in the combined times, determined to work with their teams tomorrow morning to make better headway ahead of qualifying.

Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 9th (1:57.754)
“The afternoon session was very strange, because we suffered a big loss of grip. Honestly, I thought there was something wrong with my bike because I didn’t expect such a big difference compared to this morning. We tried a number of things in an effort to understand if there was some problem, so we weren’t able to follow the planned work program for the session. Unfortunately, when the temperature rises, it affects us Ducati riders more than the others, and it becomes much more difficult to ride the bike well.”

Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 10th (1:57.896)
“It wasn’t a very positive day. This morning we weren’t so far off, but in the afternoon I struggled with a lack of grip, problems turning, and chatter. I also made some mistakes with my riding and was running wide. Now we need to understand exactly where to go with the bike’s setup and try to do a much better job tomorrow.”




More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

BRADL LOOKING FOR MORE IMPROVEMENT DESPITE HIS 1ST PLACE ON DAY ONE

Brno, 23 August: after a little time to rest the MotoGP riders were back out on track for the opening day of the Grand Prix Ceské Republiky and LCR racer Stefan Bradl delivered a final 1’56.500 snatching the top spot at the end of the day. The German considers Brno race track as one of his favourite and he is pleased with the first place but he is chasing more front-end feeling to maintain the top positions in tomorrow’s qualifying.


Stefan Bradl

“We can be happy with this first place but I want to keep my feet on the ground. It looks good on the paper but I am still not 100% happy with the bike setting and this is the reason why we have struggled in the first free session this morning. We need to work on the front part of the bike as we do not absorb the bumps as good as I want. I think we have more potential than this but we need to be more consistent tomorrow because the other guys will push to qualify in the front”.




More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

A late lap from Stefan Bradl saw the LCR Honda MotoGP rider demote Jorge Lorenzo to second place in Friday afternoon practice ahead of the bwin Grand Prix Ceské republiky. Behind the reigning MotoGP™ World Champion, the top three was completed by last year’s winner Dani Pedrosa.

Lorenzo was fastest in both practice sessions as the Brno weekend began, but only until Bradl delivered his final 1’56.500 effort to snatch the top spot by three hundredths of a second. The German however said that keeping this pace over race distance could prove very tricky, and that him and the team need to work more on consistency. Pedrosa trailed Lorenzo by only a further six hundredths, following on from their dramatic last-lap battle at the circuit last year.

Valentino Rossi was fourth on the second Yamaha Factory Racing machine, pushing championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) down to fifth ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith. Completing the top ten were Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) and Ducati Team partners Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden, fresh from their final lap fight at Indianapolis.

The Ignite Pramac Racing bike was ridden by Michele Pirro, covering for Ben Spies who suffered new injuries in a crash last Saturday, whereas Austria’s Martin Bauer made his debut as a wildcard with his privately-entered Remus Racing Team outfit, ending the day 23rd in the 25-rider field. Local Czech favourites Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing, riding with an injured shoulder) and Lukas Pesek (Came IodaRacing Project) finished proceedings in respective 22nd and 24th spots.

The sole faller of the day was Gresini’s Bryan Staring, who lost control of his CRT bike during the morning session. The qualifying running order will be determined at the end of third practice, which will start at 9:55am local time (GMT +2) on Saturday.


Moto2

Mika Kallio set the pace in Friday afternoon practice ahead of the bwin Grand Prix Ceské republiky. The Marc VDS Racing Team rider led the way from Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami and Tuenti HP 40’s Pol Espargaro, although it was Espargaro’s morning time that established the overall pace for the day.

Recovering from a crash in the morning, Nakagami looked set to go quickest in the afternoon, only for Kallio to top the timesheets with his last effort. As the Finn led the way, Nakagami and Espargaro were separated by fractions while Indianapolis winner Tito Rabat (Tuenti HP 40) and Johann Zarco (Came Iodaracing Project) rounded out the top five. It was a relatively quiet day for Redding, ending proceedings eighth, but title rival Espargaro set the fastest overall lap time with 2’03.125 in the morning.

A selection of riders hit trouble during the day, not least Thai Honda PTT Gresini Moto2’s Thitipong Warokorn who suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right fibula after crashing in the first session; the Thai rookie was able to continue in the afternoon. Three riders would crash in the afternoon: Axel Pons (Tuenti HP 40), Alex de Angelis (NGM Mobile Forward Racing) and Dani Rivas (Blusens Avintia).


Moto3

Maverick Viñales set the pace in both Moto3™ practice sessions as the bwin Grand Prix Ceské republiky weekend began at Brno on Friday. The Team Calvo rider led Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Marquez and Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Luis Salom.

Less than a week after the crash at Indianapolis that left him with an injured left foot, championship leader Salom was heading the afternoon session until a last-gasp lap from Viñales saw the latter post 2’08.504. Second-placed Marquez was three hundredths of a second off the leading pace and has demonstrated consistency all day.

Completing the top five were Marquez’s teammate Alex Rins – winner of the last two races, at the Sachsenring and Indianapolis – and Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger, as conditions varied between overcast and bright spells.

There was a fall for Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin in the afternoon, whereas incidents came in the morning session for both Isaac Viñales (Ongetta-Centro Seta) and Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia). Just one practice session now remains ahead of qualifying, with last year’s pole position having gone to Maverick Viñales.




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

The 11th round of the MotoGP World Championship got underway today at the Automotodrom Brno with the first two combined free practice sessions.

The Energy Pramac T.I. Racing Team rider, who is still sore due to the inflammation in his right shoulder which was injured during the German Grand Prix, this morning had an infiltration of painkillers at the Clinica Mobile.

Nevertheless, at the end of FP2, after completing a total of 18 laps with a top speed of 304.9 km/h, Andrea Iannone set a time of 1’58.039 which puts him in 11th place, a couple of tenths of a second away from the fastest Ducati.

Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“I must say that my shoulder hurts a lot. At Indy I was suffering with pain in the whole of my body, back and legs, but here I can feel a lot of pain just in the shoulder. I think that the layout of the circuit has a big effect on all this, because there are a lot of second and third gear corners, and I’m struggling to stay on the bike. In any case, we didn’t go bad, and I improved my time of this morning by seven-tenths of a second, getting closer to Nicky and Dovi and I lapped with a constant pace as well. Today we did a great job and we’ve got some more ideas. Over the distance I’m struggling a bit, the pain is not particularly strong but it’s there and I can’t ignore it. This morning we did a weaker infiltration than at Indy but my shoulder is still pretty swollen. It would be better to stop and rest, but that’s not what I want to do at the moment. I want to do a lot of laps and also get ready for next season.”




More, from another press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Today found Michele Pirro back once again in the Ignite Pramac Racing Team garage, replacing Ben Spies, who was injured last week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Pirro dedicated the first two free-practice sessions for the Czech Republic Grand Prix to regaining feeling with the Texan’s Desmosedici GP13, which the Italian last used at the French GP.

Pirro finished FP1 in twelfth position, in the wake of the fellow Ducati riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Iannone. The rising temperatures in the afternoon caused grip to suffer during FP2, but Pirro lowered his best time to 1:58.958, putting him thirteenth in the combined times.

His goal for tomorrow is to close the gap to the other Ducati riders.

Michele Pirro – Ignite Pramac Racing
“It was better this morning. This afternoon, the higher temperatures caused the grip to drop. The changes we made didn’t really help me, but we dedicated the day to finding the rhythm and the feeling with the bike. At the moment, it’s simply a matter of continuing to ride, as quite a bit of time has passed since I’ve been on this bike. I last used it at Le Mans; the bike that I ride in the tests may not be faster, but it’s more versatile on braking and corner entry. I think I can do better tomorrow, and I’ll try to get closer to the other Ducatis.”




More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:

Positive evolution at Brno for Edwards and Corti

The first day of free practices at Brno for the eleventh round of the GP world championship prove to be very positive for both NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti.

After the good results obtained at the last Grand Prix at Indianapolis both the American and Italian rider continue to develop the FTR – Kawasaki bike. They have been able to improve their lap times throughout the day and are confident that tomorrow they will be able to make that next step that will allow them to get closer to the ARTs and narrow the gap with the pole.


Colin Edwards

“Today was actually a pretty good day, I felt comfortable on the bike from the very beginning this morning, tried some electronics things and then kind of went back to what we know. We started playing around with the bike, tried the hard tires, which we believe will probably be our race tires. Started playing around with the bike to get it to turn in better, this bikes just loves to go straight, so we're just trying to figure out how to make it turn. This track goes left, right, left right and you just go from one side to the next. And it always seems we can maybe do one or two laps but I want to get it to work so we can do race distance and be comfortable. At the end I don’t really think we made it any better, we tried to band-aid it there at the end but we are going to have to play around with some springs and some settings this afternoon to get it to work better tomorrow. The bike is running good, the chassis feels good we just need to work on it.”


Claudio Corti

“We had a good first day, we were able to make a big step during the afternoon session and the bike seems to be performing as we want it to according to the modifications we made. We still have some fine tuning to do specially in terms of exiting the corners so we have to keep working in this direction and improve. I was able to ride both bikes today and I have found a significant difference between the two. In terms of the tire choice for the race tires we have almost made up our mind and tomorrow we will do the last small test in order to be sure of the choice. I would like to improve my race pace of at least three or four tenths. I believe we are on the right way.”


Sergio Verbena, MotoGP Technical Director

“After the Indianapolis race results both riders have had a positive start of the weekend. Colin has been very fast while Claudio had some initial difficulty to adapt to the track this morning. In the afternoon we were not able to be much faster than during the morning session with Colin as we had hoped and on the other hand Claudio has improved his lap time by one second. Espargaro has been the fastest CRT and Barbera was right behind him. Our goal is to be faster than Barbera´s Avintian FTR – Kawasaki and close the gap with the ART bike from Espargaro. In the afternoon Colin only rode with the hard tires, we are already working towards having an ideal race pace; we haven’t focused on the fast lap. We will see how tomorrow goes.”