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May 3, 2013

Lorenzo Under Race Lap Record During MotoGP Free Practice Two At Jerez (Updated)

FIM MotoGP World Championship: Jorge Lorenzo (99) in action on his Yamaha YZR-M1.
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Jerez, Spain
May 3, 2013
Free Practice Two Results (all on Bridgestone tires):

(Editorial Note: Race Lap Record, Dani Pedrosa, 1:39.731, 2010)

1. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:39.562
2. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), 1:39.733
3. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:39.757
4. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:39.874
5. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:39.889
6. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:40.507
7. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:40.574
8. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:40.736
9. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), 1:40.738
10. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), 1:40.837
11. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:40.884
12. Michele PIRRO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:40.902
13. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:40.990
14. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), 1:41.053
15. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), 1:41.078
16. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (SUTER-BMW), 1:41.751
17. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (FTR), 1:41.774
18. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:41.790
19. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:42.058
20. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (ART-Aprilia), 1:42.603
21. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), 1:42.606
22. Michael LAVERTY, UK (PBM-Aprilia), 1:42.974
23. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (ART-Aprilia), 1:43.356
24. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (SUTER-BMW), 1:43.403




More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Positive first day for Repsol Honda Team in Jerez

The Grand Prix of Spain got underway today in perfect conditions at the Jerez Circuit in the south of Spain.

Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez made full use of the two 45 minute free practice sessions. Both riders spent the morning FP1 session on the soft rear compound and soft front compound Bridgestone tyres, as they rediscovered their feelings for the Andalusian circuit where they tested during the preseason.

In the afternoon's FP2 session, both swapped to the hard front compound and tested the hard compound rear tyre but Dani was unable to better his morning time of 1'39.704 and finished the day 2nd fastest. Marc also tested the hard rear tyre in the afternoon, but then swapped back to a new soft rear to record his fastest time of the day of 1'39.889 on lap 15 of 20 placing him 5th in the combined times.

Dani Pedrosa 2nd 1'39.704
"Today we were able to get some good laps in at this circuit. We tried the soft and the hard tyre, and also some things with the suspension settings. It wasn't bad, generally, although we need to keep working on this in order to get the bike more stable - both on the entrance and exit of the corners. That would allow us to ride at a faster pace. We will also need to prepare well for qualifying, which could be very tight"

Marc Marquez 5th 1'39.889
"Today was the first day of practice here in Jerez and everything went pretty well. Yesterday I said in the press conference that it would be a little difficult at this track but, to tell the truth, things went better for me here than I was expecting. We have grown stronger with every lap and I think that the key is to keep calm. In the morning it was a little difficult to control my nerves, but later I tried to calm down and follow our normal strategy. Tomorrow we will have to focus in order to improve, as the rest of the riders will be going all-out"




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

Lorenzo Leads as European Grand Prix Action Kicks Off in Jerez

Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 3rd May 2013

The first European Grand Prix weekend of the 2013 season, the Gran Premio Bwin de España, got underway today at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Southern Spain. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo started his first home Grand Prix of the year as he means to go on, one of the fastest riders of the morning he waited until the last second to retake the top spot in first practice. The afternoon saw more of the same from the reigning World Champion, Lorenzo leading from the start of the session and remaining unchallenged to the end, wrapping up in first position 0.171 seconds ahead of satellite Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow in second.

Valentino Rossi was also quick to find form today, spending the morning session firmly embedded in the fastest rider group within the top four and ending in third position. Having initially started the afternoon practice on the harder option tyres, Rossi switched to the softer with 10 minutes remaining, holding off the advances of Marc Marquez and moving up in the time sheets from fifth to fourth, completing the day just 0.312 seconds from Lorenzo in first.

Jorge Lorenzo
1st / 1'39.562 / 18 laps
“At the beginning of the second practice I felt better than this morning but with the warmer temperatures it has been difficult to keep the same pace. We will have to work on the settings to keep the same pace for tomorrow. We need to try to improve our pace by three or four tenths, to ride comfortably in the 39s will be a good feeling. I’m happy that we are first in today’s two sessions but I want more.”

Valentino Rossi
4th / 1'39.874 / 21 laps

“The first and second practices were not so bad. We tried to work and understand a good balance for the bike. We still haven’t found the perfect way yet. We also tried to understand the right tyre choice for the race because it is difficult with the soft and also with the hard so we need to make sure we make the right choice to go fast on Sunday. Anyway, we are in fourth place and not so far from pole position. Tomorrow we have to try to continue to work in this way because it will be important for the race to start at the maximum within the first five.”

Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager
“For sure I think a good day today, I would say at least a healthy day. We started with good circumstances for everybody, no wet conditions and good track temperatures. Like the test we were immediately fast. We’re still not quite where we want to be but of course we are working on it. Jorge has a good feeling and the speed is there so let’s see what we can do tomorrow in qualifying.”

Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“So far the results confirm our expectations. We still have some work to do to improve the best lap and also the consistency. We were able to test two different things with good feedback so we’ll check the data tonight and compare it with the riders’ feelings. From the results we intend to come with some new solutions for tomorrow’s sessions.”




More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Lorenzo seizes the initiative in Jerez Friday practice

Round 3: Spanish MotoGP™ - Free Practice One & Two
Circuito de Jerez, Friday 3 May 2013

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium; Rear: Extra-soft, Soft, Medium (Symmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative – front), Extra-hard (Alternative – rear)
Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 18-18°C; Track 22-24°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Dry. Ambient 25-25°C; Track 47-48°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo took control in Friday free practice at Jerez, the current MotoGP™ World Champion setting the benchmark time of 1’39.562 at a circuit which yesterday unveiled a corner named in his honour.

Lorenzo narrowly eclipsed his Spanish rival Dani Pedrosa to the best time of the day after the Repsol Honda set a time of 1’39.704 in the morning’s FP1 session. Third quickest today was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, the British rider setting a personal best lap time 0.171 seconds behind his Yamaha stable mate. Another star performer on home soil was Hector Barbera, the Avintia Blusens rider showing the continued improvement of the CRT class as he posted a time of 1’40.736 to end the day in ninth position overall.

In a common scenario for Free Practice 1, riders selected softer slick options front and rear for the first session of the race weekend to gauge track conditions and to find a base bike setup. In the morning session some riders experienced elevated abrasion levels, though this returned to normal as track conditions improved throughout the day. The flowing nature of Jerez demands good front-end stability so as temperatures increased for FP2, many riders opted for the harder of the two front slick options, the medium compound, which offers improved rigidity compared to the softer option.

Rear tyre choice today was predominantly the softer slick options for the CRT and works bikes, and although some riders evaluated the harder rear slicks in FP2, their feedback suggests that the greater edge grip of the softer rear slicks makes them the preferred option. However, further evaluation of rear tyre performance over a race distance will take place tomorrow before tyre choice for Sunday’s main event is determined.

The twenty-four riders contending this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix will next be on track for Free Practice 3 at 0955 local time tomorrow (GMT +2).

Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“Today we had fine weather but the condition of the track wasn’t the best so some riders experienced slightly higher than usual levels of abrasion in FP1. Through changes in bike setup and the improvement in track condition for the afternoon, the rate of tyre wear for FP2 returned to normal and also enabled riders to try some different slick combinations. The need for warm-up performance in the warm afternoon session wasn’t so important, so most of the riders switched to the harder front slick for its better cornering stability and the feedback was that this option provided the best overall performance. For the rear, some riders assessed the harder rear slick option in FP2 but the consensus is that at this track in the current conditions, the softer rear option is working better. The task for the teams is now to find a tyre combination that provides them with the edge grip and cornering stability that are quite important at this circuit, but with the durability for a race distance on the abrasive Jerez tarmac.”




More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

BRADL STILL CONFIDENT DESPITE A DIFFICULT FIRST DAY

Jerez, 3 May: opening day of Grand Prix of Spain got underway today at sunny Jerez circuit but the LCR Honda racer Stefan Bradl was not particularly pleased with his performance on the Iberian track as he finished the day 11th. In this morning first free session the German commenced with a 7th fastest lap time but he could not improve his pace in the afternoon session after suffering a slight crash.

Stefan: “Today has been a tough day for us as we are a bit far from the guys in the front. I also crashed in the afternoon session but I am okay. This morning, since the beginning, the bike set-up was good and we expected to do even better in the afternoon but, at the end, it was completely the opposite. We tried different tyres but we took the wrong direction losing the rear grip and, automatically, we lose even the confidence with the front-end. So we came back to the same setting and same tyres choice of this morning improving the overall situation but it was not perfect yet. I tried to push to reduce the gap and I lost the front crashing out. Actually we have been a bit unlucky today but I am not particularly worried because we do have the capacity to improve in tomorrow’s practice”.




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

The first day at the Spanish Grand Prix dawned with gray clouds and a light rain, but the temperatures soon became much warmer, influencing the track conditions and the second free-practice session.

The weekend in Jerez started positively for Andrea Iannone (TI Energy Pramac Racing Team), who concluded FP2 in seventh place, with a time that was over half a second faster than his best from the first session, making him the top Ducati rider.

Based on the steadily increasing air and asphalt temperature, the team thinks that the Italian will use the hard tyre, as opposed to the soft used this morning.

Overall, it was a successful day and a good starting point for the work to come in qualifying tomorrow and in Sunday’s race.

Andrea Iannone - Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“I’m pleased with the result. I knew I could be faster here at Jerez than at the other tracks, but it’s not over yet. We still have to face tomorrow’s busy day, and we’ll work with a view toward the race because I’d like to maintain this pace and obviously go straight to Q2, making the best use of the tyres we have available. Although we had initially thought otherwise, maybe the best choice for the race is the hard tyre, which we tried in the second practice session. The soft slides a lot, perhaps because of the high temperature, so we decided to try and change. We’re improving a lot with the team, and I’d like to be able to immediately ride like I know that I can. I hope that my arm, which was much better today, will allow me to do that. I had a good feeling with the bike, though not the same as during the tests, and tomorrow I’d like to work on my pace and try some changes with the electronics.”




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

Positive start at Jerez for Edwards and Corti

NGM Mobile Forward Riders rider Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti have a positive first day of free practice at the Circuito de Jerez de la Frontera. The Forward riders and their FTR bikes arrive to his first European race very motivated after testing the new FTR chassis evolution during the morning session.

Despite having a small problem with the brakes during the morning session, the American rider is happy with the feeling of the bike. The Italian rider has made an important step between the morning and the afternoon session and will focus tomorrow on improving his race pace.

Both riders have a clear choice of tires for the race and will concentrate their efforts on finding the perfect setting the bike during the morning in order to be ready for qualifying.

Colin Edwards – 5
“ This morning went pretty good from the get go. We tried a couple of things this morning on one bike and one bike was better than the other so we stuck with it. In the afternoon we had a brake issue during the beginning of the session because one set worked good and the other one didn’t, so we can’t figure out what pieces we needed to change, so we wasted a little bit of time there. Went back out and on the soft rear tire and it felt good, went right back down to the pace we were doing this morning. We also made a change to the bike to make it turn a little bit better and then we thought we could try the hard tire just in case we had a ware problem on the soft tire. Went out and did a few laps and it just didn’t work, probably about a second slower. Overall today I feel good on the bike, we just have to make it happen tomorrow and Sunday.”

Claudio Corti – 71
“We are working on things, we need to reduce the gap with Barbera´s FTR and he was very fast today. We still have a bit of a problem with the electronics and the fact that today we had the new FTR chassis and we tested a few things made us loose some time in terms of working towards finding the race pace. The new chassis has proven itself to be faster, the new parts that we have tested here so far have allowed us to improve and tomorrow we will continue working with it and will concentrate on improve the lap times and in finding a good race pace. We already know what the tire choice will be so now we just need to concentrate on the pace.”

Sergio Verbena – MotoGP Technical Director
“We are back in Europe and this morning the session started really well, Colin was fast, was 16th at only 2 seconds from Jorge Lorenzo’s fastest lap. In the afternoon session we did a few modifications worked well. Towards the end of the session we also tested towards the hard tire just in case we would consider it for the race, it has less grip and it will most likely not be our choice for the race. We know that our potential is higher than the one we have shown today. Claudio has done a considerable improvement since this morning; he is 2 seconds from the fastest man. We have work ahead of us in order to find the ideal setting for tomorow´s qualifying session.”




More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Ducati Team back in action in Jerez

Free-practice for the Spanish Grand Prix kicked off today at the Circuito de Jerez, where Ducati Team riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso posted the eighth- and twelfth-best times, respectively, on the day.

The American is dealing with a tender right wrist, its recuperation having been more problematic than was hoped following a minor operation in March. He nonetheless managed to set the sixth-best time in the morning session aboard his Desmosedici GP13, and although he wasn’t as strong in FP2’s warmer conditions, he only slipped two spots in the combined times. Dovizioso was tenth-best in the first session, and although he improved his time by .060 seconds in the afternoon, it was only good enough for twelfth overall.

Ducati Test Team rider Michele Pirro, participating in his first of three wildcard rides planned for this season, had a respectable first day back in the MotoGP paddock, posting the twelfth-best time in FP1 and finishing the day in thirteenth place.

Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 8th (1:40.722)
“We used a similar setup to what we had here at the test, with a few modifications that we’ve made in the last two races. In the morning, I felt a little better than I had in the test, and my pace was okay. Then I suffered a lot on the warmer track this afternoon, especially with edge grip, which really affected the turning. The bike was pushing wide in the fast corners, which are so important. I’m also having a problem with my wrist; between Qatar and Austin, I developed some tendinitis and a lot of swelling in the joint. It was manageable in Austin, but it’s worse here, which makes this weekend even more challenging than it already was. Still, if we can improve the bike in a couple of the key corners, we can be much closer.”

Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 12th (1:40.884)
“It was really difficult this afternoon, and I’m not completely sure why. The grip was much worse for all the Ducati riders, and it was much harder for me to be precise and stay on my lines. We must understand if we can improve that sensation through the setup, but this is the bike and I just have to adapt. I’m trying to stay calm and work in order to have a good session tomorrow morning.”

Michele Pirro – Ducati Test Team, 13th (1:40.902)
“It was a positive day in the sense that I’m back doing what I like most—competing! There’s work to be done because I’m still losing time in some sectors, but I’m satisfied overall because I haven’t raced since November. Tomorrow we’ll try to continue to dial in the GP13 because this is a new package in terms of frame, swingarm and engine. We’re trying to improve everything, take another step, and get things ready for the race. I hope to pay Ducati back for the faith they’ve placed in me, and I really want to thank them for this opportunity.”




More, from a press release issued by Power Electronics Aspar Team:

ESPARGARÓ PLACES IN TOP TEN-ONE SECOND OFF TOP SPOT

Randy De Puniet fifteenth on combined timesheet, three tenths off teammate. Both satisfied with first day of Spanish GP practice

The Spanish Grand Prix preparations began today with the opening practice sessions in Jerez. What had been pinpointed as a 'Yamaha track' saw three riders from the factory inside the top five after two sessions. Jorge Lorenzo was the fastest man on day one, dominating practically the entirety of the second session. Five riders (Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Crutchlow, Rossi and Márquez) finished the day little over three tenths of a second back, beginning what is sure to be a close weekend. The CRT riders also had a good showing, with two inside the top ten on the combined timesheet.

Once again, POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider Aleix Espargaró was close to the best practice times. Today in Jerez he was just 1.1 seconds off the fastest time of the day, ahead of four riders on 'official' bikes. In a rarity, Espargaró was not the fastest CRT rider, missing out by just two thousandths of a second. However, his overall pace was the best of the CRT competitors. He expects further improvement tomorrow, in order to go straight through to Q2.

Teammate Randy De Puniet was only three tenths slower, but concluded the day in fifteenth position. The Frenchman was pleased with his work on a day in which he put in some 40 laps. Hoping to improve rear grip tomorrow morning, his aim is to catch up with Espargaró and kickstart his fight to be the best CRT rider of the weekend.

10th Aleix Espargaró 1.40.738 (28 laps): "This first day has been very positive, I found a great feeling and confidence. Today I was not the fastest CRT rider and I always like to be ahead, but I am calm because we could see that we had a better pace than the rest. Although we were pipped to the best time by two thousandths of a second over one lap, our pace is better overall. The important thing is that we have a great pace and that the bike works perfectly. We lacked a bit of grip on the rear, the bike was sliding out a little, but I guess it's normal on the first day with the track not yet in perfect condition. We finished 1.1 seconds off the fastest time and I'm happy with this. Tomorrow we will have to keep working hard in the morning session and it would be great to go directly into Q2. This afternoon we made ??a change to the swingarm but it was not as productive as we expected, so tomorrow will take a step back."

15th Randy De Puniet 1.41.078 (40 laps): "We did a great job and I am satisfied with that side of things, but seeing my name in fifteenth position is something I do not like so much. I think we could be higher up the order. In the end I finished three tenths off the best CRT time, so as far as times are concerned we are going well, but here everything is very tight. Today we found a good chassis setting, the feeling was really good with both the front and the rear. Yet at some points of the track the bike was still sliding a lot. I think we lost time due to this, so we will work to eliminate the excess sliding. Tomorrow we will try to improve rear grip. We also tested various tyres; with this heat I guess that we will use the soft in the race, but we will have to see how it performs towards the end of the race. The hard rubber is more reliable here, but it slows us down too much."




More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

Back on home soil, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo was in World Champion form as he led proceedings on day one in Jerez at the Gran Premio bwin de España ahead of Repsol Honda Team compatriot Dani Pedrosa and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow.

There was off-track drama in the second session of the day as a power cut resulted in the session starting seven minutes late. However once it did get underway, with ambient temperatures in the high twenties and a track temperature of 49 degrees Celsius, Lorenzo reduced his morning lap time by two tenths of a second to post a best of 1’39.562. Pedrosa was one of only two riders in the top ten to have recorded his fastest time in the significantly-cooler morning practice, whilst Crutchlow put in yet another good display on his satellite M1 to go third in the warmer afternoon.

Whilst his Yamaha counterparts stuck with the hard option front and softer option rear tyre, factory rider Valentino Rossi, fourth quickest, also tried the harder option rear, however citing that it lacked enough edge grip. Repsol’s championship leader and last-race winner Marc Marquez could not quite reach the heights of Austin, however put in a solid ride for fifth, ahead of GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, who was struggling with issues with the rear of his bike.

Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone was impressive on the Desmosedici as he finished the overall standing’s in seventh, ahead of factory Ducati Team rider Nicky Hayden in eighth. Hayden however was the other rider to set his fastest time in the morning, citing that he did not progress as expected in the afternoon. In ninth place, it was someone else’s turn to occupy top CRT spot, as Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera edged out Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro into tenth.

Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham fought through the pain of a broken right collarbone after his qualifying crash in Texas, whilst Ignite Pramac Racing’s Ben Spies has not travelled to Jerez as he recovers from the trapped nerve, which caused severe discomfort at the last round.

In the afternoon session, both PBM’s Yonny Hernandez LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl suffered crashes, whereas Danilo Petrucci was presented with no option but to stop his Came IodaRacing Project machine as thick smoke and flames came from the exhaust. Ending the day 13th quickest, Ducati Team test rider Michele Pirro debuted the “development” Desmosedici, featuring a new frame and revised engine, as he competes as a wildcard for the first time in 2013.


Moto2

Tuenti HP 40’s Esteve Rabat took his Texas pace through to the first day of Moto2™ Free Practice at the Gran Premio bwin de España as he topped the timesheets on day one in front of Marc VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding and Pons teammate Pol Espargaro.

Unlike in other classes, the top three of the Moto2™ class set their quickest times in the morning session, during which Espargaro managed to save a near crash. Yet it was his teammate Rabat who starred again, as he made the most of the Dunlop tyres. Redding will hope he can carry his pace through to race day, whilst Espargaro commented that he is looking for significantly more grip.

Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami came strong in the afternoon as he put his bike fourth in the overall timesheets, ahead of Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2’s Jordi Torres and Blusens Avintia’s Toni Elias – both Spaniards setting their quick times in the morning.

The following trio was led by Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi, returning from injury, as the Swiss rider set the seventh quickest time in the afternoon, ahead of Technomag carXpert’s compatriot Dominique Aegerter and Aspar’s Nico Terol. Nakagami’s teammate Julian Simon rounded out the top ten with a time set in the morning.

Tech 3 Racing’s Louis Rossi, JiR Moto2’s Mike Di Meglio, as well as TSR Motorsport’s wildcard Dani Rivas all suffered falls throughout the day.


Moto3

Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger topped the timesheets as Moto3™ practice kicked off in Jerez today for the Gran Premio bwin de España, ahead of Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins and Team Calvo’s Maverick Viñales.

The majority of riders in the top ten set their times in the afternoon with near-ideal conditions as the 34-rider field lapped the Andalucian circuit. That number will increase to 35 tomorrow, as Redox RW Racing GP’s Jakub Kornfeil returns after completing compulsory exams today. Indoors, things were slightly more chaotic as a power cut forced teams to resort to their grid tyre warmers, as the mains electricity supply was limited due to power problems.

Second this morning, Folger moved ahead in the afternoon courtesy of a best effort of 1’47.660. Rins was second, but pulled off the track with a technical problem in the final minute. As Viñales returned to Jerez for the first time since his pre-season testing accident, Red Bull KTM Ajo pairing of Luis Salom and Zulfahmi Khairuddin headed Ambrogio Racing’s Brad Binder.

GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Niccolo Antonelli had a good day as his time from the morning left him in front of Mahindra Racing’s Efren Vazquez, last Jerez-race winner Romano Fenati on his San Carlo Team Italia bike, a well as Avant Tecno’s Niklas Ajo.

RW Racing GP’s Jasper Iwema suffered a slide off track in the afternoon in the final turn, but was able to return to the pits.




More, from a press release issued by Blusens Avintia Team:

Jerez, 3 May 2013. Good temperature, sun, great atmosphere and really good feelings of Avintia Blusens MotoGP riders. There is no doubt that it is a good way to start an exciting weekend in which Héctor Barberá and Hiroshi Aoyama want to be protagonists.

After today?s practice sessions, Héctor Barberá achieved an excellent ninth position of the general classification and he was the quickest CRT, only 1.2?? slower than the best time of Jorge Lorenzo and ahead of the official Ducati bikes. Without a doubt, it has been a great performance of the Dos Aguas rider and the Avintia Blusens team.

His teammate Aoyama focused on getting ready a similar setting for his two bikes. This way, tomorrow he will be able to work with the first bike -the one which he feels more comfortable- in order to obtain a good position for the race start that would allow him to fight for being among the best CRTs.
It has been a day in which both technicians and riders have been able to work according to planned programme, without problems that could have altered the plans, and in which the goals have been achieved. Work remains to be done and the starting positions will be decided tomorrow, but it has been a good beginning and the Avintia Blusens team hopes to maintain this line all the weekend.

8 Héctor Barberá: I am happy because it is the first time that we have been able to work without problems. In previous races for one reason or another we have never been able to ride with calm. Today we have been able to focus on the planned work and things have gone well. I can not deny that I am very cheerful because we have obtained a good result and a good lap time. Tomorrow everybody will improve but we also have margin and we can move forward. There is no doubt that it will be a hard race and winning will be difficult, but we will try because we can do it. I am very motivated because we race in Jerez and the team has done a great job, so I hope to have a great weekend.

7 Hiroshi Aoyama: It has been a well-spent day. Our aim was to work on the two bikes, looking for the best setting of the second one, and we have done it. With the first I feel a little more at ease but now if I have to use the second one, both are quite similar. I am happy because we have worked steadily, without problems and getting results. Tomorrow we will look for a good lap time to achieve a good starting position for Sunday?s race. I think that here, in Jerez, we can do it well.




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

Crutchlow dazzles in Spanish sunshine

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow made a flying start to the European phase of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship today, the British rider launching a stunning challenge for the top three in both practice sessions at the Circuito de Jerez.

Fourth quickest in cooler than anticipated conditions in FP1 this morning, Crutchlow was only 0.046s outside of the top three to continue his fantastic form at the Jerez track.
The 27-year-old battled for the podium right to the finish line in Jerez a year ago and he produced an impressive performance in the final winter test session at the Spanish venue in late March to top the timesheets.

With air and track temperatures increasing significantly in bright and sunny conditions for FP2, Crutchlow was able to improve his pace and position to once again comfortably finish as the fastest non-factory rider.

A best lap of 1.39.733 elevated Crutchlow into second place behind reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, who was only 0.171s quicker in a session that saw the top five split by just 0.327s. The former World Supersport champion finished third fastest on the combined leaderboard and after such a positive start to the weekend, Crutchlow is optimistic he will be in the hunt for a podium in Sunday’s 27-lap race.

Bradley Smith enjoyed a productive start to his weekend too, the 22-year-old helped by the fact that he has lapped the Jerez track previously on the YZR-M1 machine during the winter testing schedule.

He took it steady this morning with a track temperature of only 20 degrees and a lap of 1.41.778 put him 17th on the timesheets. Smith was able to improve by almost a second in hotter conditions for FP2, which saw the track temperature soar to 45 degrees.

Smith lowered his pace to a 1.40.990 and that lap time secured him an encouraging 13th on the FP2 leaderboard and 14th overall, with the British rookie hoping he can take another big leap forward tomorrow to challenge for a place in the top 10 on the grid for round three of the 2013 World Championship.

Cal Crutchlow 3rd 1.39.733 - 40 laps:
“It was quite a tough day because we made a lot of changes that meant the bike was set-up completely different than the way we had it at the test. We made it a little bit longer and lower to give me a good feeling because while I was able to set the fastest time at the test, the track temperature was much higher today and it meant the bike was not working perfectly with the set-up we ran at the test. I was changing bikes during FP2 and doing a lot of laps to try as many things as possible and I am positive for the rest of the weekend. We’ve got a few ideas to improve even further tomorrow and I will sit down with my crew tonight and have a good look at the data to come up with a plan of attack for the rest of the weekend. My Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team is doing a great job again and being competitive and fast today gives us a lot of confidence to take into Saturday and Sunday.”

Bradley Smith 14th 1.40.990 – 41 laps:
“The nice thing about today is I was able to go a little bit faster than I managed at the test, so the gap to the front is still quite similar. I haven’t lost anything but I’m a little bit disappointed that I didn't gain anything as well. I am a lot happier after this afternoon’s session though and my main focus was on trying to ride the bike in a smoother way. It is so important to be smooth on a MotoGP bike and I’m still working on that. I’m losing most of my time in sector 4 and we’ll check some data and see where I can improve. But it was another good day of learning and I’m looking forward to taking another step forward tomorrow.”