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Apr 19, 2013

Marquez Continues To Assert Himself During MotoGP Free Practice Two At Circuit Of The Americas (Updated)

FIM MotoGP World Championship: Marc Marquez (93) in action on his Repsol Honda at the Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas.
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Circuit of The America
Austin, Texas
April 19, 2013
Free Practice Two Results (all on Bridgestone tires):

1. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 2:05.031
2. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 2:05.585
3. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), 2:06.173
4. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 2:06.637
5. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 2:06.868
6. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), 2:06.899
7. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 2:07.236
8. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 2:07.256
9. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), 2:07.699
10. Ben SPIES, USA (DUCATI), 2:08.034
11. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), 2:08.299
12. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (ART-Aprilia), 2:09.374
13. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 2:09.424
14. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), 2:09.739
15. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 2:09.860
16. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (ART-Aprilia), 2:10.411
17. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), 2:10.720
18. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (FTR-Kawasaki), 2:11.183
19. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (Suter-BMW), 2:11.614
20. Michael LAVERTY, UK (PBM-Aprilia), 2:11.828
21. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (Suter-BMW), 2:12.230
22. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), 2:12.462
23. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), 2:12.504
24. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 2:12.573
25. Blake YOUNG, USA (APR-Kawasaki), 2:13.158

Not qualified (Out 107%) 2:13.783

26. Mike BARNES, USA (GP Tech/BCL-Suzuki), 2:16.169




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

Crutchlow stars on Texas debut

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team’s Cal Crutchlow demonstrated what a fast learner he is today, the British rider immediately setting a fast and competitive pace on his debut at the spectacular new Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Texas.

Faced with the difficult challenge of learning the long and technical track, which features 20 corners, the longest straight on the 18-round MotoGP calendar and a 134ft climb from the start line to the first corner, the 27-year-old excelled in both 45-minute practice sessions to challenge for the top six throughout.

He impressively dropped his pace in this afternoon’s FP2 by well over four seconds compared to the opening 45-minute session to move up from eighth to sixth in the rankings.

Crutchlow ended with a personal best time of 2.06.899 to finish just 0.031s behind Valentino Rossi. And all five riders that finished in front of the former World Supersport Champion have previous experience of COTA having attended a private test session at the state-of-the-art facility near Austin last month.

Conditions today were far from ideal despite a glorious clear blue sky covering the track. A cold wind resulted in low air and track temperatures, which had a big impact on grip levels.

A slippery surface provided the biggest challenge for British rider Bradley Smith, who only felt confident enough to push anywhere close to his limit towards the end of FP2. Smith finished 13th fastest in FP1 and although he was able to shave close to four seconds off his pace this afternoon, he remained in the same position on the combined leaderboard.

He finished the day with a quickest pace of 2.09.424 and the 22-year-old is confident that with more track knowledge to call upon tomorrow he will be challenging for a place inside the top 10.

Cal Crutchlow 6th 2.06.899 – 33 laps

“Firstly I want to say a huge thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew, management and staff at Yamaha and Dorna and COTA officials for helping us get out on track today. The fire in the garage on Wednesday night wasn’t the ideal start to the weekend but my crew have worked non-stop to get everything ready for today and I am proud to work with them. Today was always going to be difficult because this track is really technical, difficult to learn, and you need time to be able to learn all the secrets to go fast. So to be sixth fastest and make such big progress is pleasing. We expected the gap to the front to be quite big and honestly I thought I’d be a little bit further away. I got held up a few times on my good laps too so I’m sure I could have gone a bit faster. This track is amazing with so many different challenges from hard braking, fast straights and lots of changes of direction. We still have a lot of work to do and it will be difficult to be near the front in the race. I need to improve in the braking area. We need to calm the bike down but to be the best of those that didn’t test here is all I can really ask for.”


Bradley Smith 13th 2.09.424 – 33 laps

“It was great to finally be on track today and get a first taste of what is an amazing track but incredibly difficult to learn. After the fire in the garage on Wednesday night my crew and even my old team from Moto2 have been working flat-out to make sure we were ready. So just being on track felt like a big achievement today. This morning was very difficult because I have never ridden with such little grip, and that doesn’t help you learn the track. Going into this afternoon where we did have grip, it took me a while to actually adapt to the track. We improved the bike and I felt much more comfortable at the end and we have a direction to follow for tomorrow morning. What is critical is being able to put the bike where you want and at the moment I am struggling in that area. You have to be so specific here but I am happy to be four seconds faster this afternoon. That’s good progress but I need to make the next step. I know my weak points and I will be ready to make the improvements.”




More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Repsol Honda lead the way on day one of the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas

After a frustrating morning session, due to low grip levels, Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, fully maximised this afternoon's FP2 session.

The two Spanish riders were the only ones capable of recording times in the 2'05's as temperatures improved significantly from this morning - air temperature climbed to 18ºC (compared to 13ºC) and the track temperature doubled to 36ºC.

Both Marc and Dani put on a new soft rear tyre with 14 minutes of the session remaining, and lit up the time sheets, taking 1st and 2nd respectively. Marc went on to further improve his time on his final lap of 16 with a 2'05.031, improving on this morning's time (2'08.756) by over three and a half seconds. Dani, who struggled more in this morning's session, improved his time from FP1 (2'10.356) by almost five seconds with his lap of 2'05.585 set on lap 11 of 16.


Marc Marquez 1st 2'05.031

“It's been a very positive first day. We took the top time and, even though these are only practice sessions, this is important. I think that the key to this Grand Prix is that day-after-day, session-by-session, the grip levels will improve. We have to be aware of this and also to the temperatures - which vary a lot, with much more heat in the afternoon than in the morning. We need to find which tyre works best for every session, and above all we will be working with the race in mind. Let's see if tomorrow we can continue along the same upward path"


Dani Pedrosa 2nd 2'05.585

“Today was a difficult day, because the track had no grip and in general I think all the riders had problems leaning the bike over in the corners. In the morning the tyres took a bit of a beating, but in the afternoon the situation improved a little. In the second session we were able to ride a little better, although I hope that the circuit grip levels increase in the run up to the race, so that we can also improve with them"




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

The Action Begins in Austin for Grand Prix of the Americas

Austin (Texas, USA), 19th April 2013

Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi kicked off the inaugural Grand Prix of the Americas weekend today with the first practice sessions at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

The morning’s first session delivered far slower times than had been recorded at the private test a few weeks ago with cold temperatures and little rubber on the track adding several seconds to the previous times.

The afternoon saw the temperature double from the morning and lap times tumbled for all riders.

Reigning World Champion Lorenzo completed the first of the two sessions in second place and the second in fourth, improving by over two seconds.

Teammate Rossi improved a place from sixth to fifth over the two sessions and also took a large chunk out of his morning time, shaving an impressive four seconds off by the end of the second practice.


Jorge Lorenzo
4th / 2'06.637 / 14 laps

“In the morning we were competitive compared to our rivals but this afternoon when the track improved they had a better feeling and a better confidence to improve much more than us. We were unable to make profit from the improved track conditions. We need to improve the bike to gain some seconds. The track was better for everyone but for the moment it gives our rivals more confidence to go faster. We are better but still not enough.”


Valentino Rossi
5th / 2'06.868 / 17 laps

“The practices are not so bad because we improved a lot compared to this morning and we could stay close to Jorge. Unfortunately the Hondas are very fast which we already knew from the test. We hope to make it better this weekend but especially Marquez is very fast and also Pedrosa and Bradl are faster than us so we have to work and try to improve for tomorrow.”

Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager
“That’s the first day in Austin done. We’re position four so of course we’re not so happy; we’re struggling a bit to find the correct grip. The morning session wasn’t great, it was cold and everybody struggled and in the afternoon we struggled a bit more. We are trying to find some extra grip, to drop the lap times we need more on the back. Hopefully tomorrow we can find the right way to improve and close the gap. It’s important to be on the front row and close to the fast lap times.”

Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“We know that the characteristics of this track are not the best for us. We still have one and a half days to work on our set up so we will focus on closing the gap to the front. Unfortunately this morning the track conditions were not good, we couldn't work properly so we lost one session. We have identified the area we need to improve so I am optimistic that tomorrow we can make a big step.”




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

Edwards and Corti take it one step at a time at COTA
NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team riders Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti get to ride for the first time at COTA with their FTR-Kawasaki bike.

The low track temperature caused the riders to lack grip during the morning practice and made the team reconsider the setting that they used during the Qatar race two weeks ago. The temperature increase for the second session made the morning work irrelevant but allowed both the Texan and Italian rider to get more laps in at COTA.

The electronics fine-tuning and the data from this first day of practice will be key in order to make the necessary adjustments for tomorrow’s third practice and qualifying sessions.

Colin Edwards – (2´12.50)
“Its obviously new track. The first session was a little sketchy; I think we had 20 degree centigrade on the ground. This morning just getting along the track we got some ideas and in the second practice, instead of holding station with the setting we knew kind of works we decided to soften the rear, make some changes for the problems we were having with cold temperature while obviously it was 40 when we went back out there for the second session. We just started off wrong and tried to use the rest of the session to go back to where we were. The good news is we got more laps in and got to know the track a better. We need to go over the data and make it better for tomorrow.”

Claudio Corti - (2´10.72)
“This first day when ok, we have improved a lot during the second practice session but we still have to keep working on the electronics, specially in terms of the acceleration. All an all, we are working really well, would still like to be a bit faster but I took some time during the session because we needed to test the front tires and ended up not being the right choice. We need to work on keeping a good pace and make the bike a little easier to ride but for being on a new track for first time I think we are doing good so far.”

Sergio Verbena – MotoGP Technical Director
“Today was the first day on this new track and we didn’t have any references for this circuit so we started the first session with the Qatar setting. This morning the track temperature was very cold so we didn’t have much grip, we struggled to find the grip to manage the situation. This afternoon the situation was completely opposite, the temperature rose from 20 degrees to 40 degrees Celsius so the grip was good and the job we did during the morning was lost. Claudio had a good session, had good lap times and showed consistency. Colin struggled with the setting of the bike so we need to work to make him more comfortable to be faster tomorrow, we know he can be faster. We will look over the data and see what needs to be improved for tomorrow.”




More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Busy first day for Ducati Team in Austin

Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden had a full work schedule during MotoGP’s first two free-practice sessions to be held at the Circuit of the Americas. Along with their crews, the Ducati Team riders, who didn’t take part in a private test at the circuit last month and were therefore making their Texas debut on MotoGP bikes, gathered as much data as possible in the windy but sunny conditions. Temperatures were lower than expected for the morning practice, affecting traction.

In addition, the Italian had to deal with a minor electronics issue in the afternoon session, but he switched to his second bike and set his best time of the day, which was good enough for seventh place. Hayden was ninth.

Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 7th (2:07.236)
“Today went pretty well, both in the morning and the afternoon. I’m happy because although the conditions and the track were both difficult, we’re not so far from the top guys, and I feel good on the bike. The conditions changed a lot in the second session and will probably change again tomorrow, so we’ll continue working and see what times we can do. Grip is really important on this circuit, because it’s quite strange—different from the tracks where we usually race. I thought it would be fast, but it’s not; there’s a long straightaway, but almost all of the corners are taken in second or third gear. Still, they’ve really done a great job here.”

Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 9th (2:07.699)
“It was great to get out and try the track on a MotoGP bike, as it’s really a first-class circuit and facility. This morning the biggest challenge was the lack of grip; on a new track with not much temperature, the tyres were simply too hard, though the conditions were better in the afternoon. We had a few problems with the rear, and when we made that better, that put too much load on the front. We knew it was going to be tough, since the other manufacturers tested here and have a lot of data. We’ve got some catching up to do, but I certainly hope to get closer tomorrow.”




More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Marquez tops Friday practice in Texas

Round 2: Americas MotoGP™ - Free Practice One & Two
Circuit of the Americas, Friday 19 April 2013

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Medium; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 13-14°C; Track 18-20°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Dry. Ambient 20-20°C; Track 39-40°C (Bridgestone measurement)

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez took his pre-season testing form at Circuit of the Americas to top both Friday practice sessions and end the day quickest ahead of his teammate Dani Pedrosa.

In track conditions which proved to be a real challenge for the twenty-six riders competing this weekend, Marquez set a time of 2’05.031 to finish ahead of Pedrosa by 0.554 seconds, while LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl was a further six-tenths behind and third overall to ensure a Honda 1-2-3 at the top of the timesheets. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the top CRT rider in today’s free practice sessions, his time of 2'08.299 slotting him in at P11.

Low track temperatures caused by cool winds and recent heavy rain combined to cause very low grip levels in the morning’s FP1 session, though for the afternoon FP2 session conditions were improved. Track temperatures in the around 40° C greeted riders for FP2 and so all riders were able to improve their lap times. The softer rear slick options were favoured by most riders, although Stefan Bradl set his best time of the day on the harder rear slick right at the end of FP2. Some riders also assessed the harder front slick option as this option provides greater cornering and braking stability, though at a slight expense to overall grip.

There will be one more ranked practice session, FP3 at 0955 local time tomorrow (GMT -6) that will determine which riders will take part in Qualifying Practice 1 or Qualifying Practice 2. The top two riders at the end of Qualifying Practice 1 will also get to participate in Qualifying Practice 2 which will decide the first four rows of the starting grid.

Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“The conditions for this morning were very challenging due to the heavy rain we experienced and strong winds that kept track temperatures very low. The afternoon’s warmer temperatures helped improve the condition of the track so that all the riders were able to improve their lap times. Riders predominantly used the softer option slicks to deal with the low grip level of the circuit, though some riders did assess the harder front and rear options late in the FP2 session. I’m pleased with how our tyres performed today in what were harsh conditions and look forward to an exciting day tomorrow for qualifying.”




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

ALEIX ESPARGARÓ INSTANTLY STRONG AT NEW CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS

The POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar rider, who was 11th overall and the fastest CRT, enjoyed the characteristics of the American track, whilst his teammate Randy De Puniet was also pleasantly surprised by the circuit and escaped unharmed from a crash

The lucky few had been here already during a MotoGP private test in the winter, but finally on Friday the rest of the premier class riders got to try out the new COTA track for the first time on the first day of action at the Grand Prix of the Americas. It was no surprise that the riders who had come for that winter test were the ones setting the pace and Marquez came out on top in free practice putting his prior knowledge of the track to good use. The Catalan was the top man but Bradl also topped the timesheets for a while as the last two Moto2 champions showed their strengths in Austin. The incredibly long 1200m straight saw some amazing top speeds with Pedrosa in particular going well over 340 km/h. So on this first day of MotoGP action at COTA three Hondas led the way, followed by three Yamahas, but the weekend is only just getting started.

It was strange not to see the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar immediately setting the CRT pace in the first practice session, with both riders using the run to get acquainted with the new track. In the second session the pair really got to work and the results son came their way. Aleix was the fastest CRT man in 11th, ahead of two riders on the main prototype machinery. Randy De Puniet, was on target to register a similar time, given his progress over the session but a late crash saw him conclude the outing early after he lost control at turn 18. He escaped unhurt and will be fine to ride on Saturday, having finished 14th on Friday.

11th Aleix Espargaró 2.08.299 (25 laps): "The first impression of the new track was a bit weird to be honest and it felt like the bike was unstable on the corners, but as the day went on more rubber was laid down and the temperature increased, giving us more grip for the second session. I think we did a good job overall on setting up the bike today. Even though we had a problem with our first bike in the second session it's been a good day's work. The second bike rode well. This is an incredibly long track and one of the most technical on the calendar. There are some tight linking corners where you lose a lot of time if you lose you line. I think the circuit is great though and I really enjoyed it so I think we can do well this weekend. We were the fastest CRT team today and I hope we can stay on top tomorrow."

14th Randy De Puniet 2.09.739 (31 laps): "There was no grip this morning and we shredded the tyres in a few laps. We took some time to find our way around this superb track which is technically very challenging. With the corners flowing into each other if you come out wrong you screw up the next turn and you lose time. In the afternoon we made some good setting changes and I felt really smooth so we used the same tyre most of the time. On the 18th corner, which you usually slide on, right at the end of the session, I lost the rear end and then it regained grip and the bike threw me off. It was a shame as I missed out on the chance to improve my time at the end."




More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

STRONG START FOR BRADL AT AUSTIN RACE TRACK ON DAY ONE

Austin, 19 April: carrying on his form from testing at the Texan track in March, LCR racer Stefan Bradl posted the third fastest lap time (2’06.173) on the opening day of the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. The former Moto2 World Champion, on the LCR Honda RC213V, moved into the top three in this afternoon 45-minute session after a tough first outing in the morning due to the poor grip conditions.

Stefan: “Today has been a strange day for us. This morning the track conditions were pretty bad and the grip level was very poor so we could not use our advantage from the test. At the end of this morning first session, I was very disappointed but, in the afternoon, the grip was much better and the sun was shining so I could ride a lot faster keeping the top positions. We could use the data and the references obtained in the test but we still have to adjust the race set-up especially when we are on used tyres”.




More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Márquez got his second ever MotoGP™ race weekend off to the ideal start as he led proceedings on day one at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas at the Circuit of the Americas ahead of teammate Dani Pedrosa and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl.

Márquez completed his domination of Friday practice as MotoGP™ action began in Texas by topping both opening sessions. Following on from the three-day test session in which he took part a month ago, today Márquez again looked comfortable from the off. Posting a best lap time of 2’05.031, improving on his previous best effort as the afternoon chequered flag flew, the 20-year-old Catalan led compatriot Pedrosa by over half a second.

Bradl moved into the top three as championship leader Jorge Lorenzo and Yamaha Factory Racing teammate Valentino Rossi rounded out the top five, with Lorenzo citing that corner entry was one of the main issues. Cal Crutchlow was sixth for Monster Yamaha Tech 3,1.8 seconds off the leading pace, yet is optimistic that times will drop tomorrow. Andrea Dovizioso led the way for the Ducati Team from seventh with teammate Nicky Hayden in ninth, the American now also running a smaller version of the front fairing. Dovizioso suffered an electrical glitch in the afternoon, and was not able to make the most of the limited track time.

GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista, who seemingly took an immediate liking to the 5.5-kilometre layout, was eighth, whilst Ignite Pramac Racing team’s Ben Spies rounded out the top ten. PBM’s Yonny Hernandez impressed in the morning session, finishing 11th and leading the way for the CRT runners, but Qatar pace-setter Aleix Espargaró was back on form in the afternoon and demoted the Colombian to 12th; this was notwithstanding a brief front end issue for the Power Electronics Aspar rider.

Hoping to move ahead of those two CRT runners is England’s Bradley Smith, whose MotoGP debut continued with the task of learning a challenging new circuit. He ended the day in 13th position ahead of Aspar’s Randy de Puniet, who suffered the first significant fall of the weekend but escaped unharmed.

Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone was another man to find himself mixed up with CRT runners, finishing narrowly ahead of Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham, NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Claudio Corti, Avintia Blusens’ Hiroshi Aoyama and Came IodaRacing Project’s Danilo Petrucci. In 20th place, Michael Laverty was encouraged by the pace of PBM’s own-built bike, behind which were no less than four regular runners.

The field was completed by Ioda’s Lukas Pesek, Gresini’s Bryan Staring, Forward’s local boy Colin Edwards and Blusens’ Hector Barbera. Rounding out the 26-rider field were this weekend’s pair of American wildcard riders: Blake Young and Michael Barnes of their respective Attack Performance Racing and GPTech outfits.


Moto2

After a low-key start to the day, finishing 23rd in first practice, Scott Redding shot to the top of the Moto2™ classification at the end of day one at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. The Marc VDS Racing Team rider set the pace in Texas from Desguaces La Torre Maptaq’s Xavier Siméon and Came IodaRacing Project’s Johann Zarco.

Lapping almost three seconds quicker than the leading lap time of the morning period, and helped by the fact that the track had been cleaned up further by the preceding Moto3™ and MotoGP™ sessions, Redding reduced the pace to 2’12.481.

Second-placed Siméon was three quarters of a second slower, but just 42 thousandths up on Zarco. This left morning pace-setter Terol fourth for the Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2, with NGM Mobile Racing’s Simone Corsi inside the top five. Second Marc VDS rider Mika Kallio was next up, demoting championship leader and Tuenti HP 40’s Pol Espargaro to seventh place.

Mike di Meglio had suffered a frustrating opening race of the year in Qatar a fortnight ago - including a problem on the grid and subsequent collision with Mattia Pasini - but today showed more promising speed by cementing eighth spot. However more misfortune was to come for his JiR Moto2 squad, as the Frenchman lost control and fell in the closing stages on the afternoon session.

The top ten was completed by Tuenti’s Esteve Rabat and Technomag carXpert’s Dominique Aegerter. An early collision saw Desguaces La Torre SAG’s Marcel Schrötter tag the rear of Rabat, who had been forced to slow dramatically in order to avoid the touring Blusens Avintia bike of Toni Elías; both Rabat and Schrötter found themselves on the ground, but were able to re-join the action.


Moto3

Team Calvo’s Maverick Viñales set the pace on day one of the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas in the Moto3™ class ahead of Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Rins by half a second, as Qatar race winner Luis Salom completed the top three.

Viñales, still carrying an injury to his right hand following a crash at the last pre-season test in Jerez, placed himself atop the timesheets with a best effort of 2’18.254.

Behind second-placed Rins, Salom was the leading Red Bull KTM Ajo rider from Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira and San Carlo Team Italia’s Romano Fenati, who led for a solid chunk of the final 40-minute period.

Despite the dusty off-line surface, there were few incidents in the afternoon. Viñales was fleetingly caught out, however, as the Spaniard tumbled at the uphill Turn 1 when overtaking Niccolo Antonelli’s GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 machine. Another rider in the wars was La Fonte Tascaracing’s Hyuga Watanabe, who fell while exiting the Turn 11 hairpin but thankfully sustained no more than a broken gear shifter.

Jonas Folger made the top six for Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3, hoping for a strong weekend after finishing fifth under floodlights in the Qatar season-opener a fortnight ago. Completing the top ten were Ongetta-Centro Seta’s Isaac Viñales, Estrella Galicia’s Alex Márquez, Ambrogio Racing’s Danny Webb and Caretta Technology – RTG’s Jack Miller.




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

The Circuit of the Americas—the first of three American tracks on the 2013 MotoGP calendar—today added its first page to the championship’s history book.

Like most of the riders, the Pramac Racing Team racers approached this challenging day, which featured the traditional first two free-practice sessions, by endeavoring to learn the correct lines and to get up to pace on the unfamiliar circuit.

The windy conditions and the slippery asphalt made the task more difficult, but the team was prepared.

Some positive changes were made to the bike of the Ignite Pramac Racing Team rider Ben Spies, and although the Texan’s shoulder still isn’t completely fit, he managed to set a time of 2:12.813 at the end of the first session, and to improve that by over six seconds at the end of FP2. The laps he did at the circuit last month, though not aboard a MotoGP bike, proved helpful.

Ben Spies – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“It was a good day. We changed the bike quite a bit in the second session, and I got the feel of it and closed the gap to the factory Ducatis. I got some laps in, and now we’ve got some good data to look at. We’ll try to take another couple of steps for tomorrow if the track gets better, and just keep closing the gap to the front guys.”




More, from another press release issued by Pramac Racing:

The Circuit of the Americas—the first of three American tracks on the 2013 MotoGP calendar—today added its first page to the championship’s history book.

Like most of the riders, the Pramac Racing Team racers approached this challenging day, which featured the traditional first two free-practice sessions, by endeavoring to learn the correct lines and to get up to pace on the unfamiliar circuit.

The windy conditions and the slippery asphalt made the task more difficult, but the team was prepared.

Unfortunately, Andrea Iannone suffered significantly from the lack of grip, which prevented him from confidently riding this new circuit and made it more difficult for him to learn the proper lines. Tomorrow will be an important opportunity to accumulate as much data as possible in order to be as prepared as possible for the race on Sunday.

Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“Today was quite difficult. I had trouble finding the right feeling with the bike, and I don’t have the confidence to push hard. I feel the bike sliding, and I feel hesitant. Anyway, I’m optimistic for tomorrow, which will be very important for us. Despite everything, I like the entire track and I hope to get closer to the other Ducati riders, as I’ve always managed to do before.”