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May 3, 2014

Marquez Smashes Lap Record, Earns Another MotoGP Pole Position, At Jerez

Marc Marquez (93).

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Jerez, Spain

May 3, 2014

Qualifying Results (all on Bridgestone tires):

Qualifying Knockout Session One (top two transfer to qualifying session two):

1. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (HONDA), 1:39.427, Open

2. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:39.595

3. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (HONDA), 1:39.768, Open

4. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (DUCATI), 1:39.849, Open

5. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:40.118, Open

6. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (HONDA), 1:40.126, Open

7. Michele PIRRO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:40.239, Open

8. Scott REDDING, UK (HONDA), 1:40.453, Open

9. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (DUCATI), 1:40.566, Open

10. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (ART-APRILIA), 1:41.009, Open

11. Michael LAVERTY, UK (PBM-APRILIA), 1:41.124, Open

12. Mike DI MEGLIO, France (FTR-KAWASAKI), 1:41.517, Open

13. Broc PARKES, Australia (PBM-APRILIA), 1:41.702, Open 

14. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-KAWASAKI), 1:42.052, Open

Qualifying Knockout Session Two Results:

1. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:38.120

2. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:38.541

3. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:38.630

4. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:38.857

5. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (FORWARD YAMAHA), 1:39.007, Open

6. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:39.222, Open

7. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), 1:39.243

8. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:39.293

9. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:39.390

10. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:39.751

11. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FORWARD YAMAHA), 1:39.814, Open

12. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (HONDA), 1:39.826, Open

Combined Qualifying Results:

1. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:38.120

2. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:38.541

3. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:38.630

4. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:38.857

5. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (FORWARD YAMAHA), 1:39.007, Open

6. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:39.222, Open

7. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), 1:39.243

8. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:39.293

9. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:39.390

10. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:39.751

11. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FORWARD YAMAHA), 1:39.814, Open

12. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (HONDA), 1:39.826, Open

13. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (HONDA), 1:39.768, Open

14. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (DUCATI), 1:39.849, Open

15. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:40.118, Open

16. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (HONDA), 1:40.126, Open

17. Michele PIRRO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:40.239, Open

18. Scott REDDING, UK (HONDA), 1:40.453, Open

19. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (DUCATI), 1:40.566, Open

20. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (ART-APRILIA), 1:41.009, Open

21. Michael LAVERTY, UK (PBM-APRILIA), 1:41.124, Open

22. Mike DI MEGLIO, France (FTR-KAWASAKI), 1:41.517, Open

23. Broc PARKES, Australia (PBM-APRILIA), 1:41.702, Open

24. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-KAWASAKI), 1:42.052, Open

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Marquez continues qualifying domination with fourth consecutive pole and Pedrosa 3rd

Marc Marquez, marking his 100th GP start here in Jerez, now celebrates a 59% ratio of poles in all MotoGP starts (13 in 22 races) after clinching the top spot for the Spanish GP, breaking the lap record en route with teammate Dani Pedrosa in third under scorching weather conditions.

Before qualifying, Marc and his team calculated that a three-stop run would be possible during the 15 minute session, which was important as the life of the soft rear tyre is optimum for only one flying lap – especially with track temperatures in the fifties. Dani opted for the more normal two stop strategy, completing two flying laps with each tyre, and clocked a time of 1’38.630 placing him on the front row in third for tomorrow’s 27 lap race. Marc recorded just one flying lap on each exit but on his third and final run, he stole Lorenzo’s lap record from 2008 (1’38.189) – the last season in which there were still qualifying tyres in MotoGP – and recorded the fastest ever lap on two wheels at Jerez with a time of 1’38.120 on lap 8 of 8.


Marc Marquez

1st - 1'38.120

“I am very happy with this pole position, as it was hard fought and I wasn't expecting it. We are suffering a little more here than at other tracks, but despite this we are still at the same level as Lorenzo and Dani. We changed our strategy at the last minute; I asked Santi if it would be possible to use three soft tyres, and he said that it was. It was all last minute and I am satisfied with how it worked out, but we know that tomorrow is the important day. Jorge and, above all, Dani have a great pace”

Dani Pedrosa

3rd - 1'38.630

"We took a step forward with the bike setup today and also went better with the race tyres. In the qualifying session we tried to do as well as possible, but it is always difficult to put in a really fast lap. Tomorrow we will try to get a good start, then have a good race”

More, from a press release issued by Movistar Yamaha:

Lorenzo Scores Front Row for Home Grand Prix

Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 3rd May 2014

Blazing sunshine and track temperatures of 50°C provided the background to a duel for pole position this afternoon in qualifying for tomorrow’s Gran Premio de España.

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s local hero Jorge Lorenzo dominated 99% of the session, taking second at the end to secure his place on the front row of the grid for the race.

Lorenzo led the qualifying heat from his first timed lap, dropping immediately into the 1’38s with a 1’38.541 lap. He remained unchallenged, coming in for a change of rear tyre with eight minutes remaining and returning to the circuit in under a minute to continue his attack. He was unable to improve on his lap time, but again remained unchallenged until the last minute as rival Spaniard Marc Marquez took pole, just over four tenths ahead of him.

Nine time world champion Valentino Rossi was straight out in to the action behind Jorge Lorenzo, making a Yamaha one-two attack on the track. His first flying lap of 1’39.050 gave him initially second before dropping to third as the pace increased. He returned to the pits with eight minutes to go in fourth position. Following a change to the rear and front of the bike he was back on track with five minutes remaining to step up his pace. With three minutes left on the clock he dropped into the 1’38s with a 1’38.857 and looked safe for third on the grid until rival Dani Pedrosa jumped in front, moving him to fourth on the second row for tomorrow’s race.

Jorge Lorenzo

2nd / 1'38.541 / 9 laps

“We tried our best to make the best lap time, but unfortunately with the second tyre I don't know why I it didn't feel the same, it felt a little more slippery which is why I didn't improve my lap. The goal was to stay in the first row; that was important. Obviously pole position would be better but the most important thing is to start well tomorrow, I think we have a good pace so we can definitely fight at the front. It will be important to stay close at the front for the first couple of laps, the rear tyre is going to drop a lot but I feel physically good as I did last year which will be very important for the race.”

Valentino Rossi

4th / 1'38.857 / 7 laps

“I wanted to try for the front row but I knew it would be very difficult. In all the practice and also this afternoon I wasn't very far from the top three and my lap time is good. I’m quite satisfied because it’s the best qualifying and especially I feel good with the bike. We worked well in the practice and I have a good setting. Tomorrow I will try to do the maximum to stay with the top three. We still have to improve something with acceleration as with the high temperature we spin a lot. We will decide on the tyre tomorrow when we see the temperature.”

Massimo Meregalli

“So far we have done a good job and we are set for tomorrow, although we still have to think about the different tyres. We have a good pace and were able to do a long distance over FP3 to get important data. It will be a tough one, three very hot Spanish riders and Vale is also a real contender. It’s going to be very physical, there are a number of great overtaking places on the track, including turn one and turn six so I expect a good race for fans to watch! Jorge made an impressive lap straight out of the pits. First and second row are good positions for the start. We’re looking forward to tomorrow.”

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

Abraham starts from sixth row in Jerez

Second best qualifying result of the season grabs Karel Abraham at the circuit in Spanish Jerez. The Czech rider finished qualifying practice with time just over one minute and forty seconds on sixteenth position with a loss of eight thousandths to fifteenth Andrea Iannone.

Karel Abraham

“I think I can be happy, but what I regret is that I didn´t make a totally perfect lap. In every lap I made some small mistake, which costs me thousandth. It´s shame, because I lost only 8 thousandth to 15th Andrea Iannone. But that´s normal in Jerez, the circuit is relatively short and everybody knows it perfectly. I´m quite surprised by how the tyres worked today. Even if it´s still not perfect, we improve the feeling a lot from Friday.”

Marco Grana

chief mechanic, Cardion AB Motoracing

“We can be happy. We cut 1,5 second from Friday´s lap time and we improve the setup a lot even if it´s still quite difficult to adapt to the actual track condition. We made quite good Qualifying 1 and if Karel hadn´t made a mistake in the last corner, he should be on 14th or 15th position. We´ll see how the weather changes tomorrow and how hot will be the asphalt. Then we will decide which rear tyre we use for the race. I´m really happy about the progress we made from Friday and I´m very optimistic, because we stay close to other riders. We need to make a good start and try to stay close to Nicky Hayden, who is the fastest of “open” Honda riders."

More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Marquez claims pole position and new lap record in scorching conditions at Jerez

Round 4: Spanish MotoGP™ - Qualifying Practice

Circuito de Jerez, Saturday 3 May 2014

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Extra-soft, Soft & Medium (Asymmetric)

Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative – front), Extra-hard (Alternative – rear)

Weather: FP3 - Dry. Ambient 20-23°C; Track 29-34°C (Bridgestone measurement)

FP4/QP - Dry. Ambient 27-28°C; Track 51-53°C (Bridgestone measurement)

An interesting qualifying strategy helped Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez claim his fourth successive pole position and set a new Circuit Best Lap of 1’38.120 in scorching conditions at Jerez.

Marquez’s tactic to do three stints in QP2 using a new soft compound rear slick each time paid dividends, with the reigning World Champion able to set a time 0.421 seconds quicker than Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo, who was second quickest in qualifying. Third quickest was last year’s Spanish Grand Prix race winner Dani Pedrosa whose personal best lap time was 1'38.630.

Conditions at Jerez were again dry and very hot, with a peak track temperature of 53°C during QP2; 2°C down on yesterday’s maximum temperature. With the Jerez circuit notorious for becoming greasy in high temperatures, the provision of asymmetric rear slicks at Jerez for the first time this year ensured riders had enough grip to post extremely quick lap times in qualifying. Marquez’s benchmark time in QP2 beat the six year-old Circuit Best Lap record for Jerez that was set by Jorge Lorenzo in 2008 on qualifying tyres.

Race tyre choice became clearer after many riders performed race simulations in FP4 today. The medium compound front slick was again the most popular option, while the hard compound front slick will also be used by some riders in tomorrow’s race. Although hot track temperatures are forecast for tomorrow’s race, all three rear slick options could be selected by riders for tomorrow’s twenty-seven lap Spanish Grand Prix. The medium compound rear slick is the prevalent choice for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders; the soft compound rear is likely to be used by the Ducati and Forward Yamaha riders, while the extra-soft rear slick is preferred by the other Open-class entrants.

The riders will have their final chance to decide on race tyre choice in tomorrow’s twenty-minute Warm Up session at 0940 local time (GMT +1) before the MotoGP™ race starts at 1400.

Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“We had similar weather conditions today, with a mild morning turning to very hot temperatures in the afternoon so the teams had a good understanding of how the tyres would behave today. In FP4, riders tried a lot of different tyre options to see what would work best for the race, and at this stage it looks like almost all compound options we brought to Jerez are viable race options. For the front tyre, both the medium and hard compound front slicks will feature in tomorrow’s race. Given the high temperatures forecast for tomorrow, the soft compound rear slick for the Ducati and Open-class riders, and the medium compound rear slick for the Factory Honda and Yamaha appear to be the likely choice for the race. However, some Open-class riders did long runs on the extra-soft rear slick in FP4, so I think we will also see this option used for the race. The high performance of the new asymmetric rear slicks we developed for Jerez was evident today, with Marc able to beat the circuit best lap record from 2008 which was set on qualifying tyres.”

More, from a press release issued by Drive M7 Aspar Honda:


American rider to start from twelfth on the grid, one place ahead of his team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama

Tomorrow's MotoGP race at Jerez looks like it could be the closest since the opening round in Qatar after a qualifying session that saw Jorge Lorenzo dominate on his Yamaha only to be usurped on the final lap by Marc Márquez's all-conquering Honda. The current World Champion has three wins from three so far this season and today he made it four pole positions from four with a late effort that saw him find four tenths of a second to clock a 1'38.120 and break the previous pole record set by Lorenzo back in 2008 (1'38.189). However, in terms of race pace both Lorenzo and Pedrosa are much closer to Márquez than their qualifying times might suggest and even Valentino Rossi will be hopeful of causing an upset tomorrow if he can make a good start.

Just like last Saturday in Argentina the DRIVE M7 Aspar pairing of Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama battled hard to make it into the top two places in Q1 and secure a place in Q2, with the American making it thanks to a late charge on his final two laps. The Japanese also pushed hard in the final couple of laps but despite his incredible pace through the second sector of the Spanish track he lost vital time in T3 and had to settle for thirteenth place on the grid.

12th Nicky Hayden: “We managed to make a couple of improvements today that made the bike more balanced and more fun to ride. The track conditions change a lot from the morning to the afternoon and you have to really pay attention so that you don't get caught out. The team did a great job and we managed to get into Q2, which was our objective, but I am not completely happy with the performance of the front tyre. We tried the harder compound yesterday and I destroyed my leathers saving front-end crashes but the soft version is too soft for us. That limits our options so we had to be conservative in Q2. I was hoping to be closer to the factory prototypes here and to qualify further up but with the tyre situation we had to be too cautious in the second session. Anyway, in general I am happy, the bike is responding well and I think we are ready for the race.”

13th Hiroshi Aoyama: “We worked hard this morning to confirm the set-up and I felt comfortable with the lower temperatures. Like yesterday the heat went up in the afternoon and the behaviour of the bike changed as a result so we made some changes to adapt. We put some fresh tyres in at the end and I pushed hard for a lap time to get myself into Q2 and even though I didn't manage it we have improved the lap time from yesterday so we can be satisfied because we are on the right path. We are getting faster every day, the bike is reliable and I feel more comfortable every time I ride it so we are seeing the results of our hard work. From yesterday to today we have improved the stability under braking and now we need to find some more corner speed. It has been a tough day with a lot of work to get through but our performance in qualifying was positive so I am happy.”

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:


Jerez, 3 May: this morning session at sweltering Jerez de la Frontera circuit saw LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl setting the 6th fastest time which secured him the “access” to the QP2 session as estimated yesterday by the German. Bradl was pleased with his remarkable progression on the Iberian track that has been always tough for him since his debut in the premier class. The 24-year-old posted the 7th lap time on soft tyres (1’39.243) and will start from the third row followed by Smith and Espargaro.

Stefan: “I have tried to do my maximum in the qualifying because the target was to be in second row and we missed it for 0.021s only. So we can be happy because we did a good job on a race track that has been always very tough for me on a MotoGP bike. We improved a lot compared to the last two years and we have the possibility to end the race in the top five. This would be good for me and the Team and for the ranking. Tomorrow’s common problem will be the tyre wear because of the hot temperatures but we have found a good pace on used tyres”.

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

Second row for Espargaro at Jerez

NGM Forward Racing riders Aleix Espargaro and Colin Edwards will take the start of the Spanish GP respectively from the 5th and 11th positions of the starting grid. Both riders used at the best the free practice of the morning to work on the set up of their machine in preparation of the race, with Colin Edwards who set a superb 1’39.200, finishing in 5th place of the FP3 and Aleix Espargaro who worked on the race pace with hard tyres, closing with the 7th best lap time (1’39.267).

In the Qualifying Espargaro and Edwards gave their best to get the best possible result, with the Spaniard claiming the fifth position (1’39.007) and best open behind pole man Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi. A crash without consequences prevented Aleix to further improve his lap time.

It was the best qualifying session for Colin Edwards, who couldn’t replicate his lap time of the morning, but despite this he finished with a very positive 11th position (1’39.814). Colin found a good set up on the technical track of Jerez and is confident for tomorrow’s race.

Colin Edwards:

"I’m happy with today’s result. The bike was good already from the morning session. We sorted out the electronics and we improved a lot the set up of the machine. I’m starting to understand more the bike and using the correct tyres I was comfortable and I could push as I wanted. In the qualifying we couldn’t replicate the same strong performance, but the feeling was good so I’m confident for the race. We are evaluating which tyre we will use in the race as this will be very important. With the hot temperatures, the machine spins a lot so tyres will be a key element”.

Aleix Espargaro:

“I’m satisfied as we worked very well in the FP3 and FP4 in preparation of the race. I have a good pace and I’m confident for tomorrow. It was a pity for the qualifying! I was lapping in 1’39.0 and I was missing a couple of tenths from Jorge and Valentino to be in front row so I pushed hard but I was at the limit and I lost the front. I’m disappointed but I tried it! It’s not easy to beat the official bikes but we will keep on trying. For tomorrow the tyres will be a key element. We will use the hard option, it is not so hard as we would have wanted but this is what we have, so I’m not worried about it”. 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Marc Marquez grabs pole in sunny Jerez

Marc Marquez will be on pole for Sunday’s MotoGP™ race at the Gran Premio bwin de España, with Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa joining him on the front row.

On his 100th Grand Prix weekend Marquez produced a superb late 1’38.120 lap to smash the pole record at Jerez, qualifying 0.421s ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Lorenzo and 0.510s in front of his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa.

Heading the second row after an intriguing Q2 run in the southern Spanish heat is the most successful rider on the grid at Jerez, with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi (+0.737) qualifying fourth at the track where he boasts six premier class victories.

Joining him on row two are Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team). A late crash for Espargaro hindered his Q2 efforts in the final minutes and he missed out on a potential front row.

The third row will host young trio Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3), with Smith recovering well from a big crash on Friday.

Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) is accompanied by American pair Colin Edwards (NGM Forward Racing) and Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar) on the fourth row, whilst the likes of Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) will start from further back having failed to make Q2.

Moto2™: Mika Kallio on pole in intermediate class

The World Championship action at the Gran Premio bwin de España on Saturday concluded with Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) taking Moto2™ pole, ahead of Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Luis Salom (Pons HP 40) on the front row.

The cool Finn defied the sweltering heat in Andalusia to outpace his rivals with a 1’42.766s to put him 0.3s ahead of Cortese and 0.4s beyond Salom on row one.

The second line of the Jerez grid will comprise Swiss pair Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2) and Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert), along with championship leader Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team). Those three all qualified within 0.5s of Kallio.

The qualifying top ten was completed by Jonas Folger (AGR Team), Maverick Viñales (Pons HP 40), Marcel Schrotter (Tech 3) and Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing).

Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Moto2) crashed early in the session but was able to rejoin, as was Azlan Shah (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) who was also unhurt in an early fall. Louis Rossi (SAG Team) crashed with five minutes to go, ending his session early and a last lap crash left Sam Lowes (Speed Up) down in 15th – though they too were both unharmed.

FP3 crasher Nico Terol (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2) missed the QP after being taken to hospital for checks on his left hip and femur. He is a fitness doubt for Sunday’s race but scans have not yet definitively identified the extent of his injury.

Moto3™: Miller secures pole at round four

Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) secured the third pole position of his career and the third of 2014 at the Gran Premio bwin de España, with a rapid 1’46.173 lap putting him ahead of Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN) and Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) on the front row.

In the heat of the Spanish sunshine championship leader Miller maintained his good form to qualify a considerable 0.615s ahead of his nearest rival Antonelli for the fourth race of the year. It is also Miller’s third pole in a row.

Joining Miller and Antonelli on the front row is Spaniard Rins, with row two comprising two further Spanish riders Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team) and Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) – whilst Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) is sixth.

Row three, meanwhile, comprises Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG), Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) and John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG), in front of tenth best qualifier Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46), who of won the race in Argentina from fifth on the grid.

Juanfran Guevara (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) qualified 17th after a crash early in the session, whilst technical issues hindered Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and he ended up 29th.

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Dovizioso qualifies on row 2 for tomorrow’s Spanish GP, Crutchlow and Pirro further back on grid

Andrea Dovizioso has qualified in sixth place for the Spanish Grand Prix, the fourth round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship, which will take place tomorrow at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit. The Ducati Team rider, who had concluded the three free practice sessions that give direct access into Q2 in eighth place, managed to take another couple of tenths off his time in the final qualifying session, using two extra-soft rear tyres. The Italian’s second run powered him to sixth place, one second away from the top slot.

Day 2 of the Jerez action was not so positive for Cal Crutchlow, who only stepped back onto his GP14 yesterday after missing the Argentina GP due to an injury in his right hand he suffered at Austin. Battling against increasing pain due to effort and fatigue, the British rider tried to end the day with a decent performance, but had to settle for fourth in Q1, which meant that he did not go through to Q2. As a result Cal will start from row 5 in tomorrow’s race.

Michele Pirro, the Ducati Test Team rider, qualified in seventeenth place after a positive morning when he lapped just outside the top 10. The Italian rider will start from the sixth row.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 6th (1m39.222s)

“I am very happy with qualifying and the time that I did, even more so because I did it on my own. I think I really managed to get the best out of my bike in these very difficult conditions because the temperature is very high for the tyres we had available. I got an unexpected second row start and this will help us for the race, because Jerez is a narrow track, and in the early laps you can lose a lot of time if you don’t start up at the front. I’m a bit worried for the race, because our pace is not so quick and above all there is a performance drop after several laps: when it’s so hot, everything becomes more difficult for us. In my view, after the top 5 riders there will be a small group with a similar pace, and we’ll have to fight it out with them in the race: starting from row 2 will surely help us.”

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – 14th (1m39.849s)

“I am a bit disappointed with the end result and the qualifying position, but I think it was as to be expected for this weekend. We really struggled with the grip at the front and the rear of the bike, and I didn’t have confidence to push with the bike as much as possible. When I tried I made some mistakes and was at my limit. However I tried my best but the times were very close and it was difficult to get through to Q1, I was disappointed about that. The hand is getting sorer every session so it’s becoming difficult, but thanks also to the assistance the Clinica Mobile are giving me, I will try my best to do a good race tomorrow.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51) – 17th (1m40.239s)

“This morning didn’t go bad because I was close to the top 10, only that this afternoon we tried some new solutions and I was unable to improve. I only used one extra-soft tyre and perhaps this penalized me; maybe if I had used another I could have shaved off a few more vital tenths. For sure my grid position is not an easy one. It’s a shame because throughout the weekend we had some pretty positive practice sessions. However my feeling with the GP14 is much better than it was in Argentina.”

More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Difficult qualifications for the Pramac Racing Team

The FP3 saw thirteen riders separated by less than a second. The riders of the Pramac Racing Team missed out on direct access to Q2 by a few tenths of a second, leaving a bit of a bitter taste in their mouth. On this qualifying day, Andrea Iannone and Yonny Hernandez had some difficulties and will start the race respectively on the fifth and seventh row tomorrow. The circuit of Jerez de la Frontera, with its short straights and fast corners, makes it harder to put the power of the Desmosedici under control.

Andrea Iannone - Pramac Racing - closes the three combined sessions with the twelfth time, losing by just over a tenth of a second the opportunity to go thought to the second qualifying session. During the last free practice "FP4" used to work on tomorrow's race, the rider improved his pace but failed to reduce the gap on the single lap compared to riders in the leading group. The rider from Vasto will start from the fifteenth position on the grid.

Yonny Hernandez - EnergyT.I . Pramac Racing - lost by a few tenths of a second direct access to Q2, ending the session behind his team-mate, with the thirteenth overall lap time in three combined sessions. The Colombian rider did not show any improvement in the FP4 , and because of a small technical problem ended the session with only eight laps done. During qualifying, Yonny was not able to push as he liked, passing under the checkered flag in ninth position which earned him the nineteenth place on the grid.

Andrea Iannone ( Pramac Racing)

"I'm positive for tomorrow, even if the qualifying did not go as I wanted. We know that this is a narrow circuit and its hard to make our bike turn. In FP4 in race configuration, I was faster, but after six / seven laps, the grip of the tires drops, this is a problem that is encountered by other riders too. Tomorrow during warm up we will try a different setting to get as close as possible to the first group. We will have to wait until tomorrow to see what happens in the race."

Yonny Hernandez ( EnergyT.I . Pramac Racing)

"I'm not very happy with how qualifying went, after the GP of Argentina I had a good feeling for this race where I was hoping to do much better. Tomorrow I hope to do well and to finish in the points again. I had a small electrical problem during the FP4, but before the next session my team solved the problem, allowing me to take part in qualifying. I hope to have a good race tomorrow!"

More, from a press release issued by Scott Redding's publicist:

Tough qualifying for Scott in Jerez

Jerez, Spain – 3 May 2014: Scott Redding will start tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix from the sixth row of the grid, after bouncing back from a crash during today’s qualifying session in Jerez.

The 21-year-old Briton struggled with a lack of rear traction throughout the session, but the crash came when he lost the front under braking. Scott managed to ride the bike back to the pits before returning to the track and immediately setting his fastest lap of the session.

Scott will work with his team tonight, to try and find a solution to the rear traction issues that have plagued him all weekend ahead of tomorrow morning's warm up.

Scott Redding // 18th // 1’40.453

“I struggled a lot today. Since the beginning of the weekend we’ve managed to improve the bike on the brakes, but we’ve not been able to stop the rear spinning up everywhere. Basically, we need to find more grip. That’s going to take some work, but tonight I’ll sit down with the team to go through all the data and see if we can find some improvement. I had a small crash in qualifying, losing the front as I came off the brakes, but the bike was okay and I managed to get back out on track and set my fastest time straight afterwards, so it wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t able to catch the group of riders ahead of me, but that has to be the target for tomorrow."