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Jun 15, 2013

Pedrosa Takes MotoGP Pole Position With New Lap Record At Catalunya

FIM MotoGP World Championship: Dani Pedrosa (26) in action on his Repsol Honda at Catalunya.
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Catalunya, Spain
June 15, 2013
Qualifying Results (all on Bridgestone tires):

Qualifying Session One Results (top two transfer to QP2):

1. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:42.607
2. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:42.660
3. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), 1:43.186
4. Michele PIRRO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:43.330
5. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:43.659
6. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:43.983
7. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (ART-Aprilia), 1:44.362
8. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:44.369
9. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:44.603
10. Michael LAVERTY, UK (PBM-Aprilia), 1:44.630
11. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (ART-Aprilia), 1:44.913
12. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), 1:45.441
13. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:46.302
14. Javier DEL AMOR, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:48.952


Qualifying Session Two Results:

1. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:40.893
2. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), 1:41.501
3. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:41.566
4. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:41.714
5. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), 1:41.800
6. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:41.842
7. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:41.959
8. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:41.963
9. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:42.053
10. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), 1:42.090
11. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:42.548
12. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), 1:42.878


Combined Qualifying Results:

1. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:40.893
2. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), 1:41.501
3. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:41.566
4. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:41.714
5. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), 1:41.800
6. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:41.842
7. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:41.959
8. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:41.963
9. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:42.053
10. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), 1:42.090
11. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:42.548
12. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), 1:42.878
13. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), 1:43.186
14. Michele PIRRO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:43.330
15. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:43.659
16. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:43.983
17. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (ART-Aprilia), 1:44.362
18. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:44.369
19. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:44.603
20. Michael LAVERTY, UK (PBM-Aprilia), 1:44.630
21. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (ART-Aprilia), 1:44.913
22. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), 1:45.441
23. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:46.302
24. Javier DEL AMOR, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:48.952




More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Pedrosa smashes lap record to take pole position at the Catalan Grand Prix

Round 6: Catalan MotoGP™ - Qualifying Practice
Montmeló, Saturday 15 June 2013

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 - Dry. Ambient 25-28°C; Track 37-40°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4 & QP2/1 - Dry. Ambient 32-32°C; Track 56-58°C (Bridgestone measurement)

For the second consecutive race Dani Pedrosa set a new pole position record in qualifying, the Repsol Honda rider setting a remarkable lap time of 1’40.893 to claim the first slot on the grid for tomorrow’s Catalan Grand Prix.

Pedrosa’s storming lap saw him qualify more than six-tenths of a second ahead of his nearest rival, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 of Cal Crutchlow whose best time of 1’41.608 placed him in second position. Rounding out the front row of the grid in third place and 0.065 seconds adrift of Crutchlow was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the best CRT qualifier, his time of 1'42.878 placing him twelfth overall.

Yesterday’s hot weather intensified today with track temperatures soaring to 58°C in QP1. Many riders took to task in the free practice sessions to evaluate both options of rear slick, and amongst the works riders the consensus is that despite the extremely high track temperatures, the superior edge grip of the softer rear slick has the better overall performance at this circuit which features prolonged periods at high lean angles. With many fast and flowing corners, the harder front slick is preferred due to its more stable feel.

Tomorrow’s Warm Up session at 0940 local time (GMT +2) will give riders a last opportunity to decide on tyre choice for the twenty-five lap race which commences at 1400..

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“We had another very hot day today and many riders took the opportunity to test both rear tyre options in today’s free practice sessions. The feedback we received is that the harder rear slick gave better drive out of corners, but with the riders spending so much time at high lean angles, the greater edge grip of the softer rear slick is the better performing option around this circuit. Also, the track condition improved today so the consistency of lap times of the softer rear on long runs was better, so I think many works riders are planning on using this option for tomorrow’s race - even in these very hot conditions. Front tyre choice for the race is clearer with the harder option being preferred by almost everyone.”




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

Lorenzo Delivers Catalunya Front Row

Montmelo' Circuit (Barcelona, Spain), 15th June 2013

Jorge Lorenzo continued his unbroken run as the only rider to consistently start from the front row this season, taking third on the grid for tomorrow’s Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya. The reigning world champion had only the last minutes of the brief qualifying heat to record a best time after a clutch issue forced him to pit shortly after the session started. Despite the setback he was able to salvage a front row start in third with a 1’41.566 after completing just seven laps. Lorenzo was able to walk away uninjured from a crash in the morning’s third free practice after losing the front at turn five. Conditions were even hotter than yesterday with track temperatures hitting up to 57 degrees over the afternoon.

Having been the fastest rider yesterday Valentino Rossi continued his competitive pace into the third free practice this morning, ending in fourth but just 0.156 seconds from first. Having mastered race pace the nine-time champion turned to qualifying, allowing most of the field to leave the pits before venturing out to find some clean track. Using the harder front and soft rear tyre option he delivered a best time of 1’41.959 to take seventh on the third row of the grid, less than four tenths from his team mate Lorenzo on the front row.

Jorge Lorenzo
3rd / 1'41.566 / 7 laps
“I’m very disappointed because today we had a problem with the clutch in a crucial moment and this lap time was the best I could do. I also had not so much confidence on the front to make a perfect lap. We hope for race distance we can remain constant and fight for the win. We will need to be strong and concentrate for the whole race; we don't know what can happen in the 20th lap.”

Valentino Rossi

“We worked hard today; it’s not so bad but unfortunately we are not able to start from a better position on the grid. We tried everything but I still don't have the maximum feeling to improve a bit more. The race tomorrow is going to be very interesting because of the tyre choice and the rhythm. There are four or five riders who are very fast and very constant so we hope to do a good start and good first laps to stay with the top guys and check our performance.”

Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager
“A strange day but overall we are in front row even when we had a problem with the first bike. The clutch was spinning when he went out which isn’t ideal because you miss a bit of time with your first tyre. He did well anyway with a 1’41.7s lap. We had to stay out with the same bike, but he was able to make a 1’41.5s lap to qualify for the front row. I think that was the maximum for today, Dani with his 40.8 was unreachable. We have to sort out what went wrong with the clutch and dig into our set ups to prepare for tomorrow’s race.”

Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“We are quite satisfied with the pace we could run in the free practices but the qualifying didn't go as we expected. We have to try and close the gap as our competitors are quicker, especially in the hot conditions that we will probably have again tomorrow. We will work to understand how to improve the total package and we will do our best to be as competitive as possible for tomorrow. The race is always different to the qualifying session. We know the tyres we are going to use, we have to try and make the rear last as long as possible. The race is going to be tough and difficult but we will be ready.”




More, from a press release issued by FIM:

FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix

Decision of the Grand Prix Commission

The Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Ignacio Verneda (FIM Executive Director, Sport), Herve Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA) in the presence of Javier Alonso (Dorna) Shuhei Nakamoto (HRC) and Mike Trimby (IRTA, Secretary of the meeting), in a meeting held on 15th. June 2013 in Catalunya, made the following decisions:
Technical Regulations

MotoGP Class - Effective Immediately

Currently riders may choose to change up to two sets of their rain tyres for an alternative specification only after the first wet practice session. In future they will be permitted to change to the alternative specification at any time during the event.

MotoGP Class - Effective 2014

It was previously agreed that in 2014 Manufacturers using the official ECU but their own software will have the specification of their five permitted engines frozen for the season. The specification remains frozen if extra engines are introduced.
The GPC agreed the procedure to be followed by Technical control to monitor and enforce the frozen specification.

Sporting Regulations

Moto2 Class- Effective Immediately

The maximum age limit for wild card riders in the Moto2 class has been cancelled.

All Categories- Effective 2014

In line with other FIM Championships, flag signals will always be made by the waving of flags. Previously there were situations where a stationery flag was displayed and this option is cancelled.

Other Matters

Various other issues affecting the MotoGP class, including amendments to the claiming rule and the details of Electronics (ECU) regulations for 2014 were discussed. Final decisions on these matters have been postponed to the next meeting scheduled for 29th. June in Assen.

A regularly updated version of the FIM Grand Prix Regulations which contains the detailed text of the regulation changes may be viewed on:

www.fim-live.com/en/sport/official-documents-ccr/codes-and-regulations/




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Andrea Iannone and his team had a busy qualifying day today, taking part in every MotoGP session, but by day’s end they had earned the eighth spot on the starting grid—their best of the season so far.

The FP4 session had gone well, with some positive changes being found ahead of Q1, helping the Italian to make the third row for tomorrow. There are still some aspects to work on, and no decision has yet been made regarding which tyre to use in the race, although with today’s high temperatures—30° air and 52° asphalt—Andrea preferred the soft option.

Andrea Iannone - Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“I’m happy with today. We made it to Q2, and I did some good laps by myself, which is positive for tomorrow. The pace stayed high, and it may be the first weekend that we’ve really managed to ride hard, improve the bike, and understand the direction to take. I felt quite good today despite some problems that we still have—difficulty in slowing the bike for corner entry, for example—but we know that these are our limits at the moment. In order to remedy the problem, we probably won’t be able to use an ideal setting, as we’ll have to opt for better rear grip in order to decrease the sliding. We certainly won’t solve that for tomorrow, but together with Ducati, we’re preparing for the next GPs. Anyway, we’re improving little by little, and every day I understand better how to continue our work. I’m still not sure which tyre to use in the race. Today we worked mainly on getting the most from the soft tyre. We changed some things that gave positive feedback, and we’ll make our decision after analyzing the data to compare the pace in the different sessions, although I’m currently more inclined to use the soft. The guys did a great job, and now we have to stay strong in order to be fast in the race.”




More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Second, third rows for Ducati Team at Catalan GP

In sunny and hot conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya, Ducati Team riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso rode to the fifth and ninth spots on the grid, respectively, for tomorrow’s Catalan Grand Prix.

It was a positive day for Hayden, who was the second-quickest rider in the morning session, then backed it up with his best qualifying session of the year thus far. The American had also set the circuit top-speed record in free practice aboard his Desmosedici GP13, although the mark was subsequently eclipsed by Marc Marquez in the afternoon. Meanwhile, Dovizioso improved his pace from yesterday, but had back luck in qualifying and didn’t manage to put together a good lap. He’ll share tomorrow’s all-Italian third row with Valentino Rossi and Andrea Iannone.

Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 5th (1:41.800)
“Dani [Pedrosa] had a spectacular pole lap, but the front row wasn’t out of the question for me today. That would’ve been nice, but this is still my best qualifying position of the year so far. The bike is working pretty well when we have new tyres, but as soon as we lose a little bit of edge grip, it starts pumping. It was okay for qualifying, but we’ll have to try something tomorrow morning to see if we can make the tyre last longer. We know it won’t be an easy race, but hopefully we can put up a good fight and have some fun.”

Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 9th (1:42.053)
“It’s a shame about the qualifying session. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do a perfect lap, and starting from the third row won’t be easy. That’s too bad because Barcelona is one of the nicest tracks to ride when you have a perfect lap, but I’m mainly disappointed that our spot on the grid will make it difficult for us tomorrow. My first exit was good, and I knew that if I could put all the sectors together, I could lower my time by three or four tenths. Then on my first lap with the second tyre, the bike closed the front in turn four. I almost fell and had to abort the lap in order to save the tyre. We’ve improved a lot from yesterday—more with pace than on a fast lap—but it will certainly be a very difficult race as we’ll all be struggling when the tyres wear. It will be important to make up some positions at the start, as anything can happen in the race.”




More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Pedrosa smashes lap record with stunning pole and Marquez on second row


Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa has broken the lap record and was over half a second faster than his rivals as he stormed into pole position for tomorrow's GP of Catalunya. He clocked a lap of 1'40.893 on his 5th lap of 8, breaking the previous record of 1'41.186, recorded by Casey Stoner in 2008 when qualifying tyres were still in use, by 0.293s. This is Dani's second and successive pole position of the season and it comes on the weekend of his 200th GP start. He becomes only the 19th rider to reach this milestone in the 65-year history of grand prix racing.

After being quickest in this morning's FP3 session, Dani's teammate Marc Marquez narrowly missed out on the front row by just 0.276s and will start tomorrow's 25 lap race from 6th position on the grid.

Tyre choice will be crucial tomorrow as temperatures continue to rise. It is expected that the front tyre option will be the hard compound but the rear tyre is still not decided. The soft compound will lose grip quickly on the hot asphalt so riders may choose the hard compound for the first time this season.



Dani Pedrosa 1st 1'40.893
“I am very happy, because we put in a great lap and took a great qualifying time. It was a fantastic pole position for me. We also broke the circuit record and were able to do so in front of the home fans. I am also happy about improving our race pace, as this is the most important thing. We hope to put on a good show tomorrow and take full advantage of the front row start"


Marc Marquez 6th 1'41.842
"I am fairly happy and satisfied, because we achieved our objective of getting onto either the first or second row. In the morning I felt more comfortable, with the track temperatures lower than in the afternoon. When they rose sharply, we had more problems. Despite this, I think that we have done a good job. We will try to test out a few things in the warmup tomorrow and see if we can gain a little more confidence when the track is hotter"




More, from another press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Approximately three minutes from the end of the decisive third free-practice session at the Catalan Grand Prix, Michele Pirro posted a time of 1:42.970, with just 1.5 tenths separating him from a direct transfer to the Q2 session.

He then stayed in the top two for much of Q1, which would have put him into Q2 and given him a shot at a better start position. However, he lost a position near the end and will start from the fifth row tomorrow.

Michele Pirro – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“Unfortunately we were unable to get the best out of the bike’s potential and I struggled a bit but maybe it’s because it’s the first time we’ve had such high temperatures since the start of the championship. This morning we were one second off the best time but the gap widened considerably in the afternoon. So I’d say that as well as the not easy track, the lack of grip and the track temperatures also play an important role. The bike continues to move around a lot and tends to ‘pump’ at the rear and everything becomes even more difficult if the grip drops. As for the set-up we tried to use the one we found at Mugello but once again the results weren’t really positive. It’s strange how things change from one track to another and even from this morning. I had been going quite well and I thought we could have made more progress if we’d worked on the set-up a bit more. The only thing left now is to choose the best set-up for tomorrow and decide what tyre to use; for sure the soft one is better due to the pumping problem because when it kicks in it doesn’t stop until the bike straightens up again. Now we’ll just have to try our best and see what we can do to get a good result in the race.”

Ben Spies - Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“First of all, thanks for all the well wishes for my rehab to keep going in a positive direction. Of course it’s hard for me to watch the action from a distance, but I have hopes for the Ducati field this weekend. It was another mixed day of riders using hard and soft tyres, and from here it seems that the hard option is a bit slower for some riders. Dovi looked quite consistent on the hard, and although he wasn’t quite as fast as the guys at the very front, he had a good, strong pace. Hayden was using a soft rear like Marquez, and what a lap he had! It was also good to see Iannone have his best qualifying session of the year. This all bodes well for Ducati tomorrow.”




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

Crutchlow fastest Yamaha in Catalunya qualifying

Cal Crutchlow stormed to his second front row of 2013 in scorching heat at the Circuit de Catalunya this afternoon, the British rider continuing his hot streak of form to qualify as the fastest Yamaha rider ahead of the sixth round of the MotoGP World Championship.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider saved his best for last with a blistering lap of 1.41.501 on his eighth and final lap moving him ahead of reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo to secure second position on the grid for tomorrow’s 25-lap race.

With temperatures rocketing to a sweltering 30 degrees, Crutchlow delivered an ice cool performance to challenge for a ninth career front row right from the start of the 15-minute QP2.

The 27-year-old was immediately inside the top three and he never looked like missing out on his front row start since the opening round in Qatar, his quickest lap making him the fastest Yamaha rider by 0.065s ahead of home crowd hero Lorenzo.

Bradley Smith will start the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya from 11th on the grid, the British rider bouncing back superbly from a heavy crash in yesterday’s sun-drenched practice to post a best time of 1.42.548.

Smith didn’t let yesterday’s tumble dent his confidence and he advanced into QP2 with a best lap of 1.42.607, with only Andrea Iannone able to lap within 0.5s of the 22-year-old in QP1.

As track temperatures soared to over 50 degrees this afternoon in conditions that provided an extreme test of both man and machine, Smith was only a second off the sensational pace set by teammate Crutchlow and he is confident he can battle for the top 10 tomorrow.

Cal Crutchlow 2nd 1.41.501 - 8 laps
“I think we did a great job today and I am really happy to be back on the front row. It seems a while since I managed it at the first race in Qatar and at least I won’t be starting from fourth again. The conditions were really tricky with the incredibly high track temperature and it looks like it is going to be a big battle in the race tomorrow. I’ll be happy to get a good start and hang with Dani and Jorge because they are obviously going to be strong. Jorge had a few problems today and maybe without those he would have taken second off me. But there’s no doubt we deserve this front row and that’s a good reward for all the hard work done by my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. Congratulations to Dani though because that was an incredible lap time in such tricky conditions.”

Bradley Smith 11th 1.42.548 - 8 laps
“I’m feeling a lot more positive now considering what happened yesterday when I was quite slow. I’ve managed to go 1.7s faster today and that’s a great step. I am only a second away from Cal and that is my normal level and I feel we did a good job. When you go so much faster though the feeling with the bike changes and I could do with one more day of practice to fine-tune the set-up. I am really looking forward to the race now. Tyre wear in such hot conditions is going to be critical but I need to stay with the group in the first eight laps and then it will be a big fight to see who can conserve the tyres for the longest. I need to say a big thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew because they have worked really hard on changing the bike to help me improve. My left hand I injured in Mugello was also much better today and it won’t cause me any issues in the race.”




More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

BRADL STRUGGLES IN THE SWELTERING HEAT OF CATALUNYA GP QUALIFYING

Montmeló, 15 June: LCR Honda racer Stefan Bradl will start from the 10th position (1’42.090) on the gird tomorrow after a tough and hot qualifying session at the Montmeló race track. The German responded very well to the fast traits of the 4.727km race track over the 2 days of practices tweaking the set up of his Honda machine but was not able to confirm his good shape in the afternoon QP2 session.

“Obviously this is a disappointing qualifying for us as we were expecting a second row start. We missed some time and I lapped all alone for the whole session which is unusual for this 15-minute session new system. We changed the plan a bit during the session and I did 3 laps on the first tyre and 2 on the second tyre missing a few tenths to get a P5 start for example. It’s not the end of the world anyway because we are still able to do a good race tomorrow. Over the distance our potential is higher than what we have shown today so I still feel very confident”.




More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

Sunday’s MotoGP™ race at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya will commence with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa on pole following an exciting qualifying session on Saturday afternoon. Also on the front row, for what promises to be a superb race, are Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow and Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo.

Pedrosa is in impressive form on his 200th Grand Prix weekend and his pole time of 1'40.893 is the best ever lap of Catalunya. Slotting themselves in on the front row and also looking to get away from the chasing pack tomorrow are Crutchlow and Lorenzo, with the pair trailing pole-man Pedrosa by 0.608s and 0.673s respectively. Lorenzo overcame an early clutch problem, swapping bikes to make the front row.

From the second row, GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, who had his best qualifying of the year, Ducati’s Nicky Hayden and Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez will also be hoping to mount podium challenges, having all qualified within a second of pole.

From row three, the Italian trio of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi, Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso will all aim to make their final improvements in Warm Up on Sunday morning in order to be able to challenge the leading six on the grid.

Iannone impressed in eighth having made it through from Q1 with Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith who qualified 11th, sandwiched by 10th placed LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl and 12th placed Power Electronics Aspar man Aleix Espargaro – the only CRT rider to make Q2.

The scorching heat at the Circuit de Catalunya – track temperatures reached 57°C during qualifying – is forecast to continue on Sunday, meaning that tyre tactics will be as important as ever for the sixth race of the season. Many riders remain undecided, whilst Ducati pair Hayden and Dovizioso have already ruled out the harder option.


Moto2

The Moto2™ contest on Sunday at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya will get underway with Pol Espargaro on pole, whilst Scott Redding and Tito Rabat will start just behind him on the grid.

Local rider Espargaro set a rapid pace in qualifying, the Tuenti HP 40 man emerging on top thanks to a 1’46.410 lap on Saturday afternoon, in scorching heat at the brilliant Circuit de Catalunya. Marc VDS Racing Team's standings leader Redding ended up 0.619s adrift of pole, whilst Espargaro’s Tuenti HP 40 colleague Rabat completed the front row with a similar time to Redding’s.

Indeed another similar lap time from Italtrans Racing Team's Takaaki Nakagami has him at the front of row two, 0.688s off pole man Espargaro. Despite an early crash, NGM Mobile Forward Racing's Alex de Angelis made row two as well, with Came IodaRacing Project's Johann Zarco in sixth.

The third row features Aspar Team Moto2’s Jordi Torres, Technomag carXpert's Randy Krummenacher and Moto3 World Champion Sandro Cortese - who rides for Dynavolt Intact GP.

The top ten was rounded out by Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing’s Thomas Luthi, who will be disappointed with that position having shown good pace in free practice.

There were crashes for Thai Honda PTT Gresini’s Ratthapark Wilairot and Blusens Avintia’s Kyle Smith towards the end of the session, but both riders emerged without major problems.




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

Karel Abraham will start from the sixth row

Karel Abraham took part of Saturday’s free practices and following qualification practice of Grand Prix of Catalonia. He was getting faster, but unfortunately technical problems made impossible another improvement of his best time 1:44,362. This result ensured just seventeenth position on the grid. Thus Abaja will start to tomorrow’s race from sixth row. Spaniard Daniel Pedrosa dominated in today’s qualification practice and he broke the best time of the circuit with 1:40,893. Karel lost 3,469 seconds to the winner of the qualification practice.

Karel Abraham
„ I have mixed feelings today. On the one hand I’m satisfied because we were able to solve problem with rear traction and the motorbike suits to me more than yesterday. On the other hand our final result could be for sure better, but during last fastest laps of qualifying practice appeared one problem with automatic gear shift and I lost some tenths in last two sectors. In warm up we’ll be able to manage rest of the problems because even in the morning is a quiet hot weather so we are able to try many things. My hand is still swollen, it is not ideal, but I’m just on my way to medical center where I’ll put it to special machine and it will freeze my hand about half and hour. Swelling is than rapidly getting better. Thus I’m gonna be ready for tomorrow. The aim remains the same, which is gain of some points.“

Marco Grana, chief mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
„ It is another though day behind us. During the afternoon free practice unfortunately some problems appeared and their solving took a lot of time to us. We removed the problem with rear traction and during tomorrow’s warm up we will try to manage other problem. What a pity that during last fastest laps the gear shift broke down. Never mind, tomorrow we are ready to reach top fifteen. I expect that we can run a good race.“




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

Barberá, third CRT, will start 15th at the Catalunya GP
Aoyama, injured in the third free practice session, will not take part in Sunday’s race. Javier Del Amor will replace the Japanese rider at the Catalunya GP

Montmeló, 15 June 2013. The hot day of practice sessions that took place today at the circuit of Catalunya was more complicated than the expected for the Avintia Blusens team that, on this occasion, ran only a few kilometres from home. The third practice session was determining for the team because of Hiroshi Aoyama’s crash, who suffered a hard fall in which he injured his left hand.

After being examined in the circuit, he was taken to the Dexeus Clinic in Barcelona where Dr. Mir carried out surgery on his left hand, which has suffered the traumatic amputation of the distal phalange of the ring finger, with tendon and skin involvement. As well, a second diagnosis confirmed the pulling out of the extensor tendon of the middle finger, also of the left hand. Using microsurgery techniques, both fingers were reconstructed. The operation performed lasted two hours and Aoyama will stay 48 hours hospitalised with antibiotic treatment to prevent infection. In Dr. Mir’s opinion, Hiroshi’s recovery period will last between four and six weeks.

The Japanese rider will be replaced for this GP by the rider Javier Del Amor who already took part of this Saturday’s last free practice session and Q1. Javier is 36 years old, Spanish champion of Supersport, test rider of the company J Juan, a regular rider in the Spanish Championship for more than fifteen years and this Saturday, when Raúl Romero knocked on his door, he accomplished the dream of every rider participating in a Grand Prix of MotoGP. Hiroshi’s accident and Iván Silva’s injury, reserve rider of the Avintia Blusens team, made possible that Javier, who had already been a BQR rider, returned to ride one of Raúl’s bikes this weekend. Del Amor expects to finish tomorrow’s GP and make the most of this unique opportunity.

Meanwhile, a technical problem did not allow Barberá to finish the third free practice session, just in the last few minutes when he was trying to achieve a good lap time that would have permit him to win a place directly for the Q2. Already in the Q1, Héctor managed to finish 15th and, again, be third CRT. Tomorrow he expects to do a good start and fight with the official Aprilia bikes of the category.

Raúl Romero (MotoGP Team Manager): I am very sad for Hiroshi’s accident and the only thing I want is that he recovers as soon as possible so that he can be with the team again. It has been a setback both for him and for us. Aoyama is a very professional rider who brings a lot to our structure and we hope that he may be back on his bike as soon as possible. We have made the decision that his bike was on track because this is the home GP and is very important for us and for our sponsors. Iván, the reserve rider or the team, was injured so we thought of Del Amor because he is a good rider, is a friend of mine, has raced with us previously and, also collaborates as a test rider with J Juan, one of our sponsors.

8 Héctor Barberá (15th, 1.43.659): It has been a little bit strange weekend. On this track the engine is very important, but we thought about being close to the first ones. Yesterday we used an engine with less power, but today we have assembled one that quickly has allowed me to improve the times and be close to the Aprilia bikes. Unfortunately, we have had a problem and we have had to participate in the qualifying session with another less powerful engine and it has been very difficult for me. But we have good pace and I am not pessimistic for tomorrow. What is more, if I start well and I can be close to the Aprilia bikes, we will be able to finish in quite high positions and do a good race. We will see what happens with the heat because the high temperatures do not benefit our bike.

77 Javier Del Amor (24th, 1.48.952): It has been all very sudden, but when you get a proposal like this, you can not say no. It is the dream of every rider! and, in addition, I have a great friendship with Raúl and if I can help him, I do not doubt it. It is a very nice and interesting experience, but also a very difficult one. I have to adapt to the bike, the category and the team. Everything is new for me, except the circuit! But I am delighted. What has surprised me the most is the level of electronics efficiency, how it helps you in some moments, and... riding with the circuit filled of supporters! I repeat that I am excited and very grateful to the Avintia Blusens team for this opportunity. My mission in this race is clear, I just have to try to finish the GP and enjoy it.