More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
Viñales and Rossi fend off KTM on Friday
Monster Energy Yamaha duo go 1-2 on Friday as Binder leads a charge of three KTMs in the top six
Friday, 24 July 2020
Maverick Viñales and teammate Valentino Rossi made it a Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1-2 on Friday in the Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucia, holding back an incredible charge from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder as the rookie completed the top three in another impressive showing at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto. Once again it was FP1 laps that decided the combined timesheets for many in the field, and a good few familiar faces need to move forward in FP3 to make it to Q2…
With the weather as scorching as ever in southern Spain and looking unlikely to change overnight, however, there is plenty time for the field to fight back to get into Q2, including Spanish GP winner Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) as the Frenchman ended the day outside the top ten once again – just as he did a week ago. It did get a little racy for ‘El Diablo’ in FP2 though, with Viñales tagging onto the back of Quartararo at the beginning of the session and the two heading round in a brief cat and mouse with a number of laps close together… and later in the session, the Frenchman kicked up some dust as he ran afoul of track limits too, although no harm done.
Rossi had a less dramatic day as the ‘Doctor’ was back near the top of the timesheets from his FP1 time, and remained within a couple of tenths of teammate Viñales in FP2 – something that could bode well after a podium for the latter last week, and given the temperatures in the second session mirror race time more closely. Protégé of sorts Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was a fitting 0.046 off the nine-time World Champion on the combined timesheets too as the number 21 took P4 overall, ending the day as top Independent Team rider.
Then came the rest of the KTM armada, as the top six was a tale of two factories: Yamaha and KTM. Binder’s incredible P3, off the back of race-leading pace shown in the Spanish GP despite his early run off relegating him from the top ten, backs up both the South African’s speed and that of KTM. Teammate Pol Espargaro, despite a tip off, was fifth fastest on Friday and third fastest in FP2 after equalling the Austrian factory’s best dry weather result last week, and Red Bull KTM Tech 3’s Miguel Oliveira extended the impressive showing as he completed the combined top six.
Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was the top Ducati on Friday as he took seventh, and the Australian had Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) for close company as he took P8. The number 30 also became the first Japanese rider to top a full session since Shinya Nakano in 2006 as he scorched to the top in FP2, slamming in two fast laps for good measure. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was ninth quickest, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) – Spanish GP podium finisher – completing the top ten overall.
Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) beat Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) to 11th despite a crash for the latter, ahead of Johann Zarco (Hublot Reale Avintia Racing) in P13. The Frenchman was also crasher on Friday with a lowside tip off in FP2, but he also showed some impressive speed in the hot afternoon conditions and ended the second session of the day in second, just a tenth and a half off Nakagami’s FP2-topping 1:37.715. Quartararo was 14th on Day 1, one position ahead of where he finished last week on his way to winning that race, with rookie Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) locking out the fastest fifteen on Friday.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) did not ride on Friday, his plan is to return to action on Saturday. Fellow comeback kings Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) did, however, ending the day in P20 and P21 respectively as they evaluate their respective conditions.
Come back for more on Saturday morning as the field head out for FP3 at 9:55 (GMT +2), before qualifying to decide the grid for the Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucia begins from 14:10.
MotoGP™ fastest on Friday
1 Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – Yamaha – 1:37.063
2 Valentino Rossi – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – Yamaha – +0.142
3 Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – KTM – +0.307
Top Independent Team rider
4 Franco Morbidelli – Petronas Yamaha SRT – Yamaha – +0.353
Bezzecchi, Nagashima and Navarro covered by a tenth on Day 1
The Italian heads a top three split by less than a tenth, with the top 22 within a second on Friday
How close do you like it? On Day 1 of the Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucia, the Moto2™ top three were split by less than a tenth of a second, with Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) taking the spoils by virtue of a 1:41.525. The Italian crashed later in the day – rider ok – but held onto the top with his FP1 time, ahead of Championship leader Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up), who was just 0.065 off the top.
Another Andalucian summer day; another set of soaring track temperatures dealt to the riders, and consequently it was the FP1 times that made up the combined standings for the majority. Bezzecchi headed that before his FP2 tip off – and small brief fire that engulfed the bike – but he was quick in the afternoon too, just 0.081 off the fastest time set by his teammate and Spanish GP winner Luca Marini. Nagashima was still just 0.059 off Bezzecchi in FP2 though, with some familiar names rising to the top in both sessions.
Behind the top three overall, two-time Jerez winner Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) was much further up the timesheets this Friday around as he took P4 at only a tenth and a half off the top, with Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Nicolo Bulega putting in a solid day’s work to complete the top five. Previous Jerez winner Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was sixth quickest, ahead of Spanish GP winner Marini in seventh overall.
Last weekend’s polesitter Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was P8, with Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) in ninth to make it three different chassis in the top ten. Impressive rookie Aron Canet (Openbank Aspar Team Moto2) locked out that top ten after showing some solid speed once again.
Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) made a big leap up the timesheets to end Friday in 11th, ahead of a tougher day at the office for Marcel Schötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) and his teammate Tom Lüthi. They still stand to take their provisional places in Q2 though, as does the final graduate as of Friday: Tennor American Racing’s Joe Roberts.
Can they keep their place in Q2 on Saturday morning? FP3 is the last change for the likes of Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) and Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) to fight back, before qualifying from 15:10 (GMT +2).
Moto2™ fastest on Friday
1 Marco Bezzecchi- Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex – 1:41.525
2 Tetsuta Nagashima – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex +0.028
3 Jorge Navarro – Beta Tools Speed Up – Speed Up +0.065
Fernandez fastest to take top honours on Friday
The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider ends Day 1 in Andalucia ahead of Suzuki and Salač
Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) topped the timesheets on Day 1 of the Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucia, putting in a 1:45.896 in FP1 and remaining the only rider to dip into the 1:45s by the end of play. Last weekend’s polesitter Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) was second fastest, with Filip Salač (Rivacold Snipers Team) within a tenth of the Japanese rider to complete the top three. The combined timesheets were so tight on Day 1, only five of the gaps splitting the 31-strong grid were over a tenth of a second…
It was another baking hot Friday under the Andalucian sun, and the majority of the combined timesheets once again featured a majority of laptimes set in the slightly cooler conditions of FP1. The afternoon instead saw John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) in charge for much of FP2, with the Scotsman seven tenths clear, then three, and then finally just 0.045 ahead after a late dash from Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Championship leader Albert Arenas (Solunion Aspar Team Moto3), who also got within a tenth of the Brit.
Overall though it’s Fernandez, Suzuki and Salač in charge from their FP1 times, with last week’s Friday showstopper, Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3), slotting into fourth. Migno completed the top five as the Italian was once again up at the sharp end in Jerez.
Next up on the Friday timesheets it was a battle for supremacy between the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup and the FIM CEV Repsol, with 2019 Rookies Cup winner Carlos Tatay (Reale Avintia Moto3) taking the spoils in P6 to edge out reigning FIM Moto3™ Junior World Champion Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3). They finished the day just ahead of Spanish GP podium finisher Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) and FP2’s fastest man McPhee, who were eighth and ninth respectively. Stefano Nepa (Solunion Aspar Team Moto3) completed the top ten after a solid showing.
The final four currently enjoying a provisional place in Q2 are Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing), two-time 2020 podium finisher Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia), Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and, in an uncharacteristic P14, Championship leader Arenas. The likes of Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) are currently set to miss out, the latter after also suffering a crash, and will be looking for more…
Maximilian Kofler (CIP Green Power) was the only other rider to take a tumble on Friday, although teammate Darryn Binder had a small skirmish and run off. The South African will be another looking for improvements in FP3 after mounting an amazing comeback through the field before a crash in the Spanish GP last weekend.
How will FP3 shuffle the pack on Saturday morning? Find out from 9:00 (GMT +2), before qualifying decides the grid from 12:25.
Moto3™ fastest on Friday
1 Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – KTM 1:45.896
2 Tatsuki Suzuki – SIC58 Squadra Corse – Honda +0.216
3 Filip Salač – Rivacold Snipers Team – Honda +0.309
More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:
Strong Friday for Red Bull KTM Tech3 duo at second round in Jerez
With the sixth fastest time in this morning’s first practice session, Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira initiated the Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucía where he left off last week. The Portuguese star managed to hold onto his fantastic provisional Q2 position after Free Practice two, which was a lot hotter than FP1, concluding Friday just 0.429 seconds behind the top.
At the same time, Iker Lecuona had a great beginning to the second weekend of his rookie campaign as well. He eventually ended the day just 0.340 seconds behind his teammate, missing out on the top 10 by only 0.093 seconds, although he had a minor crash in FP2. Now, the Red Bull KTM Tech3 pair eagerly awaits the third Free Practice tomorrow at 9:55 local time.
“Overall, we had a positive start. We did a few changes to the bike this morning and I really enjoyed it. Finally, I was able to go fast on one lap, at least faster than the Qualifying last week. For sure, we still need to improve a little bit for tomorrow if we want to be in Q2, but I feel like we’ve done a good job. This afternoon, we kept the same tyres, working on our race pace and so far, I just have positive feelings.”
“This morning, I finished in P12, so I was quite happy, especially because I managed to improve the base of the bike, so I could ride more relaxed and faster. In FP2 this afternoon, we were trying some things for the race, so we didn’t focus on the lap time. Unfortunately, I had a small crash in turn two, after we changed something on the bike and I didn’t have a good feeling with the front. I went back out with the number two bike, so it was ok. Anyway, we know where we can work on from here, so I hope I can improve my lap time tomorrow and stay closer to the front.”
More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:
PROVISIONAL TOP 10 FOR ALEIX AT THE ANDALUSIA GP IN JEREZ AFTER THE FIRST TWO SESSIONS
Just a few days after the chequered flag waved over the season opener, teams and riders are back on track in Jerez de la Frontera for the Andalusian GP. This is a double Spanish event which marks the opening MotoGP 2020 season.
At the end of the first two sessions, Aleix Espargaró earned a provisional spot in the top 10 with the ninth best time, less than 7 tenths behind the leader. This position guarantees access to the second qualifying session (Q2), but it will need to be confirmed during FP3 tomorrow morning.
Bradley Smith focused on improving the RS-GP with respect to its reactions in the race last weekend, and he has rather clear ideas on what changes to make. The English rider will analyse the data collected today along with the Aprilia techs to find the best setup for qualifying and the race.
“This morning things felt a bit better and I managed to ride the RS-GP into the top ten. It should be said that, with three fast riders on the injured list, it was a bit simpler. In any case, tomorrow in FP3 we’ll need to push hard to hold onto this position. We had a few difficulties in the afternoon. Unfortunately, we are still losing a lot in acceleration and that is accentuated by the poor grip when the temperature rises. I hope I can improve for tomorrow. The goal is to confirm the top-10 position and take the bike to Q2.”
“Today we decided to use the two sessions to work on the aspects that I had been least satisfied with during the race last Sunday. The conditions had caught us a bit off guard. Apparently, we still don’t have enough data on this new bike. The FP3 session tomorrow morning will clearly be a sort of qualifying. Everyone will be on the track with knives between their teeth and we’ll have to try to exploit the RS-GP as best we can in the time attack, but what counted today was working on the setup for Sunday.”
More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP TOP FRIDAY TIMESHEETS AT ANDALUCÍA GP
Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), 24th July 2020
GRAND PRIX OF ANDALUCIA
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi followed up their strong start to the Gran Premio de Andalucía this morning with further progress in this afternoon‘s FP2 session. They ended the day in 1st and 2nd place respectively in the combined timesheets.
1st MAVERICK VIÑALES 1’37.063 (FP1) / 21 + 24 LAPS
2nd VALENTINO ROSSI 1’37.205 (FP1) / 20 + 23 LAPS
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi shared positive feelings today at the Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto, as the duo worked on tyre degradation and race pace. Their confidence was bolstered for Sunday‘s Gran Premio de Andalucía, having made it a 1-2 for the team in the combined free practice results.
Viñales continued to make strides in FP2. He already showed he had the pace in the cooler morning session, but his speed in the hotter conditions was also up to par. The Spaniard worked mainly on preparing for Sunday‘s race, determined to take part in another thrilling battle at the front. He clocked a 1‘38.107s on lap 20/24, which earned him 5th place in the FP2 timesheets, 0.392s off the fastest time. However, his morning result, a 1‘37.063s, secured him 1st position in the combined free practice timesheets with a 0.142s margin over his closest rival, which happens to be his team-mate.
Rossi started the FP2 session with used tyres and the sole aim to check if the improvement he found this morning would also increase his feeling with the tyres in the afternoon heat. Staying inside the top 10 for most of the session, The Doctor confirmed that the feeling with the bike was more to his liking. His 1’38.292s fastest lap, set on lap 23/23, put him in 8th place, 0.577s from P1. But his 1‘37.205s from this morning kept him in 2nd position in the combined times, 0.142s from the top.
We had a good day today. Of course, it‘s always nice to see both our riders top the timesheets in FP1 – and having a good pace in the cooler morning session is important for tomorrow‘s FP3, so we can go straight into Q2 – but it‘s the afternoon pace that‘s our main focus. Maverick is looking confident again regardless of the track conditions, even more so than last week. He‘s comfortable on his bike, so we are excited to see where these positive feelings will take him this weekend. For Valentino we prepared a different set-up that he liked straight away, and it gives him the feeling that he was missing during the last weekend. Thanks to this he could ride the bike in a manner that he‘s more comfortable with. All in all, we did a good job with the tyres. In FP2 we focused on comparing the different specifications and gathered good information in view of Sunday‘s race. Tomorrow afternoon we will continue and finish the work on the tyres, and as always we will try to make a further step in tomorrow‘s FP3.
Today I felt really good on the bike. We tried a new set-up, which is an improvement, and this is the most important thing. Lap by lap and practice by practice I‘m feeling better. So, we need to keep working in this way, because I think that‘s the way to bring the bike to the top. This afternoon I was working on the hard and the medium tyre. We need to understand how all the tyre specs work for us, because it will be really hot on Sunday, so we need to know what we can do. But the feeling is great with any tyre. We also worked a lot on the front tyre, and the feeling is good – better than it was last week. For sure, on Sunday we will have another tyre discussion, but in any case, I feel comfortable with the bike. I think we made an improvement compared to last week. I think this is a good test for us, we never raced at the same track twice in a row. The most important thing is to understand how we do better on race day.
It‘s a positive Friday, because we changed something in the setting of the bike, and I feel better. I feel more comfortable, I can ride in a better way, and I improved my pace. So, this morning was very good. In the afternoon, with the hotter temperatures, I suffered a bit more. But anyway, it was not so bad, and I was able to keep a good pace also with the used tyres. It‘s not easy, because there are a lot of riders who are very fast, but also our pace is not bad. As always, tomorrow morning will be crucial. It will be very important to find the right spot to make the right lap time to stay in the top 10. We‘ll have to try. I feel better with the bike compared to last week. We have to work because in some corners I‘m not fantastic. But anyway, it was a positive day.
More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:
TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR GETTING BACK INTO THE SWING OF THINGS
Position in the Combined Classification after Day 1:
Joan Mir: 11th – 1’37.749 (+ 0.686)
Alex Rins: 21st – 1’39.101 (+ 2.038)
Team Suzuki Ecstar took to the track on Friday morning at the Circuit of Jerez – Angel Nieto for the Andalucia GP, just five days after the opening race of the season.
Joan Mir had a steady start to the morning session, before going for a push in the afternoon. FP1 meant trying different tyre combinations and fine-tuning setup and finished in 11th with a 1’37.749. Feeling confident with his GSX-RR, he showed good pace from the beginning of FP2, and put in a string of strong laps which saw him shoot up from 11th to 2nd, with a best time of 1’38.144. Mir is particularly strong in Sector 2, which he topped in the afternoon. He closed FP2 in 7th.
For Alex Rins, the day consisted of care and caution, with the Spaniard still nursing the nasty shoulder injury he suffered last Saturday. Rins decided to ride from FP1 onwards, giving himself a chance to gauge his feeling from the very beginning. He completed two runs in the morning with a total of nine laps and a best time of 1’40.222, before deciding to sit out the remainder of the session to be better prepared for FP2. In the afternoon he was able to improve his lap time by just over a second, to a 1:39.101.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“Today was important, Alex needed to check his condition after the injury and it’s not easy for him, but we still managed to try some things and prepare for the weekend. It’s only the first day but he got some indication as to how his body is reacting. He’ll continue with treatment and hope to feel better. Joan didn’t push in the morning, but in the afternoon he showed good pace and he was consistent. Overall, a positive day.”
“Today I worked on race pace – especially using the hot conditions in the afternoon to try and put together some laps – as well as working on setup. I’m making up for the time I lost last Sunday. Tomorrow in FP3 it will be important to set a quick lap in order to go into Q2. It seems today we’ve learned some useful things, and we’ll see tomorrow what type of lap time I can do.”
“It was hard today, I expected to feel better on the bike, but I felt a lot of pain in my shoulder – especially under braking. In FP1 I was without painkillers, but I took some before FP2. Despite the pain, the good thing is that after these two sessions my shoulder does not seem more swollen or inflamed, so tomorrow we need to keep fighting and working. I managed to try a few settings and consider the tyre choice ahead of the race, let’s see if I can be a bit faster tomorrow.”
More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
Alex Marquez goes it alone on opening day in Andalucia
Progress continues for rookie Alex Marquez around the familiar Jerez circuit as he closes the distance to the front.
For the first time in Grand Prix racing history, two races in the same season were held back-to-back at the same circuit as the Andalucia GP began. Despite the different name, the Gran Premio Red Bull de Andalucía is taking place at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto where just five days ago the 2020 MotoGP season began. As with the previous weekend, conditions became progressively hotter throughout the day as teams continued to work on perfecting their setting.
Moto2 World Champion and MotoGP Rookie, Alex Marquez, was the lone representative of the Repsol Honda Team on Friday but his approach remained the same. Working on his overall pace and improving the areas he found lacking during his racing debut, he continued to make progress with the feeling of his Honda RC213V. Warmer afternoon conditions resulted in Alex’s 1’37.957 standing as his fastest time of the day – three tenths quicker than he went at this point last weekend and only 0.8s off the fastest rider. 15th position overall also saw Alex less than a tenth behind race-winner Fabio Quartararo, who won the Spanish GP last weekend.
Takaaki Nakagami finished the day as the fastest Honda rider, topping Free Practice 2 with a 1’37.715 and ending the day eighth fastest overall.
Marc Marquez will join his Repsol Honda Team team-mate on track for Free Practice 3 tomorrow, Saturday July 25, to assess his fitness after breaking his right humerus last Sunday and undergoing surgery on Tuesday.
“It will be interesting to see how much we can improve this weekend, already this weekend we have been able to make a step especially in the hotter conditions of the afternoon. I’m 100% sure tomorrow we can make another step as we have found a set up change for hot conditions which helped us. Tomorrow will be an important day for us, going directly to Q2 will need a low 37 and our target is to be as close to Q2 as possible. We’re working on our one lap pace to try and achieve this.”
“Yesterday I arrived at the circuit after the operation in Barcelona and passed the medical test in the afternoon. It means I can ride, and after discussing with Honda we decided to start directly on Saturday. I have slept quite well, I am obviously in some pain, but we have had physiotherapy sessions with my physio that have been quite good for me. With the team we have set ourselves only one objective, which is to see our feelings tomorrow in FP3. Let’s see how the arm is and from there we will decide our next objective. Thanks to everyone for their support, these have been hard days but with the support of HRC, the Repsol Honda Team, all the sponsors and fans who love the sport just as I do, it seems easier.”
More, from a press release issued by Ducati:
Dovizioso tenth and Petrucci sixteenth after the first day of free practices for the Grand Prix of Andalusia
The Ducati Team was back on track today in Jerez de la Frontera for the second Grand Prix of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship, which will be held this Sunday again at the Andalusian race track.
After the feedback collected last week at the same race venue during the first round of the season, Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci spent today’s two sessions working on improving the setup of their Desmosedici GP 20 bikes and thus increase their competitiveness for Sunday’s race.
On a day once again characterised by clear skies and very high temperatures of the asphalt, Dovizioso closed the two sessions with the tenth time overall in 1:37.739 thanks to the fastest time set during this morning FP1. Today, the rider from Forlì had worked on different setup configurations intending to improve the performance of his bike, especially in the middle of the corners.
After having struggled all the weekend last week due to the after-effects of the crash suffered in the pre-race test, Danilo Petrucci was back at his full fitness today, as he focused on improving his feeling with the Desmosedici GP. The rider from Terni finished with the sixteenth time overall in 1:37.997, less than a second from today’s pacesetter and only 258 thousands of a second from his teammate.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1:37.739 (10th)
“I am satisfied with the work we have done during Day 1. We managed to improve my feeling with the bike a lot, especially in braking and entering the corners, but still, I can’t be as smooth as I would like on the corner exit. Looking at the timesheets, we see that our rivals have also managed to make some progress compared to last weekend, so it will be important to continue to improve and find a good rhythm for the race. Tomorrow it will be crucial to do a good qualifying and be able to start from the first rows in the race.”
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1:37.997 (16th)
“Unfortunately in this heat, being able to improve the times in the afternoon is always very complicated. My feelings are slowly improving, but today I struggled mainly to turn the bike, and so, it will be an aspect that we will have to work on. Tomorrow morning’s session will be crucial because being able to get into Q2 can make really a difference ahead of the race. The goal now is to be able to be fast immediately in FP3 and get a good result in qualifying.”
Tomorrow, Saturday 25th July, at 9:55 AM local time, the Ducati Team riders will take to the track again for the third free practice session that will precede the official qualifying, after FP4, starting from 2:10 PM local time (GMT +2.00)
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:
CRUTCHLOW BATTLES THROUGH THE PAIN BARRIER IN JEREZ
24 July 2020 | Andalucia GP Practice
For the second week running, the Jerez Circuit welcomed the MotoGP class as the revised 2020 World Championship continued with the Andalusian Grand Prix. Despite having surgery on a fractured wrist earlier in the week, LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow took part as free practice got underway after being declared fit to compete on Thursday.
The Briton required an operation on his left scaphoid on Tuesday, but rode through the pain barrier today in the sport’s first-ever back-to-back event at the same venue. Unsurprisingly, Crutchlow was unable to find his best form due to the injury, but remained competitive as he finished 20th in FP1 before improving in the afternoon session to claim 19th spot. That secured him 20th spot in the combined times, but the 34-year-old was just pleased to be able to compete once again.
Cal Crutchlow – 20th
“It was good to get back on track today with not a bad feeling on the bike to be honest. The team and Honda were very relaxed with me this weekend to see if I could ride. I showed it’s possible to ride the bike, although the feeling is a little strange. I don’t have so much pain in the wrist and when I do I just try to ride around it as best as possible. I feel the condition of me on the bike is not superb after the crash last week, but we’ll continue to work over the weekend to make me a little bit more comfortable. The surgeon, Dr Mir, has done a good job and, along with me keeping ice on the wrist over the weekend to keep the inflammation down, I’ll grit my teeth and try to do my best possible on the bike.”
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:
NAKAGAMI GOES FASTEST IN FP2 IN JEREZ
24 July 2020 | Andalusian GP Practice
LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami laid down a marker as the Andalusian Grand Prix got underway by posting the quickest time in Friday’s free practice two session. Following last weekend’s curtain-raiser in southern Spain, the MotoGP class have once again assembled at the Jerez Circuit for the second round of the revamped 2020 schedule.
Taka – who finished tenth in last Sunday’s race – was on the pace throughout the day, going eighth fastest in a tightly-bunched FP1. The Japanese star then made a real statement in the afternoon session in warmer conditions as he finished at the top of the timesheets after showing consistent pace. Although he remained eighth in the combined times, Taka is now full of confidence for the race weekend ahead.
Takaaki Nakagami – 8th
“As you can see from the result, we are definitely improving compared to last weekend. We got good support from HRC and the team who did a great job today. I’m pretty happy with my feeling on the bike and have improved my riding style, so we’re ready for tomorrow. But we need to pay attention in FP3 because you never know what can happen, everyone goes faster and faster, but we’ll do our best to stay inside the top 10. Then let’s see what happens in qualifying, we are quite competitive so this is a good sign for the race. Let’s keep pushing!”
More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha SRT:
Top-five for Morbidelli as MotoGP action begins at Andalucia GP
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT rider Franco Morbidelli ends Friday practice at Gran Premio de Andalucía fourth, Fabio Quartararo 14th
In the opening day of the second MotoGP round of 2020, PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Franco Morbidelli was inside the top-five across both Free Practice sessions, with team-mate Fabio Quartararo 14th, after focusing on race pace.
After equalling his best race result last time out, Morbidelli continued to show his strength around the 4.4km Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto, demonstrating good pace in the intense heat of the Spanish sun. The first MotoGP session of the day saw the Italian post a lap time of 1min 37.416secs, which was only 0.353secs shy of the top spot and saw him claim fourth. Although, like the majority of riders, Franco was unable to improve upon his time in FP2 due to the high track temperatures, his time of 1min 38.010secs was good enough for fourth again and saw him remain fourth in the combined times.
After breaking the all-time lap record twice last weekend, team-mate Quartararo chose to focus his time on building race pace and making minor tweaks to improve the set-up on his Yamaha YZR-M1 ahead of Sunday’s race. Whilst most riders were setting flying laps, Fabio set a fastest time of 1min 37.892secs in the morning session and a 1min 38.132secs laps in the afternoon, which saw him finish 13th and sixth in the two sessions respectively. The MotoGP race winner ended the day 14th in the combined times.
Fabio and Franco will be heading out onto the track at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT) for the first of their two Saturday practice sessions, before qualifying begins at 2.10pm local time (8.10pm MYT).
It was a good Friday; we were able to finish fourth in both morning and afternoon sessions. The pace was especially good and so I’m very happy. Like always, there are some things to improve but we are in a good place. One area to improve will be in braking, so we will work to get better on that. It should be a good race because a lot of riders are setting similar lap times. We tried the soft front tyre this morning, just to understand how it is round here. There are some areas it’s good in, but then the hard tyre is better in other areas. We will need to choose well which tyre we use, but I’m confident going into qualifying tomorrow.
I have actually changed my approach to Free Practice! Before I would always make a time attack because I wanted to finish first. Last year if I had finished Friday with a position like this I would have been angry. I’m really happy though as we know we have one-lap pace here, so I could work on race pace – after all what counts is Sunday. The potential for us to go directly into Q2 is high, but of course anything can happen. I’m feeling confident and our situation is very good. We’ve tried quite a lot of things today and I’m feeling great. I had one moment where the wheel didn’t stay on the track like I thought it would and I ended up on the grass. A little bit of motocross practice during a MotoGP session was quite fun! The pace is great and I can wait for tomorrow to jump back on the bike and get some more laps in.
More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:
Andalucia GP – Jack Miller in Top Ten, very positive day for Pecco Bagnaia
Pramac Racing is back on track at the Angel Nieto circuit in Jerez de la Frontera for the first day of free practice. Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia ended in 7th and 17th place respectively. Jack Miller was very incisive, in the FP1 where he closed in seventh position with the best time in 1:37.566 on lap 16. In the FP2 Jack had some difficulties caused by the wind, but he was able to take advantage of this session to improve some technical aspects. Pecco Bagnaia continues to be incisive even in the heat during the FP2 , he ended this session in P9 with his best time of 1: 38.309 on lap 4.
Today we continued with the work done last week. We focused on race pace, and I made many laps with used tires, today I have never done a time attack. I think that we did a very good job. I did a lot of laps in both the sessions and the chrono that I did during my 21st laps was the same compared to my best. It was very important in view of the race, because last Sunday I struggled a lot during the last ten laps due to front tires. Tomorrow during FP3 we will focus on time attack to directly access in Q2 and.
I think the pace is working better, the feeling with the bike is perfect. Today I didn’t want to take too many risks, especially in the faster corners, but in general I think everything is working even better than last week. Today the temperature was very hot, and we were focusing on both tires not only the rear one. We are ready for tomorrow.