2007 FIM MotoGP World Championship Catalunya, Spain June 8, 2007 Free Practice Two Results: 1. Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha), Michelin, 1:43.313 2. John HOPKINS (Suzuki), Bridgestone, 1:43.389 3. Dani PEDROSA (Honda), Michelin, 1:43.391 4. Toni ELIAS (Honda), Bridgestone, 1:43.592 5. Casey STONER (Ducati), Bridgestone, 1:43.683 6. Chris VERMEULEN (Suzuki), Bridgestone, 1:43.713 7. Marco MELANDRI (Honda), Bridgestone, 1:43.811 8. Alex BARROS (Ducati), Bridgestone, 1:43.857 9. Colin EDWARDS (Yamaha), Michelin, 1:43.865 10. Shinya NAKANO (Honda), Michelin, 1:44.003 11. Randy DE PUNIET (Kawasaki), Bridgestone, 1:44.141 12. Nicky HAYDEN (Honda), Michelin, 1:44.267 13. Carlos CHECA (Honda), Michelin, 1:44.303 14. Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati), Bridgestone, 1:44.426 15. Olivier JACQUE (Kawasaki), Bridgestone, 1:44.466 16. Sylvain GUINTOLI (Yamaha), Dunlop, 1:44.665 17. Makoto TAMADA (Yamaha), Dunlop, 1:44.743 18. Alex HOFMANN (Ducati), Bridgestone, 1:44.880 19. Kenny Lee ROBERTS (KR-Honda), Michelin, 1:45.284 20. Kurtis ROBERTS (KR-Honda), Michelin, 1:46.153 Combined Practice Results: 1. PEDROSA, 1:43.099 2. ROSSI, 1:43.313 3. HOPKINS, 1:43.389 4. STONER, 1:43.543 5. ELIAS, 1:43.551 6. CAPIROSSI, 1:43.631 7. VERMEULEN, 1:43.713 8. EDWARDS, 1:43.768 9. MELANDRI, 1:43.811 10. BARROS, 1:43.857 11. CHECA, 1:43.866 12. NAKANO, 1:44.003 13. DE PUNIET, 1:44.141 14. HAYDEN, 1:44.267 15. JACQUE, 1:44.466 16. HOFMANN, 1:44.528 17. GUINTOLI, 1:44.665 18. TAMADA, 1:44.743 19. Kenny Lee ROBERTS, 1:45.284 20. Kurtis ROBERTS, 1:45.871 More, from a press release issued by Konica Minolta Honda: KONICA MINOLTA Honda makes steady start at Catalunya Less than a week after their home Grand Prix of Mugello, the KONICA MINOLTA Honda Team has already begun practice for this weekend’s Catalan GP at the MontmelÃ³ circuit. Shinya Nakano made steady progress today as he and the KONICA MINOLTA Honda Team aimed to improve the set-up of their Honda RC212V MotoGP machine around the 2.9mile circuit. After the Mugello weekend, which was hit by changeable weather, it seems that this weekend’s outlook is a much drier and sunnier one, giving Nakano much-needed dry set-up time on his 800cc MotoGP bike. Gianluca Montiron Team Manager KONICA MINOLTA Honda “We made some improvements today to the machine to try and help reduce the chatter that Shinya has been experiencing from the front-end of the Honda machine. Tomorrow will be very important as we will be making some big changes to our number two bike to see if we can find a different solution to make the bike better for Shinya so he can get a good rhythm with the machine and make some fast, consecutive laps. The weather conditions are looking to be much better than both Le Mans and Mugello, so that means we want to take advantage of all the dry time we can to make these radical changes and evaluate them. We want to eliminate the chatter from the front-end of the bike and get the machine turning as Shinya would like, but I think we will also see Shinya making some changes to his riding style to accommodate the new 800cc machine, as many other riders have had to do. We will be working at our maximum to ensure we catch-up with the top group of riders.” Shinya Nakano Rider, KONICA MINOLTA Honda (53 laps 1′ 44.003″ ) “Today we started with our Mugello settings but both during this morning and the early part of the afternoon session we actually had more chattering than before, so it was not so easy to do a good lap time. Later on we tried some different settings including some changes to the front of the bike and we found we had less chattering from the front-end, which was a big improvement. We still have some work to do, as I still want the bike to turn quicker and to get a good lap time I have to push quite hard. We will try some different geometry settings for tomorrow as Giulio, the Team engineer, has some ideas we can try. It looks like we should have plenty of dry time as it’s very hot weather here compared to Mugello, perhaps a bit too hot for me!” Giulio Bernardelle Technical Director, KONICA MINOLTA Honda “Today basically we worked to reduce chatter problem that we had in the race at Mugello. The situation was better today, mainly in the afternoon. The issue we now need to look at is that for Shinya it’s not possible to make quick, consecutive laps. He can do it for just a few laps only, as if he’s doing a timed attack at the end of qualifying, so we need to make some changes tomorrow to help him make 20 fast consecutive laps. Shinya still says he wants the bike to turn quicker, so again we will look at this. Our situation with tyres is quite clear at the moment with the weather being as it is, so we will try to test some different settings to try and improve the bike still further for Shinya.” More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone: Bridgestone begins Catalan challenge in sweltering Spanish heat Round 07 – Catalunya – Free Practice Circuit de Catalunya, MontmelÃ³, Spain Friday 8 June 2007 Five days since the last race of this MotoGP championship drew to a close in Mugello, preparations today got underway at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain for this weekend’s Catalan GP. Bridgestone’s five teams undertook the usual Friday workload of bike set-up and initial tyre evaluation with seven riders on Bridgestone tyres ending the day in the top ten of the combined practice sessions. Suzuki’s John Hopkins, who took his joint best result of the season at Catalunya last season, laid down his intentions by setting his fastest lap on his final run of the afternoon to claim the third best time of the day overall just fractionally behind Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi. Behind Hopkins on the combined timings were championship leader Casey Stoner, local hero Toni Elias for Honda Gresini and Ducati’s Loris Capirossi all three of whom posted their quickest times in the morning practice hour. French GP winner Chris Vermeulen set an encouraging seventh best time of the day while Marco Melandri and Alex Barros rounded out the top ten for Honda Gresini and Pramac d’Antin respectively, Brazilian Barros fresh from his podium scoring charge in Mugello last weekend. Weather conditions were exceptionally hot in this afternoon’s practice session with the ambient temperature reaching 33Â°C and track temperature a further ten degrees higher. Tyre Talk with Junichi Kawajiri Bridgestone Motorsport Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development Did Bridgestone enjoy a positive first day in Catalunya? “We had a trouble-free first day and worked mainly on checking the compound direction for this demanding circuit in very hot conditions this afternoon. I believe we have found a good direction, but there is important work to carry out tomorrow, specifically with long run tests on our tyres. Tyre longevity and consistency will be very important this weekend and this is the area where we must focus our attention.” What specific challenges do tyre manufacturers face at the Circuit de Catalunya? “The proportion of the lap for which the riders are on the right-hand side of the tyre causes a lot of heat in the tyre and produces one of the highest temperatures of the season. This is a really important factor to consider, especially with the high track temperatures also. For this reason, we have produced a range of hard compound tyres for our riders this weekend. Some of our riders were able to carry out a mid-long run this afternoon, but considering the importance of tyre durability, we will conduct some race length runs tomorrow morning.” Bridgestone Combined Free Practice Session Results Pos Rider Team Session 1 (pos) Session 2 (pos) Gap P3 John Hopkins Suzuki 1m43.605s (4) 1m43.389s (2) +0.290s P4 Casey Stoner Ducati 1m43.543s (2) 1m43.683s (5) +0.444s P5 Toni Elias Honda Gresini 1m43.551s (3) 1m43.592s (4) +0.452s P6 Loris Capirossi Ducati 1m43.631s (5) 1m44.426s (14) +0.532s P7 Chris Vermeulen Suzuki 1m44.037s (11) 1m43.713s (6) +0.614s P9 Marco Melandri Honda Gresini 1m43.816s (8) 1m43.811s (7) +0.712s P10 Alex Barros Pramac d’Antin 1m44.011s (10) 1m43.857s (8) +0.758s P13 Randy de Puniet Kawasaki 1m44.436s (12) 1m44.141s (11) +1.042s P15 Olivier Jacque Kawasaki 1m44.742s (15) 1m44.466s (15) +1.367s P16 Alex Hofmann Pramac d’Antin 1m44.528s (13) 1m44.880s (18) +1.429s Weather: Dry track – Air 21Â°C, Track 27Â°C, Humidity 32% (Session 1) Dry track Air 33Â°C, Track 43Â°C, Humidity 12% (Session 2) More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications: Pedrosa turns the heat up on first day at Catalunya Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya – Friday 7th June Report Day 1 Dani Pedrosa takes early advantage motogp High temperatures and almost perfect riding conditions gave the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya an ideal start, with the riders taking to the track for the first time this weekend to get to grips with the Spanish circuit. An early morning lap by Dani Pedrosa at his home track saw the Spanish rider topping the timesheets at the end of day one, clocking a time of 1’43.099 on his Honda RC212V. Two crashes last year for the Spaniard meant that he was not in contention for the victory in Barcelona, and Pedrosa once again hit the ground in the afternoon session as he looked to improve on his time. Valentino Rossi, riding at one of his favourite tracks, was the afternoon’s quickest rider, but unable to beat the marker laid down by young pretender Pedrosa. ‘The Doctor’ was just over two tenths of a second slower than the 21 year old, with today’s times over a second off previous 990cc pace. Rossi’s 2006 pole record looks to be safe for the time being, although this will mean little to the Italian as he works for pole position number four of 2007. Under three tenths of a second slower than Pedrosa’s time, John Hopkins was third fastest onboard the Suzuki GSV-R800. Hopkins was caught up in the first corner multiple crash last year, and has the potential to go well at Catalunya following on from a fine opening third of the season. He headed World Championship leader Casey Stoner, local rider Toni Elias and Ducati veteran Loris Capirossi in a top six consisting of only two riders who improved on their morning times. Chris Vermeulen, Colin Edwards, Marco Melandri and Carlos Checa completed the top ten on day one, with qualifying tomorrow sure to throw up a few surprises at one of the most exciting tracks on the MotoGP calendar. 250cc Answering back in the best possible style after his controversial Mugello collision with Alvaro Bautista, 250cc World Champion Jorge Lorenzo took provisional pole for Sunday’s race at his home track with a 1’45.913 lap of the Circuit de Catalunya. The hot lap was faster than the previous pole record, set by Dani Pedrosa in 2005, and was just a tenth of a second faster than that of Lorenzo’s arch rival and former team-mate Hector Barbera. Last year’s 250cc race winner Andrea Dovizioso took a provisional front row alongside 125cc victor Bautista. As at Mugello one week ago, the Aspar team riders were almost inseparable, with Alex de Angelis just behind the 2006 125cc World Champion and ahead of Mika Kallio, Shuhei Aoyama and Thomas Luthi. Amongst the riders to crash today, the remaining two riders in the top ten had a coming together towards the end of the session with Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama colliding. The Barcelona-based Japanese rider ran off into the gravel and suffered no injury in the incident. 125cc A 1’51.119 lap was enough to put Lukas Pesek on provisional pole for Sunday’s 125cc race at the Circuit de Catalunya. The Czech rider, who relinquished his lead of the category last week after failing to finish the Italian race, was just over five hundredths of a second ahead of the morning’s fastest rider, Mattia Pasini. Today was a welcome chance for the riders to go round on a completely dry track, after their drenched Italian sojourn to Mugello. Behind Pesek and Pasini, Italian rider Raffaele de Rosa showed no ill-effects of his crash just 5 days ago to clock the third quickest time of the afternoon session. Home team Bancaja Aspar had their three 125cc riders rounding off the top six, headed by their only non-Spaniard Gabor Talmacsi. The Hungarian, championship leader Hector Faubel and Le Mans race winner Sergio Gadea were separated by little more than a tenth of a second as they look to pick up race pace for Sunday. British rider Bradley Smith, who knows the circuit well due to his experience in the Spanish championship, last year’s race and numerous preseason tests, had a late push in the session to take a provisional seventh, ahead of Sandro Cortese and home duo Nico Terol and Pablo Nieto. Cortese crashed in the closing moments, and Pasini also took a light tumble. More, from a press release issued by Rizla Suzuki: Rizla Suzuki MotoGP on the pace in Catalunya Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racers John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen recorded the third and seventh fastest times respectively in today’s free practice sessions for the Catalan Grand Prix near Barcelona this weekend. Both riders were on the pace early on with Hopkins (1’43.389, 55 laps) heading the leaderboard for a large amount of the morning session, before finishing in fourth place overall. He was also the busiest rider of the day completing a total of 55 laps of the 4.7km circuit. Hopkins was able to start testing the best combination of Bridgestone race tyres right from the start today, as the set-up of his GSV-R was dialled in close to perfection for the Montmelo circuit right from the beginning. Vermeulen (1’43.713, 53 laps) produced a very solid and impressive run during the afternoon session. He completed nine laps, which was one of the consistently fastest runs of the day, as his times improved and he moved up the classification. He also used his time on track to the full to test the Bridgestone race tyres in readiness for Sunday’s race. Today’s practice was held in very warm and sunny conditions with track surface temperatures reaching 54Â°C this afternoon. Today’s best time was set by local hero Dani Pedrosa on his works Honda. Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has one more practice session tomorrow morning, followed by an hour of qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday’s 25-lap race gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT). John Hopkins: “It felt really good here today straight from the start. This is a track I really enjoy and have a lot of fun riding around here. As with every race so far this year the Suzuki and the Bridgestone tyres are working very well and Stuart has done a great job to set the bike up from the start, so I am fortunate enough to go out and be able to work on getting the right tyres for the race. We have made a couple of minor setting changes, but not much so we have been able to spend as much time on the track as possible. We’ve got a couple of things to try tomorrow and I’m sure we can improve on our times a bit and make sure we are in the best condition possible to get a good result on Sunday.” Chris Vermeulen: “It is great to come back here, as this is a track I enjoy and I had a good result here last year. All day we have made progress with the bike, the tyres and the settings. The bike feels really comfortable and I did quite a long run this afternoon and set my best time with a front tyre that had done more than race distance and the grip still felt good! We have a couple of areas to improve on, but the guys are working hard on those and I’m sure come tomorrow we’ll go even faster!” Paul Denning Team Manager: “It has been a great day’s work today by the riders and their crews. The track was very hot this afternoon which possibly reduced the grip for everyone, but we managed to get in a lot of fast laps despite the conditions. It’s nice to be at yet another race-track where the GSV-R appears to be immediately competitive. It makes everyone’s job a lot easier when you are looking for tenths of a second rather than bigger gaps. “Some of our competitors are really flying and we know it’s not easy in this arena, but as ever we’ll be in the fight and looking for the best results over the weekend!” More, from a press release issued by Marlboro Ducati: DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM RIDERS ON THE PACE Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi completed day one of the Catalan Grand Prix very much on the pace, with fourth and sixth fastest times at the challenging Catalunya circuit. In hot, sunny conditions the pair were just 0.4 and 0.5 seconds off the quickest times and can look forward to another day of good weather – in vivid contrast to last weekend’s rain-lashed Italian GP practice sessions – in which to get the best out of the Desmosedici GP7 and its ever-improving Bridgestone tyres for Sunday’s race. CASEY STONER, 4th fastest, 1m 43.543s “It’s a similar situation to what we were in at Mugello – we are fast enough but we’ve not got that little bit extra at the moment. This morning we weren’t too bad but this afternoon we seemed to have gone in the wrong direction. We tested a lot of things – different front tyres, different rear tyres, different chassis set-ups, links and so on – and basically I think we made it a little too confusing, so we need to go back to what we had and then go off in a different direction. Same as every weekend we’re looking for more traction and more turning in the long corners. We still need to improve the bike but the tyres aren’t so bad and we’ve not been through the whole range yet, we’ve still got a couple more rears to try tomorrow.” LORIS CAPIROSSI, 6th fastest, 1m 43.631s “This afternoon didn’t go as well as this morning because the tyres that were available for the second session weren’t as good as those we used in the first session. With the new tyre rules we don’t always have enough of the better tyres to use in all sessions, so we had to use another tyre, that’s why we weren’t so fast this afternoon. Anyway, at least we know that we already have a good tyre for this track, and we still have one more to try tomorrow. I am using the standard spec engine here. Mostly we have been working mostly on the chassis, with promising results. I’m not so happy with my lap times or my position but I think we can look forward to improving tomorrow.” More, from a press release issued by Fiat Yamaha: ROSSI SECOND AFTER SCORCHING OPENING DAY IN SPAIN Fiat Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi rounded off the first day of the Grand Prix of Catalunya in positive fashion today, setting the second fastest time of the day on his penultimate lap as temperatures climbed into the thirties at Montmelo. Fresh from a spectacular victory at his home-race in Italy last Sunday, Rossi and his team arrived here on a high and wasted no time in getting down to business this morning as they seek their first back-to-back set of victories since their Mugello-Barcelona double last year. Team-mate Colin Edwards finished the day slightly further down the order in eighth, one of many riders who did not better their time from the morning session. After a difficult weekend in Mugello however, when he failed to find a comfortable bike set-up all weekend, the Texan is feeling much more positive about this race. The team still have some work to do tomorrow but Edwards is confident of further improvements and a return to the strong qualifying form he has shown at most races so far this season. Rossi’s lap of 1’43.313 was good enough to top the time sheets in this afternoon’s second free practice session but the overall number one spot today went to Dani Pedrosa, who set a lap of 1’43.099 in this morning’s cooler session. With twelve riders inside a second today tomorrow’s hour-long qualifying session looks like being a close one when the action kicks off at 1345 local time. Valentino Rossi Position: 2nd Time: 1’43.313 Laps: 53 “We’ve made a good start to the weekend and my bike is already going very well. This morning was okay but then this afternoon especially we made a lot of steps forward with the tyres and with the setting. We’ve got a few different options for our tyre choice and we seem to have good grip in the long corners, which is very important at this track. Now tomorrow we will continue with our work and make a final decision about tyres. I found a strong rhythm straight away today and this afternoon I put in a consistent run of laps – almost a half-race distance – and things are already feeling good for Sunday. We still have some improvements to make with the setting and hopefully with a few modifications we’ll be going even better tomorrow. However it’s a long race and if it’s as hot as this then it’s going to be a battle of physical strength for everyone!” Colin Edwards Position: 8th Time: 1’43.768 Laps: 50 “My position doesn’t really show it but actually we’re not in bad shape today, considering where we were this time a week ago in Italy! We’re missing a bit of traction but we’ve got some ideas to work on overnight and tomorrow which will hopefully help us in this department. Our forte is entry and corner speed so we’ll work on honing those for this track and hopefully that will give us an advantage. As for tyres, nothing’s really jumping out at us today but we’ve got three or four that feel okay so with some more laps we should be in a better position to make a decision for Sunday. Anyway I’m feeling a lot happier here than I was in Mugello and with any luck we can be back in fine form for qualifying tomorrow.” Davide Brivio Fiat Yamaha Team Director “We’ve made a very good start with Valentino and it seems he’s in good shape already. Luckily the weather is better here and so we were able to do a good day’s testing and get some helpful information regarding tyres. Tomorrow we will look to fine-tune the setting and make our final tyre choice, but we’re already at a good level. Colin is a bit further back but the times are very close and we have some good ideas about what’s needed tomorrow to bring him even closer to the top.” More, from a press releass issued by Kawasaki Racing Team: SWOLLEN JOINTS AND SUNSHINE AS KAWASAKI HIT CATALUNYA A hot, Spanish sun shone on Kawasaki today as the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya got off to a promising start for the team. Both Randy de Puniet and Olivier Jacque put in plenty of fast laps around the 4.727km track, near Barcelona and, by the end of practice, only 1.5 seconds separated the top 16 riders. Randy, sporting a football-sized knee which swelled up after his crash at Mugello last weekend, notched up a total of 48 laps on his 800cc Ninja ZX-RR over the two practice sessions. On a mission to prove himself after disappointing results in France and Italy, the 26-year-old came 13th in the field, on combined times, with an overall best of 1’44.141. He showed particular strength in T3, being the third fastest rider through that sector, behind Vermeulen and Hopkins and just ahead of Rossi. Topping out at an eye-watering 315.974 km/h, de Puniet’s practice time puts him just ahead of current world champion, Nicky Hayden, on the timesheet. Randy’s fellow countryman and teammate, Olivier Jacque, managed 15th place after the combined sessions with a best time of 1’44.466, just 1.367 seconds off the pace set by leading man, Dani Pedrosa. The arm he damaged in Shanghai is improving all the time and the former 250cc world champion is feeling more optimistic than at last weekend’s Italian MotoGP at which, despite struggling with pain, he succeeded in finishing. With the circuit at Montmelo, near Barcelona, being notoriously bumpy, Kawasaki’s racers and pit crews will be making careful choices of their Bridgestone tyres and further concentrating on a good suspension set up to get the most from the improved ZX-RR machines. With the third and final practice session tomorrow morning, and qualifying in the afternoon, the Kawasaki Racing Team will be pushing to further their position in the championship, with Randy hoping for a qualifying spot higher than the 10th position he achieved on the grid last year. And with so little time separating the leading riders, the chances are high both men can show what they, and their bikes, can do. Randy De Puniet 13th – 48 Laps – Best Lap 1’44.141 “After the crash at Mugello, I thought my knee would be fine by now but, unfortunately, it got worse and I suffered an internal haemorrhage. The joint doubled in size and, even though it’s a little better now, Spidi has had to make me a new leather suit with a knee joint 10cm wider than usual! It wasn’t painful until I got on the bike but I’m sure as soon as the swelling goes down, so will the pain. I just need to rest a little now. This morning the track conditions weren’t perfect, and we suffered a lack of rear grip, but we improved it after experimenting with both front and rear race tyres in the afternoon. There isn’t a big time gap with respect to the guys at the front and I’m sure we can still improve tomorrow.” Olivier Jacque 15th 46 Laps Best Lap 1’44.466 “Today I felt, physically, much better than in Mugello. I have almost all the arm’s strength back which allows me to be more precise when I’m riding. Now I can set the bike up to race rather than trying to compensate for any handicap. This morning, we struggled with rear grip and I couldn’t keep up speed in the long and fast curves. We adjusted the balance of the bike and, with better track conditions as well, it improved a lot in the afternoon. We also tried a couple of front and rear race tyres and are already pretty sure about the choice we’ll make for Sunday. Maybe my position doesn’t reflect it but we’re on a good course.” Naoya Kaneko Kawasaki Technical Manager “After Randy’s crash at Mugello, his knee is still unbelievably swollen but he tried really hard today to set the bike up well. Also, Olivier is still not 100%, although his forearm injury is getting better every day. At the moment, we are in 13th and 15th positions but the lap times are really close across the board, with the first 16 riders all within 1.5 seconds of each other. We need to improve the set up of the bikes and have already pinpointed a couple of areas to work on, mainly for the high-speed section. The third and last corners are really important and tomorrow we’ll keep working on adjusting the balance to make the Ninja ZX-RR more effective there. And the tyre durability is really important in MontmelÃ³ as well. We aren’t aiming for any particular positions for our riders but we do expect them to go step by step and do their best, as they always do.”
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