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May 18

Marquez edges Lorenzo in French MotoGP™ qualifying

Round 4: French MotoGP™ – Qualifying Practice One and Two

MotoGP - Marc Marquez - Repsol Honda - 2013 French MotoGP QPRepsol Honda rookie sensation Marc Marquez claimed pole position for tomorrow’s French Grand Prix by the narrowest of margins, out-pacing Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo by just three-hundredths of a second.

 

  • Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Extra-soft, Soft Rear: Extra-soft (Symmetric), Soft, Medium (Asymmetric)
  • Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
  • Weather: FP3 – Dry. Ambient 14-15°C; Track 17-22°C (Bridgestone measurement)
  • FP4 & QP1/2 – Dry. Ambient 17-17°C; Track 22-22°C (Bridgestone measurement)

 

On another cool and blustery day at Le Mans, Marquez set a time of 1’33.187 for his second pole position of the season on his spare bike following a crash in FP4. Lorenzo was the only rider that could come close to Marquez, setting his best time of 1’33.217 on his penultimate qualifying lap. Rounding out the front row was Andrea Dovizioso, his exceptional lap time of 1’33.603 on the Ducati GP13 ensuring three different manufacturers at the front of the grid for tomorrow’s race. The Power Electronics Aspar duo of Aleix Espargaro and Randy de Puniet dominated the CRT class in qualifying today, with both riders participating in QP2 and finishing P11 and P12 respectively.

Cloud cover and a cool breeze kept ambient and track temperatures low today, with a peak track temperature of 22°C recorded. The cool conditions meant that all riders used the softer rear slick option today, although both front slick options were utilised, with most riders starting FP3 on the softer option front slick before graduating to the harder front option later in the session. The combination of the softer rear and harder front slick was also the popular choice in the afternoon qualifying sessions when riders attempted to set a quick lap time.

The lights will go out at 1400 local time tomorrow (GMT +2) for twenty-eight laps of the Le Mans circuit to decide who will win the French Grand Prix, though before then the riders will have one final chance to work on the setup of their bike in Morning Warm Up at 0940.

Shinji Aoki – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“We saw lap times improve today as riders made good use of the dry track time, though low track temperatures and a strong, cool breeze still made conditions challenging for riders. The low track temperatures meant that riders didn’t evaluate the harder rear slick options today, and if conditions are dry tomorrow, I certainly expect that for the race we will see a strong trend towards the softer rear slick. Front slick tyre choice for the race I think will be dictated by how cool it is tomorrow. Some riders may prefer the advantage in warm-up performance and edge grip in cold conditions the softer front slick option offers over the better braking stability of the harder front slick.”

French MotoGP™ QP 2 times (1435-1450 GMT +2) – Riders that qualified from QP1 shaded in gray
Pos
Rider
Team
QP2 Time
Gap
1
Marc MARQUEZ
Repsol Honda Team
1’33.187
 
2
Jorge LORENZO
Yamaha Factory Racing
1’33.217
0.030
3
Andrea DOVIZIOSO
Ducati Team
1’33.603
0.416
4
Cal CRUTCHLOW
Monster Yamaha Tech 3
1’33.609
0.422
5
Stefan BRADL
LCR Honda MotoGP
1’33.634
0.447
6
Dani PEDROSA
Repsol Honda Team
1’33.639
0.452
7
Alvaro BAUTISTA
GO&FUN Honda Gresini
1’33.984
0.797
8
Valentino ROSSI
Yamaha Factory Racing
1’34.009
0.822
9
Bradley SMITH
Monster Yamaha Tech 3
1’34.222
1.035
10
Nicky HAYDEN
Ducati Team
1’34.242
1.055
11
Aleix ESPARGARO
Power Electronics Aspar
1’34.754
1.567
12
Randy DE PUNIET
Power Electronics Aspar
1’35.086
1.899
 
 

source: bridgestonemotorsport.com, bsmotorsport.com

Mahindra claims first Moto3 front row race start

Mahindra rider Miguel Oliveira qualified second fastest for tomorrow’s French Grand Prix at Le Mans – the best yet for the all-new Mahindra MGP3O motorcycle, and another step forward in an encouraging first season for the bike. It is the first front-row start in the Moto3™ class for the only Indian manufacturer in motorcycle grand prix racing.

This is the fourth of 17 rounds of the World Championship, and one or both Mahindras have been in the top-ten at the first three rounds. Oliveira’s strong qualifying and front-row start have boosted the team’s hopes of taking another step forward in terms of results for this season.

Second rider Efrén Vázquez will not start the race, after fracturing his collar-bone in a crash yesterday. He is due to undergo surgery in Barcelona tomorrow morning, and hopes to be back for the Italian Grand Prix in a fortnight.

MIGUEL OLIVEIRA – Second position, 1’43.806

“I was having trouble with the front feel and turning, so we changed the steering and fork settings for today, and it was in a good direction. In the end I was able to do a great lap for qualifying. I’m really happy with the front row. It means that tomorrow I don’t have to recover positions. I can concentrate on the fast group from the start.”

MUFADDAL CHOONIA – Mahindra Racing CEO

“It’s been a fantastic session for Miguel. We always knew he had the potential for the front row, so the qualifying results in the last couple of races have been disappointing when he was in the centre of the pack, spoiling his race chances. Now he is up with all our rivals from the start. I’m very happy; now we’re crossing fingers and toes for the race tomorrow.”

source: Mahindra Racing, mahindraracing.com., mahindra.com