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Oct 24

Perfect lap puts Pedrosa on pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix

Round 17: Malaysian MotoGP™ – Qualifying

Dani-Pedrosa---Repsol-Honda-Team---Malaysian-MotoGP-QP2 Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa produced one of his best ever qualifying performances to smash the Sepang Circuit Best Lap record and claim pole position for tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit.

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  • Bridgestone slick compounds: Front: Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft & Hard (Symmetric) & Medium (Asymmetric)
  • Bridgestone wet tyre compounds: Hard (Main) & Soft (Alternative)
  • Weather:
  • FP3 – Dry. Ambient 29-30°C; Track 35-38°C (Bridgestone measurement)
  • FP4/QP – Dry. Ambient 32-33°C; Track 43-46°C (Bridgestone measurement)

On just his second lap in Qualifying Practice 2, Pedrosa set a scorching time 1’59.053 to lop over half a second off the previous Sepang Circuit Best Lap record and ultimately end the session 0.409 seconds ahead of his teammate Marc Marquez who claimed second place on the grid. The final front row slot went to Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi who clocked a 1’59.726 on his final lap of the session to out-qualify his teammate Jorge Lorenzo by mere 0.011 seconds. All of the riders that qualified on the front row used the combination of the medium compound slicks front and rear for their time attack in qualifying.

It was another typically hot and humid day at Sepang, although the smoke haze lingering over the circuit was thicker than yesterday which resulted in slightly lower track temperatures. Today’s maximum track temperature of 46°C was recorded at the end of Free Practice 4 and was 4°C below yesterday’s high. The combination of poor grip from the tarmac and heavy undulations in the braking zone at the Sepang circuit has steered tyre choice towards options that provide good bump absorption and cornering performance. Therefore, in race simulations during FP4 the medium compound front and rear slicks emerged as the favourite options amongst the riders today and are likely to be used by the majority of riders for the race. The soft compound rear slick is also likely be used by some open class riders for the race as it provides extra performance without a big penalty to durability, but the hard compound rear slick is unlikely to be used by the factory Honda and Yamaha riders unless track temperatures tomorrow are considerably higher.

Tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix will start at 1500 local time (GMT +8) with local weather forecasts predicting a moderate possibility of rain at this time. Before then, the MotoGP™ riders will next be on track for the twenty-minute Warm Up session at 1040 local time.

Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department

“Thankfully both sessions were dry today which allowed the teams and riders to work on getting maximum potential out of our tyre allocation at Sepang. The condition of this circuit has degraded year-on-year and so it is important to find a setup which can deal with the bumps in the braking zones, while also limiting spinning of the rear tyre on corner exit. Today’s dry sessions provided the opportunity for the teams to find optimal bike settings for our slick tyres and the result was some very quick lap times during both the time attacks in qualifying as well as during race simulations in FP4. The vast reduction in lap times we have seen this weekend is a good indication that our 2015 specification slick tyres are working well here at Sepang and I am confident our tyres can help produce another thrilling race tomorrow.”

Malaysian MotoGP™: QP2 times – Riders that qualified from QP1 shaded in grey

Pos Rider Team QP2 Time Gap
1 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1’59.053  
2 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’59.462 0.409
3 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’59.726 0.673
4 Jorge LORENZO Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’59.737 0.684
5 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda 2’00.199 1.146
6 Andrea IANNONE Ducati Team 2’00.224 1.171
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 2’00.423 1.370
8 Maverick VIÑALES Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 2’00.478 1.425
9 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2’00.652 1.599
10 Hector BARBERA Avintia Racing 2’00.724 1.671
11 Aleix ESPARGARO Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 2’00.724 1.671
12 Pol ESPARGARO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2’00.794 1.741

source: Bridgestone Motorsport, bridgestonemotorsport.com, bsmotorsport.com

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