Marc Marquez’s tactic to do three stints in QP2 using a new soft compound rear slick each time paid dividends.
An interesting qualifying strategy helped Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez claim his fourth successive pole position and set a new Circuit Best Lap of 1’38.120 in scorching conditions at Jerez.
Marquez’s tactic to do three stints in QP2 using a new soft compound rear slick each time paid dividends, with the reigning World Champion able to set a time 0.421 seconds quicker than Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo, who was second quickest in qualifying. Third quickest was last year’s Spanish Grand Prix race winner Dani Pedrosa whose personal best lap time was 1'38.630.
Conditions at Jerez were again dry and very hot, with a peak track temperature of 53°C during QP2; 2°C down on yesterday’s maximum temperature. With the Jerez circuit notorious for becoming greasy in high temperatures, the provision of asymmetric rear slicks at Jerez for the first time this year ensured riders had enough grip to post extremely quick lap times in qualifying. Marquez’s benchmark time in QP2 beat the six year-old Circuit Best Lap record for Jerez that was set by Jorge Lorenzo in 2008 on qualifying tyres.
The riders will have their final chance to decide on race tyre choice in tomorrow’s twenty-minute Warm Up session at 0940 local time (GMT +1) before the MotoGP™ race starts at 1400.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department “We had similar weather conditions today, with a mild morning turning to very hot temperatures in the afternoon so the teams had a good understanding of how the tyres would behave today. In FP4, riders tried a lot of different tyre options to see what would work best for the race, and at this stage it looks like almost all compound options we brought to Jerez are viable race options. For the front tyre, both the medium and hard compound front slicks will feature in tomorrow’s race.
Given the high temperatures forecast for tomorrow, the soft compound rear slick for the Ducati and Open-class riders, and the medium compound rear slick for the Factory Honda and Yamaha appear to be the likely choice for the race. However, some Open-class riders did long runs on the extra-soft rear slick in FP4, so I think we will also see this option used for the race. The high performance of the new asymmetric rear slicks we developed for Jerez was evident today, with Marc able to beat the circuit best lap record from 2008 which was set on qualifying tyres.”