Marc Marquez will start on pole position for the championship decider at Valencia’s Circuito Ricardo Tormo after the Repsol Honda star set a scorching qualifying lap time of 1'30.237 to beat the existing circuit record by six-tenths of a second.
After a cool start to the morning, temperatures rose in the afternoon and the peak track temperature of 30°C was slightly warmer than yesterday. The similar weather conditions resulted in tyre choice in today’s practice sessions being a copy of yesterday, with a strong preference among the riders for the harder front slick, while rear tyre choice was split evenly between the softer and harder asymmetric rear slicks.
Once again, the new specification hard compound rear slick offered to works riders was popular in the practice sessions and will most likely be used by many of the riders on prototype machines tomorrow. The exception was in qualifying, when the desire for maximum rear grip saw almost every rider use the softer rear slicks while attempting to set fast lap times.
The final morning Warm Up session of the year takes place at 0940 local time (GMT +1) tomorrow, before the lights will go out for the championship-deciding race at Valencia at 1400.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “The good track conditions today allowed teams to build on the work they did yesterday, so the pace today was very quick and riders were able to try out both rear slick options in the practice sessions. The performance of both the softer and harder rear slicks was excellent, so it will be interesting to see what the weather is tomorrow, and what affect this will have on tyre choice for the race.
Front tyre choice again saw a clear preference for the harder front slick, so this will be the prominent choice for the race. Using the softer rear slicks in qualifying, we saw the qualifying lap record beaten by a large margin and I am confident that a new race lap record will also be set tomorrow. The build-up to the final race of the season has been positive and everyone at Bridgestone is looking forward to supporting the riders in what should be an exciting season finale.”