Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez resumed the dominant form he showed in yesterday’s practice sessions to smash the qualifying lap record on his way to pole position at Misano.
All of the riders on the front row set their best time on the combination of the softer rear and the harder front slick tyre and the San Marino Grand Prix is the fourth round in a row where a new Circuit Best Lap record was set in qualifying. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro once again used the full potential of the CRT-specific softer rear slick to qualify directly for QP2 and claim sixth position on the grid for tomorrow’s race with a time of 1'34.732 to be the best CRT qualifier.
The weather for today’s practice and qualifying sessions was practically the same as yesterday, with the same peak temperature recording of 39°C being reached during qualifying. The grip level of the circuit did not improve from yesterday and as a result the softer slick options were widely used today, particularly for the rear tyre.
Although the softer rear slick was the preferred option, those riders that used the harder rear did report it performed well with only a slight reduction in edge grip compared to the softer rear. Both front slick options were used today with no clear preference emerging in today’s sessions.
The harder front slick offers greater stability in the faster sections of the circuit, while the softer front slick offers an advantage in edge grip which helps compensate for the poor grip level of the tarmac.
The MotoGP™ riders will be next on track at 0940 local time (GMT +2) tomorrow morning for the twenty minute Warm Up session before the twenty-eight lap San Marino Grand Prix gets underway at 1400.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “Weather conditions were almost exactly the same as yesterday and although the pace was quicker today, the comments from many riders indicate that the condition of the circuit is not as good as recent years, so this makes Marc’s new qualifying record even more impressive.
The lack of grip also resulted in just a few riders evaluating the harder rear slick options in FP4, as they preferred the greater edge grip offered by the softer rear slicks. For the front tyres, there is no clear preference among the riders. Some prefer the greater cornering and braking stability of the harder front, while other riders prefer the better edge grip and feel of the softer front slick. It seems that the greatest variable in race tyre strategy among the riders for tomorrow’s race will be the front tyre.”