On another hot day where track temperatures reached over 50°C, Dani Pedrosa kept his cool to claim the front slot on the grid.
Dani Pedrosa claimed pole position at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the second year running, after the Repsol Honda rider set a time of 1’40.985 to lead an all-Spanish front row at the Catalan Grand Prix.
On another hot day where track temperatures reached over 50°C, Pedrosa kept his cool to claim the front slot on the grid from Yamaha Movistar MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo by just 0.115 seconds. Completing the front row was Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, who crashed while chasing his seventh-straight pole position but still managed to clock the third quickest time of 1'41.135. All riders on the front row used the medium compound slicks front and rear during their time attack in Qualifying Practice 2.
The peak track temperature today of 54°C was recorded during Free Practice 4, with today’s objective for the teams being to find a tyre combination that could tame the greasy track conditions brought on by the scorching temperatures. With grip hard to come by from the track surface, the riders looked for maximum grip and stability from their tyres, and as a result, the medium compound front slick was preferred by almost every rider. Rear tyre choice for the race also became clearer after today’s practice sessions, with the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders, and the majority of the Ducati riders almost certain to race the medium compound rear slick. Most of the Open-class riders look set to choose the soft compound rear slick for the twenty-five lap Catalan Grand Prix.
Weather forecasts indicate a high probability of rain tomorrow, and tomorrow’s Warm Up session at 0940 local time (GMT+1) may be the only opportunity for the riders to assess the circuit in wet conditions before the race commences tomorrow afternoon at 1400.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “Today we had the same hot conditions and during the practice sessions the riders were able to test a few different tyre combinations, so we now have a much clearer idea of what will be used for the race. The combination of the high track temperature and the low-grip surface here at Montmeló means that the riders need as much grip as possible from their tyres to compensate. This means that we don’t expect any Factory-class riders to use the hard compound rear slick tomorrow; instead the medium compound will be their main race tyre.
Rear tyre choice for the Open-class riders is more varied, with most of them preferring the soft compound rear, while others feel the medium compound rear offers more consistent performance over race distance. Front tyre choice is more straightforward, with almost every rider preferring the medium compound front as it gives good cornering grip and strong braking performance at the end of the straights. There is still a strong possibility of rain tomorrow, in which case the teams will have two wet tyre compound options to choose from for the race. ”