Approximately three minutes from the end of the decisive third free-practice session at the Catalan Grand Prix, Michele Pirro posted a time of 1:42.970, with just 1.5 tenths separating him from a direct transfer to the Q2 session.
He then stayed in the top two for much of Q1, which would have put him into Q2 and given him a shot at a better start position. However, he lost a position near the end and will start from the fifth row tomorrow.
The bike continues to move around a lot and tends to ‘pump’ at the rear and everything becomes even more difficult if the grip drops. As for the set-up we tried to use the one we found at Mugello but once again the results weren’t really positive. It’s strange how things change from one track to another and even from this morning.
I had been going quite well and I thought we could have made more progress if we’d worked on the set-up a bit more. The only thing left now is to choose the best set-up for tomorrow and decide what tyre to use; for sure the soft one is better due to the pumping problem because when it kicks in it doesn’t stop until the bike straightens up again. Now we’ll just have to try our best and see what we can do to get a good result in the race.”
Ben Spies - Ignite Pramac Racing Team: “First of all, thanks for all the well wishes for my rehab to keep going in a positive direction. Of course it’s hard for me to watch the action from a distance, but I have hopes for the Ducati field this weekend. It was another mixed day of riders using hard and soft tyres, and from here it seems that the hard option is a bit slower for some riders.
Dovi looked quite consistent on the hard, and although he wasn’t quite as fast as the guys at the very front, he had a good, strong pace. Hayden was using a soft rear like Marquez, and what a lap he had! It was also good to see Iannone have his best qualifying session of the year. This all bodes well for Ducati tomorrow.”
Ignite Pramac Racing