Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez reigned supreme in a captivating qualifying session at Motorland Aragon in which the top six qualifiers posted times under the existing lap record.
Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro continued where he left off yesterday to qualify highest out of the CRT riders, his best time of 1'49.348 good enough for tenth place on tomorrow’s grid.
Overnight rain created damp track conditions for the Free Practice Three, limiting the number of riders who took to the track in the first session of the day. The track was completely dry for FP4, offering the teams an opportunity to work on a dry setup for the qualifying sessions and the race. A peak track temperature of 35°C was recorded today, 7°C lower than yesterday’s top reading.
The combination of the soft rear and hard front slick was again the popular choice among the riders in FP4 and Qualifying, however some riders were able to utilise the greater edge grip of the soft compound front tyre to good effect.
Rider feedback from today’s sessions suggests that the hard front slick will be the more widely used choice in a dry race tomorrow, though should weather conditions be cooler again, some riders may switch to the soft compound front slick.
Sunday’s morning Warm Up session is scheduled for 0940 local time tomorrow morning (GMT +2) and the twenty-three lap Aragon Grand Prix is set to start at 1400.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “Conditions were cooler today but the overnight rain didn’t seem to negatively affect the grip level of the circuit and the pace today was very quick, with the top six riders in qualifying lapping under the existing lap record. The cooler track temperatures meant that almost no riders tried the harder rear slick options today, and also resulted in some riders reverting to using the softer front slick.
The tyre combination that was most popular yesterday, the soft rear matched with the hard front was used by the majority of riders today and if we have a dry race, I expect this to be the preferred tyre choice.
That said, the performance of the soft front slick in today’s cooler conditions was very good with three of the top ten riders in qualifying using this option, so both front slicks are performing well here. I anticipate an interesting race tomorrow as the pace among the first two rows of the grid is very close.”