To the delight of the Italian fans, Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone was second in QP2 with a best lap time of 1'47.450
Marc Marquez’s mission to dominate every MotoGP™ qualifying session continued unabated at Mugello today, as the Repsol Honda rider lapped the Italian circuit in a time of 1'47.270 to claim the top spot on the grid for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix.
Marquez set the day’s quickest time during his first time attack in Qualifying Practice Two, using the combination of the medium compound slicks front and rear. To the delight of the Italian fans, Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone was second in QP2 with a best lap time of 1'47.450, while Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo qualified in third place with a time of 1'47.521. Today’s QP2 session at Mugello was perhaps the most fiercely contested so far this season, with only half a second separating the top ten riders as the chequered flag was waved.
After a rainy start to the race weekend on Friday, conditions today were warm and dry with the highest track temperature recorded being 45°C during QP1. The fine weather enabled riders to perform long runs on various tyre combinations in FP4, and it was the medium compound front slick that proved to be the most popular for riders. Rear tyre choice was more varied during practice with the preference among the Factory Honda, Yamaha and Ducati riders being the medium compound rear, while the majority of the open-class entrants preferred the soft compound rear slick.
Some factory-class riders did evaluate the hard compound rear slick in FP4, but it is not expected that this option will be selected by any riders for tomorrow’s race. For the time attack in the Qualifying Practice sessions, the softer rear slick options and the medium compound front slick was the most widely used tyre combination, as it provided the best balance of cornering and braking performance.
Similar weather conditions are forecast for tomorrow, with the twenty-three lap Italian Grand Prix getting underway at 1400 local time (GMT+1 ). Before then, the MotoGP™ riders will be out on track for the twenty-minute Warm Up session at 1000.
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “We were able to make up for lost time yesterday thanks to the fine conditions today, and the riders were able to try some different tyre combinations during practice. Today’s sessions revealed that the riders feel that the soft and medium slick options for both the front and rear are performing best, so we don’t expect the hard compound front and rear slicks to be utilised for the race. The pace among the riders is quite close both in terms of race pace on long runs and over a single lap as we saw in qualifying, and it is pleasing to see the Ducati, Honda and Yamaha riders so evenly matched in performance. The signs are good for an exciting race tomorrow.”