For the second consecutive race Dani Pedrosa set a new pole position record in qualifying, the Repsol Honda rider setting a remarkable lap time of 1’40.893 to claim the first slot on the grid for tomorrow’s Catalan Grand Prix.
Pedrosa’s storming lap saw him qualify more than six-tenths of a second ahead of his nearest rival, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 of Cal Crutchlow whose best time of 1’41.608 placed him in second position.
Yesterday’s hot weather intensified today with track temperatures soaring to 58°C in QP1. Many riders took to task in the free practice sessions to evaluate both options of rear slick, and amongst the works riders the consensus is that despite the extremely high track temperatures, the superior edge grip of the softer rear slick has the better overall performance at this circuit which features prolonged periods at high lean angles. With many fast and flowing corners, the harder front slick is preferred due to its more stable feel.
Tomorrow’s Warm Up session at 0940 local time (GMT +2) will give riders a last opportunity to decide on tyre choice for the twenty-five lap race which commences at 1400..
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “We had another very hot day today and many riders took the opportunity to test both rear tyre options in today’s free practice sessions. The feedback we received is that the harder rear slick gave better drive out of corners, but with the riders spending so much time at high lean angles, the greater edge grip of the softer rear slick is the better performing option around this circuit.
Also, the track condition improved today so the consistency of lap times of the softer rear on long runs was better, so I think many works riders are planning on using this option for tomorrow’s race - even in these very hot conditions. Front tyre choice for the race is clearer with the harder option being preferred by almost everyone.”