Round 8: German Grand Prix – Qualifying Practice
Sachsenring, Saturday 7 July 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium, Extra-Hard. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Wet. Ambient 19-19°C; Track 20-22°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner will start on pole position for tomorrow’s German Grand Prix after the reigning champion was quickest in a thrilling qualifying session in which seven riders battled for the top spot all the way until the end of the session.
Stoner set his time of 1:31.796 right at the conclusion of the rain-soaked session to finish 0.193 seconds ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies who will start second on the grid, while Dani Pedrosa ensured both Repsol Honda’s will start on the front row by clocking the third quickest time. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was the top CRT qualifier and will start tomorrow’s race on the fourth row in tenth position.
Both of today’s sessions were run in wet and cool conditions, with the light rain for FP3 intensifying into steady showers that soaked the circuit for qualifying, resulting in standing water appearing on sections of the track and creating a very challenging setting for the riders. As the track started to dry towards the end of qualifying conditions improved and the extra traction available from the tarmac saw lap times drop resulting in an exhilarating last minute battle for pole position
The riders will be back on track at 0930 tomorrow for the morning warm up session with the race set to commence at 1300 local time (GMT +2).
Shinji Aoki – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today’s FP3 and qualifying practice both took place in wet weather, but the riding conditions between both sessions were different due to the intensity of the rainfall that occurred. FP3 saw light rain so there was only a small amount of standing water, but in qualifying the heavier rainfall saw parts of the track quite waterlogged and so rider’s experienced marked differences in grip levels during the day.
“The tarmac at Sachsenring is quite abrasive, but the rate of wear on the soft wet tyres - which are the main wet tyre allocated for this race - during today’s sessions was normal. However, teams do have the option to select the hard compound wet tyre for the race if they feel it better suits their setup. The forecast for tomorrow indicates rain is a strong possibility and with the top seven qualifiers all showing similar pace in the wet, it will be interesting to see if we have a closely contested race, something which the Sachsenring is renowned for.”
Source: Bridgestone MotoGP