Round 7: Catalunya GP – Qualifying, Catalunya, Saturday July 3, 2010
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear: Hard, Extra Hard (asymmetric)
Jorge Lorenzo set his third pole position in as many weekends today, obtaining the most from his hard front and softer rear Bridgestone slicks as the track temperature rose to 56 degrees Celsius, the hottest of the weekend so far. The hour-long qualifying session came to a frantic conclusion as Fiat Yamaha’s Lorenzo dipped under the existing lap record to secure pole with this penultimate lap, edging out Ducati Team’s Casey Stoner and long-time session leader Randy de Puniet of the LCR Honda MotoGP squad. Just 0.5 seconds separated third to tenth positions.
Almost every rider recorded their best lap using Bridgestone’s hard compound front slick tire and the softer option rear, which provided better edge grip that benefited lap times particularly round the long and fast right-handers. The harder option rear slick is likely to be favored for tomorrow’s race however because of its added durability in these hot and tough conditions.
Already this weekend the tires have had to cope with the highest track and ambient temperatures of the season, and Catalunya is one of the most demanding circuits of the year so a good bike setup that uses the tires effectively and good tire management by the riders will play key roles in determining the outcome of tomorrow’s 25 lap race. Those who have optimized bike, rider and tire packages will be strong tomorrow. With the track temperature high, excess sliding will generate even higher tire temperatures which will have a greater affect upon tire performance.
Tohru Ubukata – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department
“Today the conditions were almost the same as they were here last year and we have the same tire specs, so there were no surprises and I am happy with tire performance. Many riders will favor the harder asymmetric rear tire for the race tomorrow, but I believe that the softer asymmetric rear is also a realistic option. Ben completed a long and consistent run of 20 laps on the softer rear today so I am confident of its race distance durability. “I think tomorrow we will see a good comparison in the race between the two compound options. Riders who want better initial grip to get quickly into the rhythm of the race can choose the softer rear slick, whereas those who choose the harder option will have better consistency towards the end of the race.
Top ten from qualifying (Saturday 13:55 – 14:55 GMT+2)
|Pos. ||Rider||Team||Fastest lap||Gap ||Front spec||Rear spec
|1.||Jorge Lorenzo||Fiat Yamaha Team||1:42.046||Hard ||Hard|
|2. ||Casey Stoner ||Ducati Team ||1:42.410 ||+0.364 ||Hard ||Hard
|3. ||Randy de Puniet ||LCR Honda MotoGP||1:42.512 ||+0.466||Hard ||Hard
|4. ||Dani Pedrosa ||Repsol Honda Team ||1:42.592 ||+0.546 ||Hard ||Hard
|5. ||Ben Spies ||Monster Yamaha Tech 3 ||1:42.710 ||+0.664 ||Hard ||Hard
|6. ||Andrea Dovizioso ||Repsol Honda Team ||1:42.866 ||+0.820 ||Hard ||Hard
|7. ||Loris Capirossi ||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP ||1:42.903 ||+0.857 ||Hard ||Hard
||8. ||Marco Simoncelli ||San Carlo Honda Gresini ||1:42.994 ||+0.948 ||Hard ||Hard
||9. ||Alvaro Bautista ||Rizla Suzuki MotoGP ||1:43.025 ||+0.979 ||Hard ||Hard
Weather: Dry. Ambient temp: 33°C (91.4°F); Track temp: 56°C (132.8°F) [Bridgestone measurement]
|10. ||Colin Edwards ||Monster Yamaha Tech 3 ||1:43.059 ||+1.013 ||Hard ||Hard