Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez showed relentless pace in qualifying at Indianapolis MotorSpeedway, smashing the existing pole position record to claim the top spot on the grid for tomorrow’s Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Marquez completed three laps under the existing lap record during the QP2 session and ultimately set a time of 1’37.958 – cutting 0.855 seconds from the old mark set by his teammate Dani Pedrosa last year. Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo qualified in second place and 0.513 seconds behind Marquez, while Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa completes the front row having set a time just 0.014 seconds behind Lorenzo. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards had the American fans cheering by being the top CRT qualifier, his personal best lap time of 1’40.750 sees him line up in P12 for tomorrow’s race. Overall, the pace in today’s qualifying session was vastly quicker than last year with the top four qualifiers setting times under the existing Circuit Best Lap record.
With more rubber laid down on the tarmac and warm conditions present throughout the day, track conditions for today’s sessions were improved from yesterday. Track temperatures peaked at 56°C in today’s QP1 session – one of the hottest track temperatures recorded this year. Out of the two front slick tyres, the harder compound option was preferred today due to its greater braking stability and is likely to be widely used for tomorrow’s race. Rear tyre choice for the works and CRT riders is likely to trend towards the softer rear option, although the greater durability of the harder rear makes it a viable race option at a circuit where the abrasive tarmac makes tyre management even more critical.
Fine and warm conditions are forecast for tomorrow’s twenty-eight lap race which is scheduled to start at 1400 local time (GMT -4), with the riders taking to track beforehand for the Morning Warm Up session at 0940.
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP3 – Dry. Ambient 22-23°C; Track 31-37°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP – Dry. Ambient 28-28°C; Track 50-56°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“As expected track conditions were better today and the fine weather allowed riders to evaluate all the slick options to determine what would work best for the race. With the higher grip level from the tarmac and warm temperatures, all riders preferred the harder front slick as it gives better stability in the hard braking zones, and I expect this to option to be used by most riders tomorrow. The pace was very quick today; both over a single lap and over long runs with both rear slick compounds performing well, although it looks like the works riders are more likely to select the softer rear slick option for the race. Today was a very positive day and it is looking like we will see a fantastic contest tomorrow.”
Source: Bridgestone Motorsport
- Preseason, pace and 2017: the first talking points in Losail
- It’s ITA vs QAT as Rossi takes on skeet shooting
- Viñales “motivated to start this new era”
- Marquez: “The limit in Qatar is very narrow”
- Pedrosa: “It’s difficult to make any predictions!”
- VR46: “Now, I really need to race”
- Ken Kawauchi: Suzuki Ecstar blog
- Back in the saddle: British Talent Team ready to race
- Bradley Smith's blog: Looking back and looking forward
- Dorna unites with ‘Vive la Moto’ road safety platform