Czech Grand Prix, Brno: Bridgestone Qualifying Review
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow claimed his second pole position of the season after the British rider recorded a new Circuit Best Lap time of 1’55.527 in qualifying at the Czech Republic Grand Prix.
Crutchlow set the pole-winning time on his penultimate lap to finish 0.227 seconds ahead of GO&FUN Gresini Honda’s Alvaro Bautista who qualified in second place. Bautista’s personal best lap time was also under the existing qualifying lap record, the Spaniard narrowly beating compatriot Marc Marquez who will line up on the grid in P3 after the Repsol Honda rider set a qualifying time of 1’55.863. NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards was the top CRT qualifier for the second race in a row, the American rider qualifying for QP2 and finishing twelfth overall with a time of 1’58.392. All riders in QP2 set their best lap time on the combination of the softer rear and harder front slicks.
Today’s weather conditions were fine but slightly cooler than yesterday with track temperatures peaking at 34°C. Riders took advantage of the good conditions to perform race simulations in FP4, with both the softer and harder rear slick options tested in the final practice session. Rear tyre choice for the race could be influenced by tomorrow’s weather as some riders may use the harder rear slicks if warmer conditions are present for the race, although the majority of riders seem to favour the softer rear slick at this stage. Front tyre choice for the race is likely to be largely in favour of the hard compound front slick.
Current weather forecasts indicate a chance of rain tomorrow afternoon so there is a possibility of a wet race. The next scheduled MotoGP™ session is Morning Warm Up at 930 local time (GMT +2) with the race set to start at 1300.
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 19-20°C; Track 22-23°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP4/QP – Dry. Ambient 24-24°C; Track 30-34°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“That was a great qualifying session and I am pleased that we have had a new qualifying record set in two consecutive races! We had fine weather again today so there was plenty of time for teams to find a good setup for the race, with some riders trying the harder rear slicks in FP4. Although the harder rear performed well, I think this option will only be considered for the race if track temperatures are higher tomorrow. The softer rear slicks also exhibited strong performance as well as good durability, so if the same cool conditions as today occur tomorrow, I think this option will be widely used for the race. Front tyre choice was similar to yesterday’s practice sessions with the hard compound being preferred by the majority of riders. There is a chance of rain tomorrow and although personally I hope we have a dry race, we are prepared for whatever the weather brings!”
Source: Bridgestone Motorsport