2011 Portugal GP (Estoril): Bridgestone MotoGP Qualifying Recap
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
For the second day running in Portugal the rain stayed away from the Estoril circuit despite very ominous weather, and although the morning practice session was damp, the qualifying session was dry.
Jorge Lorenzo used Bridgestoneâ€™s harder front and softer rear slicks to secure himself pole position for tomorrowâ€™s race just ahead of Marco Simoncelli. It was Simoncelli who for a long time was dominating the hour-long session and looked to be on course for his first premier class pole, until a crash in the crucial last minutes allowed Lorenzo to get the better of him by just over 0.1seconds.
Despite yesterday eveningâ€™s thunderstorms and more overnight rain which left the track damp and dirty this morning, the laptimes were good and Lorenzoâ€™s pole time was just 0.2seconds from the lap record as the times tumbled in the closing stages.
Completing the front row is Dani Pedrosa, who finished just 0.03seconds behind Simoncelli, with Repsol Honda teammate Casey Stoner in fourth. Almost all riders set their best laps on the harder front and all favoured the softer rear slicks. Just two tenths of a second cover the top four which is a good indication that it will be a close-fought race.
Whilst the weather for tomorrow remains uncertain, riders have at least now had the chance to use Bridgestoneâ€™s wet tyres this weekend.
Tohru Ubukata – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department “This morningâ€™s practice session started with the track 60-70 per cent wet, but conditions were tricky because some parts of the lap were wet and others quite dry which made it very difficult to use the wet tyres correctly. Nevertheless performance was reasonable, what we expected, and Loris and Jorge completed 10 and 11 laps respectively and consistency and wear appearance was good. For the qualifying session, it was dry but the track conditions were not perfect because of the overnight rain and the temperature was cold. Most riders favoured the combination of harder option front and softer rear slicks and I am happy with tyre performance as Jorgeâ€™s pole lap was only 0.2seconds from the lap record in less than ideal conditions. We could also confirm race-distance durability of the softer option rear, so if the conditions tomorrow are similar to today the softer rear slick is a viable option for the race.”
Top ten from Qualifying (Saturday 13:55 â€“ 14:55 GMT+1)
Pos Rider Team Practice Time Gap
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing 1m37.161s
2 Marco Simoncelli San Carlo Honda Gresini 1m37.294s +0.133s
3 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 1m37.324s +0.163s
4 Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Team 1m37.384s +0.223s
5 Ben Spies Yamaha Factory Racing 1m37.866s +0.705s
6 Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda Team 1m38.073s +0.912s
7 Colin Edwards Monster Yamaha Tech3 1m38.080s +0.919s
8 Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech3 1m38.189s +1.028s
9 Valentino Rossi Ducati Team 1m38.271s +1.110s
10 Hector Barbera Mapfre Aspar Team 1m38.363s +1.202s
Weather: FP3: Damp, drying. Ambient 17-18Â°C; Track 19-22Â°C (Bridgestone measurement)
QP: Dry. Ambient 19-20Â°C; Track 24-26Â°C (Bridgestone measurement)
- 2011 Spain GP (Jerez): Bridgestone MotoGP Qualifying Recap
- 2011 Qatar: Bridgestone MotoGP Friday Practice Recap
- MotoGP : 2011 Portugal – Ducati Team – Estoril Saturday qualifying report
- MotoGP : 2011 Portugal – Aspar Team – Estoril Saturday qualifying report
- MotoGP : 2011 Portugal – Pramac Racing – Estoril Saturday qualifying report
Filed Under: MotoGP News
About the Author: Biker by nature who madly follows the motoGP