Bridgestone Motorsport Press Release:
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow’s stunning form this MotoGP season hit a new high after the British rider claimed his first ever pole position in an enthralling qualifying session at Assen.
In conditions that were far from easy for the riders due to cool track temperatures and a strong breeze, Crutchlow stopped the clocks on his last lap in QP2 with a time of 1’34.398 that saw him relegate Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez to second place by 0.357 seconds. Qualifying on the front row for the first time in his career was LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, who secured an excellent third place in qualifying with a best lap time of 1’34.878. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was again the best of the CRT qualifiers, the Spaniard’s quickest lap time of 1’35.500 sees him line up on the third row for tomorrow’s race in seventh position.
In a mirror image of yesterday, today’s on-track action was again affected by rainfall with wet conditions for the morning FP3 session before a dry track presented itself for FP4 and the two qualifying sessions in the afternoon. The wet track for FP3 meant that no riders were able to better their lap times from FP1, so the results determining which riders qualified directly for QP2 remained unchanged from yesterday. Both wet and slick tires were used in Free Practice 3 as the track conditions quickly changed from wet to dry with some damp patches, creating highly variable grip levels which caught out some riders.
For FP4 and qualifying track temperatures reached their maximum level at 22°C, with all riders selecting softer rear slicks to ensure the best grip and warm-up in the cool conditions. Front tire choice was more varied, with most riders preferring the greater cornering and braking stability of the harder front slick, while other riders seeking the maximum amount of front-end grip possible and selecting the extra-soft compound front slick. As both front slick compounds for Assen are the two softest in Bridgestone’s line-up, both options are well suited to running in cool conditions.
The 65th Dutch TT will start at 1500 local time tomorrow (GMT +2) with the riders taking to the track beforehand for the morning Warm Up session at 0940.
Shinichi Yamashita – General Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tire Development Department:
“That was a truly fantastic qualifying session in conditions that weren’t easy for the riders and congratulations to Cal on his first pole position and also Stefan for his first ever front row in MotoGP. As expected the rain earlier today and cool temperatures meant that grip levels were not optimal and this was reflected in the lap times that were slower than in qualifying last year. Riders had the chance to try wet tires today on a track that was wet but drying quickly and managing tire performance in such conditions could be a major factor for the race if we have rain tomorrow. If the race is dry, it seems that all riders will most likely select the softer rear slick, but at the front it is less clear as although the majority of riders seem to prefer the harder front option, if temperatures are cooler tomorrow then some riders may opt for the better edge grip and warm-up performance of the softer front slick.”
Dutch MotoGP QP 2 times (1435-1450 GMT +2)
1 Cal CRUTCHLOW Monster Yamaha Tech 3
2 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team
3 Stefan BRADLnLCR Honda MotoGP
4 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha Factory Racing
5 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team
6 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3
7 Aleix ESPARGARO Power Electronics Aspar
8 Alvaro BAUTISTA GO&FUN Honda Gresini
9 Randy DE PUNIET Power Electronics Aspar
10 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati Team
11 Michele PIRRO Ignite Pramac Racing
12 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha Factory Racing
For more information: www.bridgestonemotorsport.com