Bridgestone: Marquez sets the pace in both the wet and dry in mixed first day at Brno
Marc Marquez clocked the quickest time of the day.
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez showed supreme pace in all conditions on the first day of practice for the Czech Republic Grand Prix, clocking the quickest time of the day in the dry morning Free Practice 1 session before also producing the best time on wet tyres during a rainy Free Practice 2.
During the first session of the race weekend, Marquez lapped the Brno Circuit in 1’56.882 on the combination of the medium compound front and rear slicks to lead a tightly-packed field. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo was second quickest overall and a mere 0.037 seconds off Marquez’s time, with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa just fifteen-thousandths of a second further back in third place. On one of the longest circuits on the calendar, only 0.387 seconds covered the top eight places on combined times today, enhancing Brno’s reputation of being a venue that produces extremely close racing.
The tyres appear to be working well for everyone here at Brno
Cool but dry conditions occurred for the morning FP1 session, before rain started right at the beginning of the afternoon FP2 session which necessitated riders switching to wet tyres. Today’s peak track temperature of 31°C was recorded right at the start of FP2 before the rain started to fall. In the first practice session, almost every rider initially headed out on track on the soft compound front slick paired with their softer rear slick option; medium compound for the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders, and soft compound for the Ducati and Open-class riders.
Once the grip level of the Brno tarmac had been evaluated, some riders switched to the medium compound front slick in the second half of FP1, but due to cool conditions and afternoon rain, no riders evaluated the hard compound front or rear slick tyres. Although Marquez was the quickest rider on wet tyres in the damp afternoon session, it was Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone who topped the times in FP2 as he and Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera managed to set a quick lap on slick tyres on their first flying lap before the rain intensified. Only the soft compound wet tyres were used by the riders today.
The current weather forecast indicates a good chance of rain falling tomorrow afternoon which could see both qualifying sessions being run in wet conditions, however the forecasts at this stage of the race weekend show that there is only a slight chance of a wet race.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“It was challenging for the teams and riders to ride the track in both dry and wet conditions, but as the forecast shows rain is possible tomorrow it was valuable to get some wet track time today to work on bike setup. The cool and unsettled weather this afternoon meant that the riders were unable to evaluate as many different slick tyre combinations as planned and with similar weather forecast for tomorrow afternoon, tomorrow’s FP3 session could be the best opportunity for riders to try some different slick options. The tyres appear to be working well for everyone here at Brno as we have riders from each manufacturer within a few tenths of each other, and I hope to see this close competition continue through to qualifying and the race.”
Marquez fastest on rain affected day one at Brno
Yamaha: Rain disrupts Free Practice as Brno begins