Dovizioso on record pace at Aragon practice
Under sunny Spanish skies, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso lapped under the current Aragon Circuit Record Lap in this afternoon’s Free Practice 2 session to lead proceedings on the opening day at the Aragon Grand Prix.
As the session drew to a close, Dovizioso set a scorching lap time of 1’48.285 to finish the day 0.043 seconds quicker than Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez, who was in second place on the timesheets today. Third quickest was Dani Pedrosa on the other Repsol Honda RC213V, with a personal best lap time of 1’48.734. The three quickest riders on the first day of practice at Aragon set their best times using different tire combinations. Dovizioso was quickest using the medium compound front slick paired with the soft compound rear slick, which is only available to the Ducati and Open-class riders at Aragon. Marquez’s best performance came while using the medium compound slicks front and rear, while Pedrosa’s best lap time was set on the combination of the medium compound front and the hard compound rear slick.
Although conditions today were fine and sunny, the day started with the coldest temperatures yet recorded for a MotoGP session this year, as the track temperature at the start of Free Practice 1 was just 15°C. In the afternoon FP2 session, the track temperature peaked at 38°C which enabled riders to set an incredibly quick pace at the Aragon circuit. The almost perfect track conditions in the afternoon resulted in many riders trying a wide range of tire combinations, with both the soft and medium front slicks yielding positive results. For the rear tire, all three asymmetric slick options; the soft, medium and hard compounds also received praise from the riders with all of these specifications to be further tested tomorrow. With such strong performance achieved by riders on all the tires in the Aragon allocation, further evaluation is required tomorrow before riders can home-in on their preferred race tire combination.
Similar weather conditions are forecast for tomorrow with the next MotoGP session, FP3, starting at 0955 local time (GMT +2).
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport tire Development Department
“This morning was extremely cool and so I was pleased to see that the enhanced warm-up performance of our 2014 tire allocation for Aragon resulted in the session being completed in a safe manner for all the riders. Aragon is a technical circuit, so it’s important that the riders were able to fully trust their tires in what were the coldest conditions we have seen so far this year. With the warmer temperatures in the afternoon, the pace was much quicker and the riders were able to evaluate many different slick tire combinations, yet at this stage it is difficult to say which tire combinations will be used for the race on Sunday. Compared to last year the pace on the first day is over half a second quicker, so it is quite likely that we will see a new Circuit Best Lap set in qualifying tomorrow.”