2021 MotoGP Round Four – Jerez
Gran Premio Red Bull de España
MotoGP Friday Quotes
Francesco Bagnaia – P1
“Jerez is a track that I like and that suits my riding style with the Desmosedici GP. Last year I was fast, but this year I’ve definitely taken a step forward. This morning, even though I was struggling at the beginning with the low temperatures, after a few adjustments, I was able to regain feeling with my bike and set the fourth fastest time. In the afternoon, we worked on the race pace, first with the hard tyre and then with a used medium tyre, with which I was able to put in a good lap time. In the final minutes of FP2, I finally tried the time attack. I’m pleased with the way we’ve worked so far and confident for tomorrow’s qualifying”.
Fabio Quartararo – P2
“First of all, I’m feeling good on the bike, that’s important. We have great pace, but we are struggling with used tyres, which is strange. Last year, when the conditions were much hotter, I felt zero drop on the rear tyre. Today, I felt quite a big drop in the morning and the afternoon, so we need to check what’s happening. We already have a clear idea of what to try tomorrow, and I think it’s going to work. I’m feeling great and have great confidence with the bike.”
Aleix Espargaro – P3
“It’s only Friday, but being fast right from the first lap is important. Especially looking at the pace in race configuration, I think I was one of the more competitive riders. Tomorrow I expect the track conditions to change and that could shake things up for everyone. In any case, there is no doubt as to our speed, even if I was unable to improve a lot in the time attack on the soft tyre. On a track like this one, overtaking is no simple thing, so our goal for tomorrow will have to be the first three rows at the very least.”
Franco Morbidelli – P4
“This track seems to suit our bike, it worked very well here throughout today and I’ve had a really good feeling with it as well. There were some areas I identified this morning that I thought could be worked on and we were able to improve them this afternoon. The pace is good, we just need to see what it will be like on a hot lap, but we have a good base to move forward from. I’m quite happy that we were able to get into the all-important top-ten for tomorrow, as we were focusing on the race pace. We need to keep on working and trying to adjust to improve those things that we are lacking, but we have started off very well today.”
Maverick Vinales – P5
“I don‘t know about my chances in the race yet, we will have to see on Sunday. It‘s very important to understand the level of the bike. We have tried some important things on track. I think it‘s good and that we have quite a fast consistent rhythm, and we can also be fast on one lap. Today, I didn‘t have an amazing feeling on the bike, but anyway we were there, in the top 5. It was quite a solid day. Basically, we feel good, and I think tomorrow we can make a good step forward.”
Takaaki Nakagami – P6
“It was a good day for us and a good start to the Spanish GP. Overall, P6 is a good result and I’m happy with my feeling on the bike. In all the sessions I was able to be consistent, which was good to see. Each outing was really positive, but we definitely need to go another few tenths faster in FP3 to improve. Hopefully we can make a 36, even a high one, to stay in the top 10, this is our first priority for tomorrow morning.”
Alex Rins – P8
“It was a good day and I finished up in eighth, although I expected that I would be closer to my rivals when I put the soft tyre in, and able to set a slightly faster lap. But I’m ready to push again tomorrow. This morning in FP1 I was struggling a bit with the bike, but we fixed the issue and I felt good after that. I think tomorrow will be very close, and even FP3 will be like a qualifying session!”
Johann Zarco – P9
“I am happy with today, the team and I worked very well together, and we focused on the set-up to improve the feeling with the bike as much as possible. It will be very important to set a good lap-time tomorrow and remain within the top ten.”
Stefan Bradl – P11
“Today has been good and I am happy with how we went, especially in FP2. The track was in a good condition and we were able to compare some components and work on improving the setup of the Honda. Like always, the times are super tight so we need to work on a good strategy and setting for the hot lap. Over the longer runs, we are looking good but right now the focus is going fast on Saturday.”
Jack Miller – P12
“All in all, it’s been a positive first day: I’ve worked a lot on my feeling with the Desmosedici GP, trying to find the right pace for the race, lap by lap. Unfortunately, in the time attack this afternoon, I made a small mistake in the last sector. We’re not far off, and now we’ll work to try to improve even further tomorrow”.
Joan Mir – P13
“We had some trouble at the start of the day with the electronics on the bike, and I lost a bit of time, so I ended up doing a lot of laps on the medium tyre and I didn’t really get the chance to do a time attack with a soft tyre. But even on the used tyre my feeling was quite good and I’m happy about that. Bike problems are all part of the game, and we solved it quickly, so I’m ready for tomorrow.”
Pol Espargaro – P14
“At the end of the day we couldn’t take the most profit from the new tyre, so our position is a little lower than it could have been. But we have been working a lot to understand the limits of the bike and where we can push. We already feel better with the bike than we did in Portimao and I think we can achieve something interesting on Saturday. The goal is Q2 but our race pace is not looking too bad. It’s good to be at such a familiar track with more consistent conditions.”
Luca Marini – P15
“The Jerez track with MotoGP is really tough: all the turns are so close practically you can’t breathe. However, it is always a beautiful track. I am happy with the work done today, so many positive feelings. We have continued to work on the position on the bike and made a good step forward. Also, on the set up we changed something compared to Qatar and Portimao, we can still do a little bit on the rear to be perfect, but I’m happy. On the tire choice, we need to understand exactly what to do with the front for the qualifying and then decide between medium or hard on the rear for the race even if at the moment I’m not able to completely exclude the soft. After the first day of free practices, I am a second of gap from Pecco (Bagnaia) and for the first time here it is not bad at all”.
Marc Marquez – P16
“The approach of the weekend is a bit different to Portimao, our aim is to keep our physical condition more constant throughout the weekend, so we weren’t pushing as much today. Tomorrow is the time to push and overall, I feel quite good on the bike, I’m happy with where we are at this moment. There’s still some work to do on the physical side of things, my position on the bike is still not perfect but we are able to push when we need to. We keep working on everything and improving step by step.”
Danilo Petrucci – P17
“We tried some different things today, but more or less, we still have a good pace on race tyres, but with the new soft tyre, I can’t really improve. Our task for now is, that we need to find out why. In general, I like the bike, but I can’t go faster with the soft tyre, which is quite an issue for the start and everything, so we definitively have to focus on this tomorrow.”
Enea Bastianini – P18
“I’m not very happy, I expected a better result. This morning I was at a good pace and in the afternoon workouts we got worse. Tomorrow I need to take one more step to be better. My strong point is braking, but I don’t feel confident with the back side. Jerez is a track that won’t let your guard down, I hope to keep progressing and growing up tomorrow.”
Lorenzo Savadori – P19
“Today was a good day, despite the fact that I wasn’t able to make a difference on the soft tyre. These are things that are part of my growing process in this category. The positive thing is that we figured out where we need to make changes to improve more, so we’ll try already tomorrow.”
Álex Márquez – P20
“It was not the best day for us, obviously. We didn’t get at any moment the feeling on the bike to push, so there are a lot of things to improve tomorrow. We tried two different bikes today and this probably confused me a bit. Tomorrow, we need to be more clear in what we do, but first of all, I’m the person who needs to improve my riding style, so from the morning I will try to improve to be closer. I hope tomorrow we’ll make a big step and be closer to the front guys to make a good qualifying.”
Valentino Rossi – P21
“In the past Jerez has always been a good track for me and I have some great memories from here. Unfortunately today was very difficult and I was suffering with rear grip issues, especially with the soft tyre. The warmer track conditions in the afternoon helped to give us a bit more grip and we were a bit better as a result. I do think our race pace is better than our one lap pace though, as it was the soft tyre that we struggled with more. I would have been a few positions higher, but I touched the green on my final lap and so they cancelled it. We’ve tried to work on the setting today to improve things but the feeling was still similar. It’s important to be within the top-ten in FP3, so we will try some more things tomorrow and try to be better. Usually the track improves day-by-day so we will see what happens.”
Iker Lecuona – P22
“Honestly, I’m quite happy about today, as I could regain a bit of confidence with the bike while riding on my own. I was pretty consistent and tried to relax more on the bike, plus working a lot with the team. Lap by lap, I improved. On the time attack, I was alone. For sure, we still need to work a lot, but this weekend I already feel way better and I have the feeling we will arrive a lot closer to the top.”
Tito Rabat – P23
“I am very happy to have had the opportunity to come back to MotoGP and ride on an official bike. This morning I felt good, and we worked to try and gain as much confidence as possible with the bike. I made a mistake in FP2 and I crashed but nonetheless, I am happy because I improved on my FP1 lap-time.”
MotoGP Friday Report
After Day 1 of the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, it’s an increasingly familiar name on top: Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team). After some explosive flashes of speed so far this season and last year at Jerez – a track not known for best suiting Borgo Panigale machinery of late – the Italian was top of the pile once again to deny double 2020 Jerez winner Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) by 0.168. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completes the top three as the Noale factory continue to impress with the nearly all-new RS-GP.
In FP1, it was Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) quickest out the blocks as the South African pulled out nearly two tenths on Aleix Espargaro to go fastest, with KTM showing a step forward early on at the venue and Aprilia retaining impressive pace. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was third in FP1, ahead of Bagnaia and Quartararo, with five factories in the top five and 17 riders split by just eight tenths of a second as action began.
FP2 saw more pulling the pin for a time attack, however, with FP3 expected to be dry but nevertheless many pushing early to at least end the day in the provisional top ten. That saw Bagnaia blast to the top late on as the Italian cut chunks off the previous best, once again showcasing his impressive step forward this season as his riding style continues to shine. Quartararo tried to reply but the Frenchman was forced to settle for second, on Friday at least.
Aleix Espargaro’s speed leaves him beaming and expecting to carry it into Saturday too, although it got a lot closer from third down. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) slots into fourth as the Italian retains his Portuguese momentum, half a tenth off the Aprilia ahead, with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) completing the top five.
Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) was reportedly spotted on the 2020 chassis without the carbon fibre insert and took a big step forward as he ended the day in sixth and not just by virtue of a single push. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) turned the tables on teammate Binder to take P7 overall on Friday too, with Binder nevertheless still within that top ten and provisional Q2 graduation zone as the South African slipped into P10 late on, denying HRC wildcard and test rider Stefan Bradl.
Between the two KTMs, Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was eighth and Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) ninth, with that leaving a few key names outside that top ten…
The first is Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar). The reigning Champion ends Friday in P13, right behind Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) as both look for more, although Mir has so far taken more MotoGP podiums from outside the front two rows of the grid than from on them. Marc Marquez, meanwhile, ends the day in P16 but seemingly didn’t push for a fast lap, leaving everyone guessing on what he’ll have in store for qualifying… especially when it’s a single lap for glory and less a question of stamina for the recovering Spaniard. Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT) finds himself down in P21, looking for much more as his struggles continue despite being the venue where he took his most recent podium.
MotoGP Friday Combined Times
Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) left it late on Day 1 at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, but the Brit’s last lunge in FP2 sees him end Friday on top of the combined timesheets by just over a tenth and a half ahead of Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo). Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) leapt up the timesheets in FP2 to complete the top three, denying Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) by hundredths.
FP1 saw Gardner rule the roost and the Australian was back on top in FP2 until that last lunge from Lowes, showing consistency across both sessions once again – and it’s actually Gardner’s marginally quicker FP1 time that was his best, although his FP2 lap would also have put him P2. Dixon’s FP2 push, meanwhile, made it two Brits who moved up as crunch time for the crucial Q2 provisional places hit, moving from outside the top 20 to sit second in the session and then third as Lowes took over at the top.
Bezzecchi is another whose FP1 lap was quicker, the Italian’s by a few tenths to put him fourth overall on the combined timesheets but just 0.012 behind Dixon. Roberts completes the top five by another tiny margin as the American’s FP2 best was just 0.016 off Bezzecchi’s fastest from FP1.
Portugal winner Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is within a tenth to take P6, beginning a run of riders whose best efforts were set in FP1. The rookie sensation just pipped veteran Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) by an infinitesimal 0.008, Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Fabio Di Giannantonio is even closer in P8 and only 0.006 back, with Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) 0.030 in arrears in ninth. All four were faster in FP1, with Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) completing the top ten and the next rider with a fastest lap from FP2. The Italian also has a Long Lap Penalty to serve in the race for causing a crash last time out on the Algarve.
Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) and Stefano Manzi (Flexbox HP 40) complete the fastest 14 so far, currently set to move through to Q2.
Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team), rookie teammate and reigning Moto3 World Champion Albert Arenas, and Flexbox HP 40’s Hector Garzo are next on the timesheets, currently all set to miss the cut by just hundredths. Canet and Garzo also crashed, as did Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46), Cameron Beaubier (American Racing), Tom Lüthi (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) and Tommaso Marcon (MV Agusta Forward Racing), riders all ok.
Moto2 Friday Combined Times
|8||F.Di Giannanto Ita||KALEX||+0.409|
|20||L.Baldassarri Ita||MV AGUSTA||+1.018|
|24||L.Dalla Porta Ita||KALEX||+1.219|
Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) was once again the fastest rider on Friday as the Gran Premio Red Bull de España got in gear at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto, the Argentinean ending the day 0.256 clear of 2019 Spanish GP winner Niccolo Antonelli (Reale Avintia Moto3) on the combined timesheets. It was another tenth a half back to another former Jerez winner in the form of Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) in third too, with Rodrigo once again showing some serious speed on Day 1.
Friday at Jerez was cooler than the usual for the time of year but it remained largely sunny with a few clouds, and it very much remained a serious step down in temperature compared to the 2020 events. This time around, most therefore improved in the afternoon and FP2 saw a good few late lunges up the timesheets, including for Fenati as he took third in the combined standings late on. The top two remained the same in FP1 and FP2 however, with Antonelli topping FP1 from Rodrigo and the Argentinean reversing the order in the afternoon and overall.
A few riders who would go on the end the day within the provisional Q2 graduation zone also showed their first flashes of speed in FP1, with Jason Dupasquier (CarXpert PrüstelGP) starting the day in P3 and ending it fourth overall by the close of FP2. His teammate Ryusei Yamanaka likewise impressed, ending the day in sixth. Splitting the two CarXpert PrüstelGP riders was Championship challenger Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing), who ends Friday in fifth overall despite an FP2 crash, rider ok.
Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) showed more consistent speed as he ends Friday in seventh, ahead of Championship leader Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in P8. Both Acosta and teammate Jaume Masia improved in the latter part of FP2 to take provisional places in Q2 and put in some laps together during the session, with the number 5 completing the top ten as Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) managed to split the two Ajo machines to take ninth.
Currently on to join them in Q2 are Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) as he gained nearly two and a half seconds in FP2, Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) by virtue of his best lap from FP1, Filip Salaç (Rivacold Snipers Team) and Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3). Alcoba in P14 has the exact same laptime as the rider currently set to miss the cut – Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) – as both set a 1:46.000. The Spaniard, with his second best effort, just makes it through and the Japanese rider is left to rue an FP2 crash.
Suzuki will be one contender looking to hit back in FP3, as will the rider he just beat to the Andalucia GP win last year: John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing). The Scotsman and ended the day in P17 and will want to make his mark on Saturday to move straight through to Q2.
Moto3 Friday Combined Times
It was a familiar scene in testing and as Round 1 of the 2021 FIM Enel MotoE World Cup began at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, the duel at the top of the timesheets remained a shootout between Eric Granado (One Energy Racing) and Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP). This time around the Brazilian had the upper hand by just 0.077, with both putting in their best efforts in FP1. On the combined timesheets it’s Miquel Pons (LCR E-Team) who completes the top three, the impressive rookie pipping 2020 Cup winner Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) to the honour.
Two dry and fairly sunny sessions gave the grid maximum track time on Friday, and Aegerter was first out to make the most of it. He set his fastest lap early on before an uncharacteristic crash from the number 77, but it was fast enough to see him stay second in the session and overall by the end of play. And, most importantly, rider perfectly ok, as was Jasper Iwema (Pons Racing 40) as he proved the second faller in the morning. The Dutchman also crashed in FP2.
Later, FP2 would also see a crash interrupt the session with a Red Flag as Corentin Perolari (Tech 3 E-Racing) took a tumble trying an E-Pole simulation. Rider ok and bike recovered, the grid headed back out to see if anyone could topple Granado’s fastest lap… but the Brazilian retained his grip on the top.
Granado’s FP1 best was two tenths better, however, so the gap overall remains 0.077 back to Aegerter as the two lock out the top on Friday. Pons used FP2 to move up into real contention in third overall, taking top rookie honours four tenths off the top and that despite a late technical glitch at Turn 2.
The time that put 2020 Cup winner Torres in third in FP1 puts him fourth by the end of play, with Xavier Cardelus (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) and Alessandro Zaccone (Octo Pramac MotoE) in P5 and P6 courtesy of their FP2 bests as the gaps tighten up. Matteo Ferrari (Indonesian E-Racing Gresini MotoE) was seventh overall after ending FP1 in fourth, the veteran getting the edge on rookie Fermin Aldeguer (Openbank Aspar Team) by just 0.002.
Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse) was ninth and still within a tenth of the rider ahead in a close pecking order, with Andrea Mantovani (Indonesian E-Racing Gresini MotoE) putting in one of his best showings yet to complete the top ten, the last rider within a second of the Brazilian-Swiss stranglehold on the top.
MotoE Friday Combined Times
2021 Gran Premio Red Bull de España Schedule