Bradl Leads Tight Opening Day At Brno


Stefan Bradl ended a day of Jorge Lorenzo dominance by edging ahead of the world champion in the closing stages of Friday practice at Brno. The German pipped Lorenzo by four hundredths of a second on a day when the top six riders were covered by just three tenths of a second.

After a disappointing weekend at Indianapolis, Bradl is eager to bounce back in the Czech Republic and although he was the quickest man on Friday, Stefan is still looking for improvements ahead of qualifying.

“We can be happy with this first place but I want to keep my feet on the ground. It looks good on the paper but I am still not 100% happy with the bike setting and this is the reason why we have struggled in the first free session this morning. We need to work on the front part of the bike as we do not absorb the bumps as good as I want. I think we have more potential than this but we need to be more consistent tomorrow because the other guys will push to qualify in the front”.

Even though he was knocked off top spot late on, Lorenzo was unconcerned given his experimental approach to the session and remains confident of taking the fight to Honda here.

“I started in a very good way in the morning and also in the beginning of the second practice. Then we started to try some things on the bike that weren’t as good as we expected. We spent all the practice trying things so I wasn’t very fast at the end of the session. Anyway, the positive thing is tomorrow we have a clear direction so we can go more quickly to a better lap time. We can improve tomorrow on braking, and the smoothness of the bike at the beginning of the corner.”

Dani Pedrosa was third fastest on the circuit that saw his epic duel with Lorenzo last year while Valentino Rossi beat championship leader Marc Marquez to fourth. Cal Crutchlow was sixth and searching for grip but teammate Bradley Smith was encouraged with seventh ahead of Alvaro Bautista. The factory Ducati riders remain inseparable although there was no repeat of their Indianapolis contretemps. Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden currently occupy the last two automatic spots in Q2 and will look to defend them in Saturday morning’s session.

 

 bwin Grand Prix Ceske Republiky – Combined Practice Classification (Top Ten Automatically Qualify For Q2)
Pos Rider Bike Team Best Time
1  Stefan Bradl Honda LCR Honda MotoGP 1:56.500
2  Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Yamaha Factory Racing 1:56.538
3  Dani Pedrosa Honda Repsol Honda Team 1:56.600
4  Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha Factory Racing 1:56.726
5  Marc Marquez Honda Repsol Honda Team 1:56.733
6  Cal Crutchlow Yamaha Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:56.800
7  Bradley Smith Yamaha Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:57.351
8  Alvaro Bautista Honda GO&FUN Honda Gresini 1:57.401
9  Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati Team 1:57.754
10  Nicky Hayden Ducati Ducati Team 1:57.896
11  Andrea Iannone Ducati Energy T.I. Pramac Racing 1:58.039
12  Aleix Espargaro ART Power Electronics Aspar 1:58.217
13  Michele Pirro Ducati Ignite Pramac Racing 1:58.958
14  Hiroshi Aoyama FTR Avintia Blusens 1:59.178
15  Hector Barbera FTR Avintia Blusens 1:59.235
16  Claudio Corti FTR Kawasaki NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1:59.288
17  Colin Edwards FTR Kawasaki NGM Mobile Forward Racing 1:59.390
18  Yonny Hernandez ART Paul Bird Motorsport 1:59.539
19  Danilo Petrucci Ioda Suter Came IodaRacing Project 1:59.719
20  Randy de Puniet ART Power Electronics Aspar 1:59.799
21  Michael Laverty PBM Paul Bird Motorsport 2:00.338
22  Karel Abraham ART Cardion AB Motoracing 2:00.413
23  Martin Bauer S&B Suter Remus Racing Team 2:00.730
24  Lukas Pesek FTR Came Ioda Racing Project 2:01.549
25  Bryan Staring FTR Honda GO&FUN Honda Gresini 2:01.746