Pirelli soft compounds for record laps and pole position in Moto2™ and Moto3™

Manuel Gonzalez in Moto2™ and Jose Antonio Rueda in Moto3™ took pole position in the GP of Portugal, also setting the new all-time lap records for their respective categories

Manuel Gonzalez (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2/Kalex) was the fastest in qualifying for the Moto2™ class with a time of 1’41.514, a new track lap record, and he will be starting from pole position for the Portuguese Grand Prix. Similarly, Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo/KTM) took pole position in Moto3™ with a record lap at a time of 1’46.379.
In both classes, the most popular tyres both at the front and at the rear were the soft tyres, so for Moto2™ the SC0 rear and SC1 front, whereas for Moto3™ it was the SC1 both at the front and at the rear.

The softest compounds were the protagonists
“In these two days, the track underwent a significant evolution and this contributed to the progressive improvement of the lap times, leading up to the new records for both classes, which were further improved on today in qualifying. Riders and teams are gradually getting to know our tyres, adjusting the settings on their bikes to better adapt them to the tyres which, as we already said, are rather different from those they were accustomed to using up until last year. Beyond the extremely fast lap times and good wear which is in line with expectations, the impression we have is that, especially in Moto2, there is still plenty of room for improvement, because the tyres are still not in ideal conditions for use, so their full potential is still not exploited. It will not be an easy job because the frames on these bikes were designed to work with other tyres, but over the course of the season, we will certainly see improvements and, for this purpose, we are already collaborating with the frame manufacturers. In the meantime, the riders have begun to appreciate the differences between the different compounds. For example, since yesterday, many here began working on the soft solutions and then today in qualifying, all the fastest riders had opted precisely for these options. However, we know that the races are a whole different story compared with qualifying, so some may go with different solutions tomorrow.”

· On Friday morning, the track was particularly dirty due to the mix of rain and sand that fell during the night between Thursday and Friday and this led to the cancellation of the Moto3 FP session. Then, as the riders gradually began to lap, the track evolved significantly, allowing them to progressively improve lap times all the way to the qualifiers today.  
· The Moto3™ qualifiers were held with consistent air temperatures of 23°C, whereas asphalt temps oscillated between 32°C at the start of Q1 and 35°C at the end of Q2. Joel Kelso (BOE Motorsports/KTM) was the first rider to break the all-time lap record set by Ayumu SASAKI in 2023. At the end of qualifying, all four of the top riders in the standings (Rueda, Kelso, Alonso, and Holgado in order) dropped below the previous all-time track record with pole man Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo/KTM) who, on his seventh and final lap with a time of 1’46.379, beat it by almost four tenths of a second. To do their respective fast laps, practically all the riders used the SC1 (soft) compound tyre at the rear. Choices for the front, on the other hand, varied. To go through from Q1 to Q2, Ryusei Yamanaka (MT Helmets/MSI) and Nicola Carraro (LEVELUP/MTA) used the SC2, whereas Filippo Farioli (SIC58 Squadra Corse/Honda) and Vicente Perez (Red Bull KTM Ajo/KTM) preferred the SC1. Of the top three riders in the standings, Rueda and Kelso used the soft SC1, whereas Alonso went with the medium SC2. 
· In Moto2™, the top four riders in the standings also made similar tyre choices, using the softest ones available to them: the SC0 rear and the SC1 front, although in Q1, three out of four of the riders who went through to Q2 (Chantra, Angius, and Ogura), used the SC2 at the front. Manuel Gonzalez (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2/Kalex) set the new track lap record on his seventh lap out of eight with a time of 1’41.514, which gave him pole position for the race tomorrow. All four top riders in the standings improved on the track record set by Aron Canet in 2023.