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Gibernau: "…Everything will be back to normal soon..."

Gibernau: '…Everything will be back to normal soon...'

Gibernau: "…Everything will be back to normal soon..."

Sete Gibernau finished fastest in the qualifying practice of the Taobao.com Grand Prix of China today to put himself in pole position for the history-making race.

Gibernau lapped the enormous Chinese circuit in under two minutes to set a fastest lap of 1´59.710 ahead his team-mate Marco Melandri, who has made excellent progress this weekend, finishing just a tenth of a second behind pole winner Gibernau.

Gibernau´s fastest lap to day knocked almost three seconds of his first qualifying time and it will put five bikes in between him and archrival Valentino Rossi tomorrow.

The Spaniard has had a very turbulent start to the season, which started with the controversial clash with Rossi. The clash was followed by speculation that Gibernau was going to be out of action due a shoulder injury resulting from the clash. His come-back plans for Estoril were thwarted when he crashed out.

Since Estoril the Spaniard has made progress and his pole position tomorrow is the perfect chance for him to close in on Rossi. Speaking after his Shanghai pole win the Spaniard appeared confident that the bad times were over.

"It's good to see that we're competitive at yet another track and particularly here, where we arrived without any previous data to work from. I think it's a difficult circuit but once again we've been at the maximum level.

"In the end we managed to improve the set-up of the bike quite a lot and, without doubt, that is thanks to the hard work being put in by my team, together with Honda and Michelin. We're doing a great job, which hasn't been reflected in the race results yet, but I know that everything will be back to normal soon and we will be rewarded for our efforts."

Gibernau´s team-mate Marco Melandri has appeared transformed this season and had excellent qualifying sessions in China. Not only was he only tenth of a second behind Gibernau, but he was also the only other rider to beat the two-minute mark. By doing so he also gave Team Movistar Honda dominance over the grid with both first and second places.

"I've enjoyed myself at this circuit ever since we rode it for the first time on Friday morning," said the Italian, thrilled with his timing. "It's a really different type of track but we had a good setting straight away and we've just worked to improve on that, eventually setting the second fastest time today, which is fantastic.

"I'm back on the front row and I'm going out to win tomorrow, even though I know it will be difficult because a lot will depend on the weather. It was a good battle with my team-mate Sete at the end of the session."

The Italian finished just off the podium at Estoril and took third place on the podium at Jerez. He is starting to become a consistent presence at the front and seems more likely than ever to be heading for a win.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2005, TAOBAO.COM GRAND PRIX OF CHINA

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