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Reactions of MotoGP riders after the qualifying practice

Reactions of MotoGP riders after the qualifying practice

Reactions of MotoGP riders after the qualifying practice

Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 1st: "This track wasn't so good for me last year so this pole position is very important," said Rossi. "We suffered a little bit in the practice but we did a great job in the hour we had this afternoon. The weather was good, the track surface was good and we were able to take advantage of every available second, working a lot on the tyres and the suspension. The race configuration is not bad. I put in a qualifying tyre and I wasn't at 100% on the first lap, but the second lap was perfect and the grip was excellent."

Colin Edwards (Gauloises Yamaha Team) 2nd: "At last our hard work in the preseason and over the first three races is paying off! We pulled the bikes off the truck on Friday morning and basically they worked straight away. One of them had a simple base set-up and we dialled a few things into the other one that we thought would work here, and they turned out to be perfect. My race pace was really good and Michelin had the idea of putting a slightly softer tyre on before switching to the qualifiers, which really helped. The whole team have worked tremendously hard so far this season so this is a welcome boost. The first corner should be a bit gnarly but I'm feeling confident and, as I said yesterday, I'm ready to race whatever the weather."

Marco Melandri (Movistar Honda MotoGP) 3rd: "I wasn't expecting to do a lap time like this, after having started the weekend with a few problems. Today we were worried about the weather in the qualifying session and for that reason we put the qualifying tyres on early, which allowed me to set a 1'34"31. From there on we improved my race pace and I set my fastest lap at the end without taking too many risks. Tomorrow they're predicting rain but I hope they're wrong because it's going to be a tough race."

Sete Gibernau (Movistar Honda MotoGP) 4th: "In the end I was able to put a good lap together and qualify fourth, but we're suffering more than we should be. Luckily I'm in good physical shape at the moment and I was able to overcome the set-up problems with my riding, but we've got a long evening ahead of us analysing all the data with the team. Our race pace is slower than yesterday and we'll have to have a look why. The 20 minute warm-up session will be vital to prepare for the race. We're having a few problems with rear wheel traction."

Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki Racing Team) 6th: "I was aiming for the second row, so sixth position is right where I wanted to be for the race. I went faster on each qualifying run and tried for pole, it was very close. I did some race tyre runs early in the session, and it appears we have two options for the race if it is dry, and the Bridgestone wets have performed very impressively. I have good chassis balance in both the wet and the dry, especially for turn-in for all the slow corners, so we are ready for the race."

Carlos Checa (Ducati Marlboro Team) 9th: "I feel quite confident on the bike," said Checa. "We came here with a slightly different base chassis configuration from what we ran at the first three races because we wanted to make the bike turn into corners more quickly. The bike does seem a bit better into slow corners, though it'll be good to confirm that when we test here on Monday and Tuesday. My race pace was fine and I would have been faster on my final qualifying run if I hadn't come across another rider going slow through one of the chicanes on my second lap. We're making progress, and I'm looking forward for tomorrow."

Loris Capirossi (Ducati Marlboro Team) 10th: "Even if my grid position isn't the best, the bike and the tyres are working okay," he said. "On my final qualifying run I was on a really good lap but I ran wide through the last turn and then gave it too much throttle, which lost me time. That's the kind of thing that can happen when you're going for one very fast lap. Before that I did a ten-lap endurance run, maintaining a very good rhythm. I'm really happy with how the bike's behaving, both in the wet and the dry. For sure, a fourth-row start won't help, so what I really need is a good start, because if I can get away with the leading pack, I think I can maintain a good pace."

Olivier Jacque (Kawasaki Racing Team) 13th: "I was much more comfortable in the dry conditions this afternoon compared to yesterday, although I'm still struggling a little in the final sector of the lap. Yesterday I was hoping for rain, but now I'm really enjoying the ZX-RR in the dry, so I hope it is sunny for the race. The bike feels more balanced following adjustments to the engine brake system. I'm not paying attention to the hype, I'm just concentrating on the race."


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