Reactions of the MotoGP riders
Loris Capirossi – 1st – 2'00.757
We are in a much better situation than we were at Barcelona two weeks ago but we still need to work on bike set-up to get more out of the tyres. The front is fine but we're still trying to find a good rear for the race. I did my fastest lap right at the end of the session on my number two bike with a race rear I hadn't used before, so we'll test that tyre for more laps tomorrow. At the moment we're not super-competitive in race trim, but Bridgestone are working so hard that we have a lot of new tyres to try here. I don't like the new part of the track. I preferred the original layout they got rid of a few years ago. It was very fast, you could really make a difference through there.
Valentino Rossi – 2nd - 2'00.840
"In the morning the bike was already good but we made a few modifications in the afternoon and, to be honest, it wasn't quite as good as it had been in the morning and we lost some of the feeling. Anyway, we have a very good base to work from and tomorrow we can try something different. The changes to the track have taken a little bit of the taste away, but they were made for safety reasons, which means they are very important. Despite the changes it is still Assen and it is always a great pleasure to ride here, it's a very special track. Once again the bike is working well right from the start and I think if we can improve the balance and the setting a little more, then we can make a good result in Saturday's race."
Sete Gibernau – 3rd – 2'01.037
"We've started the weekend with difficulties because my Chief Mechanic has been in hospital since this morning and that affected our work programme. In these conditions I'm trying to do all the work myself with the help of the team. The morning session was tough for all of us because we didn't know what state Juan was in and we were hardly able to test anything. In the afternoon we made the time up and found a basic set-up for the bike, without too many changes, and I just ran up the laps to provide as much information as possible. The whole team are making a big effort to lose as little ground as possible."
Alex Barros – 4th – 2'01'053
"This morning the bike felt a bit heavy in the changes of direction but we were able to improve it a bit by the afternoon, working on the forks, on the front tyre and putting on a slightly modified shock absorber. We have picked out a good base setting and tomorrow we have just to fine-tune things and pick the tyre for the race. As regards the track and the modifications they have made, I have to say that I don't like them. I understand that they have been done for safety reasons, but I think they take something away from the track, they break the flowing rhythm. Where once there were a series of fast bends linked in to each other now there's a section just like any other modern track, with hard-braking and hard acceleration: that's why it's not like Assen any more, I preferred what it was like before."