Riders' reactions after the first day
Valentino Rossi, Gauloises Yamaha – 1st, 1'58.714
"For sure myself and the whole team are more relaxed now that we have won the World Championship. We have had a lot of problems for the past two races - it has been difficult and we have not found a good setting for the bike, but here in the afternoon we found the right set-up. Now we have returned to the level we were at two or three races ago, I have a better feeling for the front and rear of the bike. The track conditions are better than they were last season – they're still not 100% but compared to the first practice last year there is much more grip. As long as there is no wind or rain overnight it should improve a lot more by Saturday."
Toni Elias, Fortuna Yamaha - 2nd, 1'58.860
"After Japan I was not happy at all and in Malaysia we did a good job as we decided to try something new. The radical change really helped and so we have carried it on here. I am surprised, but I think we could have done it before. I can't ask for more. MotoGP is a difficult class and things change a lot from one circuit to the next, but I am hoping to continue like this. When you begin to ride well you enjoy yourself, things become easier. Other seasons a similar thing has happened with the chassis set-up for whatever reason. When you find a good centre of gravity - that is when you go fast. Second today does not guarantee me anything, I will keep working hard."
Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda - 3rd, 1'59.044
"This morning we came out really strong. I've been needing to do that over the last couple of weeks. If you get behind early here you're playing catch-up all weekend. I quite like the track here. The layout is really good. It's got some fun, fast corners. It also reminds me of my dirt track days when you just have to ride in the grooves. Just stay on the line and not slip off! It was real windy out there this afternoon and made it hard to stay on line. Our speed is down a bit but we can work on that. We've made good progress today - I'm definitely happier than I have been for some time on the first day – we just need to keep improving things tomorrow."
Loris Capirossi, Ducati Marlboro - 4th, 1'59.152
"Things are going well. The track is much better now than it was at this stage last year, it's already in pretty good shape. We've tried quite a few tyres today and it seems Bridgestone has made a big step forward with its front tyres, compared to when we tested here. The new fronts are better into the corners and through the corners."