The views of the day
With Loris Capirossi booking his place on pole and Valentino Rossi languishing on the third row of the grid, there were plenty of talking points from today's qualifying session. Here are the views of the day's main protagonists, heading into tomorrow's season-opening race:
Loris Capirossi pole position, 1' 39.064s
"What a fun day, I could ride the way I like to ride. The bike was sideways as usual, but everything was under control! I was going for a 1.38 on my last lap but I just missed it. So far this has been a very positive weekend, following on from the great tests we did here two weeks ago. We haven't seen Ducati first and second in qualifying since 2003 and I think we should also be able to make a great race too.
Sete Gibernau-2th. , 1' 39.285s
"I'm keeping my feet on the ground. Like I keep saying, I'm in the middle of a learning process with the bike, the team, the tyres, everything. My goal today was to be on the first or the second row, but everyone's done such a great job. Tomorrow will be a learning race for me, my aim is to get away with the leading group and try to be with them all the way to the end of the race. I hope I can do it.
Shinya Nakano: 3rd - 1'39.526
Qualifying on the front row was one of our targets for this year, but to do it at the first race is fantastic. We knew that Kawasaki and Bridgestone had made a big step forward during winter testing, but you're never sure exactly how competitive you're going to be until you get to the first race. I think this result confirms that our feeling during pre-season testing was correct.