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Key participants comment on Jerez qualifying

Key participants comment on Jerez qualifying

After taking part in one of the closest ever qualifying sessions in MotoGP history the key protagonists at the Gran Premio de España gave their views on the Saturday's activities in Jerez.

After taking part in one of the closest ever qualifying sessions in MotoGP history the key protagonists at the Gran Premio de España gave their views on the Saturday's activities in Jerez.

Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team (pole position, 1'39.402)
"I think we did a good job and I'm very happy to have qualified on pole position of course, though the really important thing is to be on the front row – that was our main aim today. The race set-up we have for the bike is quite good and the tyre choice looks ok as well so we'll have to see how their performance continues over the race distance. I don't think there's any extra pressure that comes from being on pole position but the times are very close so a good start will be very important tomorrow. The crowd was amazing today. On the last lap coming into the pits I was more relaxed and I could actually notice how many people there were. It's great for the Spanish riders and the others to have so much support and I think the atmosphere tomorrow will be very special. I hope I can make a great start and fight for the win."

Valentino Rossi Fiat Yamaha Team (2nd, 1'39.453)
"It's been an up and down weekend for us so it's good that we've achieved our number one goal of getting onto the front row. It's going to be very important for tomorrow's race I think. It was a good qualifying session and my lap was quite good, but we know it's possible to be a lot quicker because last month at the test I was more than one second faster! We knew it would be difficult to match the 1'38.394 I did then however, because then we had four qualifying tyres and with the new tyre restrictions now we only have two. With the race tyre we were struggling quite a bit yesterday and this morning it was even worse, so we were a bit worried, but we looked at the situation together with Michelin and found a good solution and this afternoon we were in much better shape."

Carlos Checa Honda LCR (3rd, 1'39.460)
"This front row is a very good feeling, especially for my home race. Predictions are difficult but if the weather and track are the same for the race as in practice, then we have a very good set-up, and a chance to fight for the podium. The LCR team has done a great job, especially to give me more confidence with the front-end. And until today I have struggled with a lot of chatter on the soft rear qualifying tyre but, with the support of Michelin, we have made a lot of progress in this area."

Colin Edwards Fiat Yamaha Team (4th, 1'39.486)
"I'm pretty annoyed to have missed out on the front row by so little! I didn't have quite enough speed into turn one with my last qualifying tyre and so lost a little bit of time in the first section and that proved to be the difference that mattered. Anyway, you live and learn. We were a bit worried last night but my team turned the bike upside down overnight and it felt much better this morning. Then this afternoon we used the tyre we're planning to use for the race and things improved again, so I'm feeling quite happy about my race pace now. I want to say thank you again to my team for working so hard last night to come up with a good setting - they did a great job."

Casey Stoner Ducati Marlboro Team (5th, 1'39.524)
"This morning we were struggling with a few set-up problems, we seemed to go backward with the turning and the grip. So we looked over everything, saw what we needed and came up with a good package before the afternoon session. We hadn't been able to find a good feeling with the second bike, so we swapped the forks out of the first bike and that seemed to solve the problem. Straight away I felt comfortable, we made a couple more changes during the session and our race pace is looking very good. I'm not sure if the problem was in my head or in the forks! I don't know which bike we'll race, both have performed pretty well. We found out what race tyre we wanted in the last session and if it's around this temperature tomorrow we're going to be pretty happy."

Nicky Hayden Repsol Honda Team (11th, 1'39.834)
"We've made some improvements with the bike today and the feeling is pretty good. I wasn't totally satisfied with my qualifying laps and of course I'm definitely a little disappointed with my grid position – 0.4s doesn't sound like a long way off but right now in this league at this track it's a lot. It's frustrating to be this far back especially knowing how tight it could be on the first lap – you've got to be smart in turn one, but you can't go in there tip-toeing either. Nonetheless I'll be trying to get an awesome start and ride hard for 27 laps and try to move forward. I'm due a good start so I'll be banking on that tomorrow."


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