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Lorenzo, Hayden and Rossi react to Estoril front row positions

Lorenzo, Hayden and Rossi react to Estoril front row positions

After the qualifying sessions for the bwin Grande Premio de Portugal were cancelled due to the weather and based on the combined practice times, the front row starters gave their reactions to a disrupted day at Estoril.

Relentless rain and high winds at Estoril on Saturday made it another difficult day for the MotoGP World Championship riders, and after careful consideration from Race Direction the decision to cancel qualifying in the afternoon meant the starting grid was decided on the combined times of the practice sessions.

Thanks to his best effort of 1’48.522 in the second session on Friday afternoon Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo gained his seventh pole position of the season, the 42nd of his World Championship career which equalled Jorge Martínez Aspar’s record as the Spanish rider with the best qualification record.

“It’s just too bad with the wind and the water on the track, so I think it better to cancel the session,” said the 2010 MotoGP World Champion. “It’s good for us because we have our seventh pole of the season! It may be one of the easiest, but I’m very happy and we’ll see what the weather offers us tomorrow.”

At just 0.135s off Lorenzo, Ducati rider Nicky Hayden will start from the front row for the third time this season, and the American acknowledged the decision to cancel the session was the correct one given the treacherous conditions.

“As riders of course we want to be out there but it’s too windy and people would just get hurt. They’ve made the right decision to call it off and we’re on the front row so we’ll take it!” he said, before allaying any concerns about not having had enough time to sound out the track.

“We’re all professionals and have been riding these bikes for years, so we have some information on this track. It would be a gamble if it is dry tomorrow but even if it is wet we have practiced in it. We will see what weather we get tomorrow and line up and try to work!”

Valentino Rossi will complete the front row after taking his factory M1 round in the third fastest time in the practice sessions, 0.361s off Lorenzo’s marker, and the Italian was in confident mood that he can put in a good race on Sunday.

“It’s clearly the right decision because it’s impossible to ride in these conditions, there’s too much water on the track,” he started. “It’s a shame of course because it would have been good to have another go on the wet track and go for pole, but I am happy to be on the front row and I have a good pace and balance on the bike. I hope for better conditions for the race.”

The warm up sessions have been rescheduled to last 30 minutes for each class on Sunday, and Rossi continued: “We will have the warm up, and it may be better if there is rain because everybody has their set-up for this! I have a good wet setting on the bike, we tried a few small things today, and we have good potential in the wet. If it’s dry we will try anyway!”

The MotoGP practice session is due to start at 9.20am local time, with the race scheduled at 1pm local time.

MotoGP, 2010, bwin GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Nicky Hayden

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