Front row for Lorenzo but Rossi struggles at Aragon Jorge Lorenzo took another front row this afternoon at Aragon, the remarkably consistent Spaniard putting his Fiat Yamaha machine onto the second spot on the grid to continue his record of ...
Front row for Lorenzo but Rossi struggles at Aragon
Jorge Lorenzo took another front row this afternoon at Aragon, the remarkably consistent Spaniard putting his Fiat Yamaha machine onto the second spot on the grid to continue his record of a top-three qualification at each round this season. His team-mate Valentino Rossi had a more difficult day and will start from seventh tomorrow, at the head of the third row.
After a wet day yesterday the rain stayed away and there were even some occasional bright spells at the Spanish circuit, giving the riders some much needed dry track time. Lorenzo was consistently fast throughout the session and was pleased with how he was adapting his riding style to suit the track, which led to better grip and more confidence today. In the closing minutes he was up on the pole position time on several occasions before just missing out each time in the final split, but his final best lap was only three tenths off pole-sitter Casey Stoner and the championship leader is hopeful of being in the mix for tomorrow's race.
Rossi was disappointed to find himself unable to run closer to the front today, finishing this morning's session down in 11th and only making a little headway this afternoon as he struggled to find a competitive package for the track. The 31-year-old was confident he could do a good enough lap with the softer tyre at the end of the session to put him on the second row but a small mistake lost him time and he could only qualify seventh. He and his crew will work hard tonight to try to find a way to improve their pace and the reigning World Champion will use tomorrow's warm-up to make some last minutes adjustments before the race.
Both riders are paying their respects to Shoya Tomizawa at this race; Lorenzo by wearing a replica of the Japanese rider's helmet and Rossi with a specially created sticker on his own helmet.
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 2nd Time: 1'49.251 Laps: 21
"I'm riding well and I am happy about how I have improved my riding style in every practice to better suit this new track. I also understand the track better on every lap so this helps me to be faster. We are losing some time on the straight at the end of the lap so we have to be very strong in all the other parts to try to make up for it. We can't do anything about this so it's important that I know how to ride the rest of the track perfectly. I think tomorrow could be quite an exciting race for us and for the fans and for sure it will be a hard fight for me, but I will do my best as usual to get on the podium."
Valentino Rossi - Position: 7th Time: 1'50.017 Laps: 20
"This morning was a bit of a disaster! This afternoon things were a bit better but we are still not that fast. Unfortunately, with the softer Bridgestone tyre at the end for my fast lap I made a small mistake and lost half a second, otherwise I think I could have been fourth. Now we have to start from the third row and the start of the race will be very important because I have to try to improve my position and stay with the leaders. We have some ideas and we will use the warm-up to try to find a way to improve our pace. It will be a hard and long race but we will do our best."
Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager
"Second position is good as we know it's going to be a very tough race tomorrow. We found a good direction this afternoon; everyone else has improved as well but Jorge felt better this morning than yesterday and improved by over one second. To fight with Dani and Casey tomorrow will be a fun challenge because they look strong and have a good pace, but we will be careful and of course our target is always the podium."
Jeremy Burgess - Crew Chief
"We're struggling a bit here and we didn't improve our pace today as much as we were hoping to. Starting from the third row isn't ideal but we will look at the data tonight, come up with some ideas and use the warm-up tomorrow to check a few things and try to make sure we've got a bit more up our sleeves for the race."