Vermeulen shines in tough qualifying for Rizla Suzuki MotoGP Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer Chris Vermeulen will start from the middle of the third row for tomorrow's Catalonian Grand Prix. Vermeulen (P8, 1'42.365, 28 laps) dug deep right at the...
Vermeulen shines in tough qualifying for Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer Chris Vermeulen will start from the middle of the third row for tomorrow's Catalonian Grand Prix.
Vermeulen (P8, 1'42.365, 28 laps) dug deep right at the end of the session to record his best time and move him four places up the grid in preparation for Sunday's 25-lap race. He had already shown in the early part of the hour that he has the race package to run near the front and will be determined to get a good start tomorrow so he can be right in amongst the action straight away.
Loris Capirossi (P12, 1'42.648, 28 laps) also performed well on his Bridgestone race tyres in the early part of the session, as he made the final improvements to his Suzuki GSV-R in readiness for tomorrow's race. The experienced Italian topped the timesheets early on whilst in race trim, but was unable to translate that performance on the qualifying tyres and will start from the fourth row of the grid.
As track and air temperatures rose this afternoon Casey Stoner on his factory Ducati was the best placed Bridgestone rider, and also on pole position, just ahead of local favourite Dani Pedrosa on his factory Honda.
Tomorrow's race at the 4,727m Circuit de Catalunya is round seven of the 2008 MotoGP World Championship and the action gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).
"Apart from the qualifying position, it's been another good day at the circuit for us today! We learned a lot about the bike and the tyres and I feel like I've got a great package underneath me for the race - the team and Bridgestone have all done a good job to give me that! When it came to qualifiers it was quite a different story to the race tyres, but a similar story to recent weeks. I felt like I got the best out of the qualifying tyres that I could but it still left me back on the third row, which is especially frustrating with the speed we had shown on race tyres. Like always we will need to get a good start, but I believe we've got the pace to run with the front guys, so hopefully I can get up to them early enough and race with them."
"I think we have made big step with the race tyres this afternoon, because we are much quicker than we have been at any other time this weekend, and we are sure that we can keep up a good rhythm in the race. We still need to improve a little bit more and we will be trying another few things in warm-up tomorrow. On the qualifiers we had quite a few problems with grip. The front tyre was a bit too hard and the rear qualifiers made it push a lot and we lost a lot of time because of that. We will need to use the hard tyre for the race so maybe today for qualifying it was too hard. All the team has done a great job to improve the bike and we will have to be on the attack from the start tomorrow -- but we are ready to do that!"
Paul Denning -- Team Manager:
"For our guys it was a really good and a not so good qualifying session all in one go! Loris was the only rider to make a 15-lap run and we learnt a lot about the potential of the bike and the race tyres. Without question that has put him in a much better position for tomorrow's race. Chris also did a long run and was able to make very competitive times. It seems that if luck is on our side and we get similar conditions tomorrow our guys will be able to run with the very best.
"Unfortunately on the qualifiers it didn't work out! Congratulations have to go to Casey for an amazing lap and to Bridgestone for the pole position. Chris was the second highest Bridgestone rider in eighth place, with our competitor's tyre filling the other gaps. Nonetheless, the four positions that Chris made up on his last lap will be really important for the race tomorrow, so we have to say "well done" to him giving it his maximum and making the improvement."