Rossi on Front Row After Second Wet Qualifying Unfortunate weather conditions at Brno today meant final qualifying took place in the wet, despite a dry practice session in the morning. Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi secured a...
Rossi on Front Row After Second Wet Qualifying
Unfortunate weather conditions at Brno today meant final qualifying took place in the wet, despite a dry practice session in the morning. Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi secured a front row start whilst his team-mate Carlos Checa, the overnight pole position holder, took the final spot on the second row, ending his second day of qualifying in sixth position. Checa suffered a fall late in the session and, although unhurt, he could not get back on track in time to make another assault on pole.
A weather-affected final hour started on a damp track, continued with a deluge of rain at the half way point and then slowly dried from then on to the end. Rossi, who made incremental improvements of time and position from the outset, took third place with a time of 2'10.470s. Checa, unable to improve on his Friday best of 2'11.188s, will nonetheless make a valuable second row start tomorrow. Sete Gibernau (Honda) secured pole with a time of 2'09.782 from Alex Barros, (Honda) with a time of 2'10.090.
VALENTINO ROSSI (3rd, 2'10.470s)
"This qualifying result is very important for us. I did not expect it because we had a lot of problems with our Yamaha in wet conditions yesterday. But between then and today we have been able to work on the bike for two hours in completely wet conditions, and we did a great job with the team, so a big thank you to them. The bike is now very much better in these conditions. We are third, in the first row, so this was a surprise for us. I hope tomorrow will be dry because it's better for everybody, but we could have a good result even in wet conditions. We are maybe not yet at the level of Honda and Gibernau, but we are not far away."
CARLOS CHECA (6th, 2'11.188s)
"I was pushing to improve my lap time from yesterday. At the beginning I couldn't get the same traction, but the track was wetter. The traction was getting better and better but unfortunately I crashed and could not finish that lap, which could have been good. I lost the rear on the entrance when I was off the gas and it was impossible to control. I still managed to keep second row. I think if it's wet, we'll do well, I'm not as positive if it's dry. We've got five tyres so far and we've only tested two, so if it's dry in morning warm up we'll have to test two of them."
DAVIDE BRIVIO -- TEAM DIRECTOR
"There was no time to fix Carlos' bike and try again, and because it happened towards the end of the session everyone else was going to improve. He missed the chance but he remains on the second row and we are pleased about Valentino as well. Both riders have shown that we have improved a lot in the wet conditions. To have even one rider on the front row in these conditions shows that the team and the engineers have done a very good job to improve our situation in the wet, which was not so good before. Hopefully we have found a good direction."