Tenth for Capirossi as injured Bautista misses qualifying Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi will start tomorrow's Czech Republic Grand Prix from the front of the fourth row after qualifying in 10th place, whilst team-mate Alvaro Bautista will start...
Tenth for Capirossi as injured Bautista misses qualifying
Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi will start tomorrow's Czech Republic Grand Prix from the front of the fourth row after qualifying in 10th place, whilst team-mate Alvaro Bautista will start from 17th place after a crash in this morning's practice forced him to miss this afternoon's qualifying session.
Capirossi (1'57.981, 25 laps) continued to improve throughout today's practice and qualifying sessions and is certain that he can be competitive in tomorrow's 22-lap race. He worked with the team to find an electronics package that he was happy with for the 5,403m Brno circuit and is convinced that the progress that has been made throughout the last two days will help him in tomorrow's race.
Bautista missed the qualifying this afternoon because the Spaniard was still in the Brno hospital when the session started. He suffered a 140km/h high-side in this morning's practice session and early indications showed that he might have a severe spinal injury. Bautista was taken straight to the hospital, but further examinations and a CT scan showed no fractures and just some heavy bruising to his back. Bautista will take to the track in tomorrow's warm-up session and if he shows no ill effects he will be able to start from 17th on the grid, due to him posting a time in the practice session better than the qualification maximum from this afternoon.
Today's qualifying was held in dry conditions with track temperatures getting up to 38oC. Dani Pedrosa recorded the fastest time of the day to give him his third pole-position of the season.
Tomorrow's race is the 10th round of the season and both Rizla Suzuki racers will be looking to line-up on the grid as the lights change to go at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT).
"We have worked hard today and although we went back a bit this morning it has been a good day. We did quite a lot of work on the engine management side of things and the team did a good job there. We tried two different settings this morning, but ran with just one this afternoon and it worked quite well. The time is not the best because I feel we could go quicker and I know I can go quicker, so I am optimistic for tomorrow and I am sure we can be competitive if the weather is good."
"Fortunately there is nothing broken, so this is the most important thing and tomorrow I will try and do the race. The crash was because as I entered turn three I lost rear grip and I couldn't do anything about it. I did a big jump in the air and I could do nothing to save it. Tomorrow morning I hope I feel much better and I will try to race because I need to do as many kilometres as I can."
Paul Denning -- Team Manager:
"The best news from the qualifying session didn't even come from the race-track, it was the report back from the hospital that Alvaro's CT scan had shown no broken or damaged vertebrae and apart from severe bruising he's fine and will attempt to race tomorrow. After the bad luck he's had with injuries this year it's nice to have the roll-of-the-dice for once and that he won't be forced to miss the next few races is a big boost.
"Loris has been building steadily over the weekend and I think there is still more to come from him and the bike here at Brno. The front of the fourth row isn't too bad a place to start and I'm sure that irrespective of conditions Loris will be giving it everything tomorrow afternoon."
-source: rizla suzuki