STONER SCORES SECOND POLE ABOARD HIS DUCATI, CAPIROSSI IMPROVES AT THE RING
Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner scorched to his second pole position of the year at a hot and sunny Sachsenring this afternoon, completing his domination of both days of practice and qualifying. This is the first time that the World Championship leader has led all four sessions at a MotoGP event. Team-mate Loris Capirossi also had reason to smile, taking seventh place to lead the third row, just 0.231 seconds off pole.
Before qualifying, Stoner and Capirossi had already showed their race potential by running first and second quickest in the first three 'free' practice sessions, proving once again that the Desmosedici GP7 is just at home on tight, tortuous circuits as it is on fast, open tracks. And before most riders switched to qualifying tyres in the closing stage of the qualifying session, there were four GP7s in the top eight. Stoner would have gone even quicker this afternoon had he not run onto the kerb at turn ten during his second run on qualifying tyres. Capirossi's improving pace this weekend - using a revised engine spec for the first time - promises well for the Italian veteran after a couple of tough races.
CASEY STONER, pole position, 1m 22.384s
"The bike's worked out of the box this weekend, we haven't really improved the lap times that much from the first session, just by a few tenths. Everybody else has pretty much been playing catch up. I did my quickest time on my first qualifying tyre, which isn't normally the case, I normally go a lot faster on my second qualifier. I made a big mistake with my second, coming over the top of the hill, I ran wide onto the outside kerb on the entrance to the corner. I brought it back on track and we still only ended up a tenth slower than my best lap and it was a big, big mistake. I lost a few tenths, so I could've been a lot faster again. I was a bit disappointed with that mistake but anyway we managed to keep pole and we have been fast in every session. The other guys were chasing a time I wasn't really happy with and they still didn't manage to beat it, so it's looking good. I'm hoping it's a similar situation to Turkey where we were quite a lot faster than the others on race pace. Like most weekends we're pretty happy before we go into the race, so we'll just see what happens. We may not be able to win it but I know we're going to be able to fight for a podium. It's very, very hot and I've heard it's going to be hotter tomorrow, so fitness and tyres are going to come into it at the end."
LORIS CAPIROSSI, 7th fastest, 1m 22.615s
"I'm just a little bit more than two tenths off pole, so we are all really very close. Anyway, I'm very happy with my race pace which is quite good even though I didn't use my favourite tyre, because I've got to save that one for the race. I used a different tyre, which I like a bit less, and I was still able to do a 23.2, so things aren't so bad. Our qualifying tyres are also not so bad, just a fraction too hard so that during your first flying lap you aren't able to go 100 per cent, and then the tyre lasts only another half lap. But the most important thing is that I did two good sessions today. I always rode alone, adjusting the set-up with my team step by step and lapping at a pace that was close to the fastest guys. Starting from seventh on the grid is also not so bad, so I'm really confident I can have a good race".