CAPIROSSI STORMS TO SECOND POLE OF 2006
Ducati Marlboro Team rider Loris Capirossi scored his second pole position of the year at Motegi today while team-mate Sete Gibernau improved to a close fifth fastest for a second-row start. The pair set an impressive pace on race tyres and were running first and second until the final moments of this afternoon's qualifying session.
Pole sitter and winner here last year, Capirossi was at his aggressive best on qualifying tyres as he rode the fastest-ever lap of Motegi, bettering his 2005 pole time by 0.639 seconds. This is the Ducati Marlboro Team's first pole since Gibernau topped qualifying at June's Italian GP and Capirossi's first pole since he was quickest at Jerez in March.
Gibernau meanwhile made excellent progress at a track which has always proved a challenge for the Spaniard. His crew changed his set-up today and he was able to dramatically improve his pace.
Loris Capirossi, Ducati Marlboro Team, pole position, 1m 45.724s "My best lap was amazing, seven tenths faster than last year's pole, incredible! I did my best but a big part of this is down to my crew, they've done a great job today and all weekend. Step by step we have worked towards a fast, consistent pace on race tyres. Me and my crew have worked together for four years and there is so much respect and friendliness in our relationship. Even when things aren't going so well they still manage a smile and that's important. We really deserved today's pole. As always, tomorrow is another day. We'll see what happens with the weather. I know I can also be fast if it rains but as usual I would prefer a dry race."
Sete Gibernau, Ducati Marlboro Team, 5th fastest, 1m 46.316s "We wanted the first or second rows, so we made it. Today was very good, the guys did a great job, we went though a lot of stuff, step by step. We combined the best aspects of the two set-ups we ran yesterday and changed the geometry so the bike was much more natural and better balanced on the brakes, so I could load the front without unloading the rear too much. First time out this afternoon I was quite fast with race tyres, I was putting in some good times, I was pleased with that. But I didn't get the best out of the qualifier, I rushed it a little too much, I wanted to do too much, so didn't use its full potential. This is a place I don't really like, so I think we have done a lot of good work and now we are just trying to decide whether to use the big tyre or the other tyre for the race. Both tyres are good but grip is better with the big tyre, maybe consistency too, while the bike is more manoeuvrable with the other tyre. We'll try both again in warm-up and see which is better. We also want to improve the front a little during straight-up braking, but overall we are feeling good."