The Tech 3 Racing Team remains in confident mood for tomorrow's Italian Moto2 race at the Mugello circuit, despite a tough qualifying session this afternoon.
Raffaele de Rosa made significant progress with the rear set-up of his Tech 3 Racing machine, the Italian using all of his home track expertisel to improve traction and stability.
The 23-year-old will start tomorrow's 21-lap race from 14th position and is confident he can launch a top ten challenge after posting a best time of 1.56.543 in yet another ultra-close qualifying session for the competitive Moto2 class.
Less than 1.5s split the top 28 but Yuki Takahashi was unable to show his normal potential after his frustrating weekend continued today.
Takahashi will start from lower than the second row for the first time this season as a best lap of 1.56.716 left him in 19th position. He was only just over a second off pole position though and his tireless efforts to cure a persistent front-end chatter issue went largely unrewarded. Takahashi's hopes of moving further up the grid were thwarted by a small crash in the final moments of qualifying.
Raffaele de Rosa:
"It was a better qualifying session for me today and we made a big improvement with the bike, particularly in the fast and long corners where I'd not been so comfortable. We have spent a lot of time working on a new setting that has improved the rear traction and also stability, but we need another step for tomorrow because 14th place is not where we want to be. This is my home race and really important and I was hoping to be at least in the top ten. But now we are more consistent and I'm much more comfortable with the bike and I need to say a big thanks to my Tech 3 crew because they've done a great job. We know how competitive Moto2 is but I really want to score my first points tomorrow after all the hard work we have done to feel more confident and comfortable."
"It has been a very difficult weekend so far and I'm expecting a tough race tomorrow. Unfortunately we have had a bad chatter problem and although we have worked incredibly hard to solve the issue, we still haven't found an answer that allows me to ride the bike how I'm used to. Whatever we do to the bike it doesn't seem to get rid of the problem and in each session we have used a completely different set-up without any success. I'll have a sit down tonight with my Tech 3 crew and see if we can come up with a plan for the warm-up session. I was trying to get higher up the grid because qualifying is so crucial in Moto2 with the times all so close. But I had a small crash with the soft tyre at the end and that didn't help my situation. I will try my best in the race and hopefully if the chatter issue is reduced I can show more of the potential the Tech 3 bike has."
-source: tech 3