The Tech 3 Racing Team is determined to finish the inaugural Moto2 world championship on a high note, despite a difficult qualifying session at the Valencia circuit this afternoon.
This afternoon's session didn't go according to plan for Yuki Takahashi or Raffaele de Rosa at a sun-drenched Valencia, but both are confident they can bounce back and challenge for top 15 finish in tomorrow's 27-lap race.
Takahashi will start the season's final encounter from 22nd on the grid, the Japanese rider unable to find a comfortable set-up with his Tech 3 Racing machine despite the best efforts of his crew to improve his pace. Highlighting once again just how competitive the exciting Moto2 class has been throughout 2010, Takahashi was less than a second off the front row as he clocked a best of 1.37.252.
Italian de Rosa was only 0.2s further back but he will start from 27th on the grid. Boosted by a fantastic first top six finish in last weekend's Grand Prix of Portugal at Estoril, de Rosa's quest for a top ten grid position was ended by a heavy crash as he pushed hard trying to better his lap time of 1.37.511.
Yuki Takahashi 22nd 1.37.252 - 23 laps
"It has been quite a difficult weekend and I must admit that we expected to do a lot better because we have been at this track three times in the winter for testing. Now we are running a completely different bike and we've tried a few things without really finding a set-up that allows me to push with maximum confidence. We improved braking stability a lot but in finding those improvements we lost a bit of turning performance and that is crucial at a tight and twisty track like this. The race is going to be difficult starting from the sixth row but the target is to finish in the top ten and try and end with a positive result."
Raffaele de Rosa 27th 1.37.511 - 16 laps
"This afternoon was a big shame because I know we had the potential to be much faster and higher up the grid than 27th. We improved the bike a lot in practice and for qualifying the bike was much better in acceleration, so I was confident of challenging for a top ten. But I pushed a bit too early on the first flying lap on a new tyre and I lost the front and crashed. I am sorry to my team because the bike was quite badly damaged but I know we have the pace to have a good race tomorrow. I was strong last weekend in Estoril and hopefully I can fight a lot here in Valencia to finish 2010 with a strong result."
-source: tech 3