STONER A FRACTION OFF POLE AT SEPANG, CAPIROSSI ON FOURTH ROW OF THE GRID Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner came within four hundredths of a second of scoring his sixth pole position of the year at stiflingly hot Sepang today. His...
STONER A FRACTION OFF POLE AT SEPANG, CAPIROSSI ON FOURTH ROW OF THE GRID
Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner came within four hundredths of a second of scoring his sixth pole position of the year at stiflingly hot Sepang today. His team-mate Loris Capirossi was 11th quickest, less than a second off pole position.
The ever-impressive Stoner led the final minutes of qualifying but was pipped to pole at the very end of the session. Nonetheless the World Champion is confident of a good run tomorrow after securing his 11th front-row start of the season and completing an excellent two days of set-up work with his Desmosedici GP7. Capirossi also worked hard on settings and is hopeful of a strong race tomorrow despite his fourth-row start.
Conditions were much hotter today - at 33 degrees during qualifying - and typically humid at this tropical venue which is one of MotoGP's toughest physical challenges.
CASEY STONER, 2nd fastest, 2m 01.877s
"Race setting-wise everything's looking quite good again, we've concentrated on all the things we normally do and we've come up with a good package for the race. Unfortunately for the second weekend on the trot we've lucked out on qualifying. At Phillip Island we got held up by another rider, this weekend the bumps were so bad in places that the electronics system didn't work as well as usual with the qualifying tyre, which lost us some time. I'm a little bit disappointed we didn't get pole position but we're second on the grid and on the front row, so we'll try to get a good start and we'll see what happens. The new surface here has definitely got a lot better since yesterday. The bumps are still there but for sure the grip has improved a lot and will probably improve again tomorrow. Everything's going well for doing race distance on the tyres - it doesn't really matter which tyre we choose, we're going to be able to last the race."
LORIS CAPIROSSI, 11th fastest, 2m 02.708s
"Today we worked on every aspect of the bike and we made a small improvement, but not enough because the bike is still moving around and won't turn like I want it to. Anyway, I was very fast in the first two splits with my first qualifying tyre but I made a mistake in the third split so it was just a quiet lap. I was sure I was going to improve with my second qualifier but it didn't work, I do not know why, whether it was the tyre itself or the bike. I didn't even finish the lap, I came into the pits. Starting from the fourth row is an extra challenge but I think the race pace won't be so fast. It will be a long and difficult race, so maybe I'll be able to recover."