Malaysian GP: Michelin qualifying report

Michelin riders featured strongly in this afternoon's fast-moving Malaysian GP qualifying session which saw more than 30 changes of pole position. Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) ended the hour on the front row in third place,...

Michelin riders featured strongly in this afternoon's fast-moving Malaysian GP qualifying session which saw more than 30 changes of pole position. Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) ended the hour on the front row in third place, with fellow Michelin men Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin), Colin Edwards (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) and Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Team Scot Honda RC212V-Michelin) right behind him in fourth, fifth and sixth spots.

The session got underway on a wet track, following a torrential tropical downpour that soaked Sepang shortly after the morning's MotoGP practice outing. Riders thus started out on rain tyres, then swapped to slicks, though the track never fully dried out. During the final few minutes the action was particularly hectic.

"The positions were changing all the time towards t he end of the session, as the track got faster and faster," said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "The changing conditions made it difficult for everyone, though that was the reality, so everyone had to deal with it. Rain is always a possibility here, it could also be the reality during tomorrow's race. With yesterday morning's session quite dusty and then the afternoon outing affected by light drizzle, we haven't had much dry-track time in which to test race tyres. But I think we have a clear direction for all our riders based on the laps they did in this morning's dry session. Morning warm-up will be especially crucial here."

Hayden, who missed the front row by just 0.021 seconds, said: "This afternoon was pretty gnarly. But my rear Michelin qualifier was amazing, it was ridiculous how much grip it had, even across the wet patches."

-credit: michelin

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Colin Edwards , Andrea Dovizioso , Jorge Lorenzo