Front Row for Spies as More Rain Disrupts Mugello Qualifying
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Ben Spies took second place in today’s qualifying session at Mugello for the Grand Prix of Italy tomorrow. The Assen Grand Prix race winner took advantage of limited dry time at the beginning of the session to put in his fastest time on his tenth lap and final full lap of the heat. Spies then sat out the rest of the session, safe in the knowledge his grid position could not be beaten in wet conditions. The Texan had been fourth fastest in the dry morning final free practice as he continued to hunt the perfect set up for the Mugello circuit.
Jorge Lorenzo enjoyed a slightly more frustrating qualifying session. The Mallorcan rider was still hunting his fastest lap when the conditions changed, denying him the opportunity of a front row start and relegating him to fifth for tomorrow’s race. The result was doubly frustrating as the morning’s free practice witnessed a blistering pace from the World Champion, the fastest rider of the session with a 1.48.080.
Position 2nd - Time 1.48.479 - Laps 11
“Everybody only got about ten laps in this afternoon, we only used on set of tyres so we have plenty for tomorrow. We’re pretty confident we know which rubber we want to use after the qualifying session. I wish we could have had the whole hour in the dry but there you go, it was the same for everyone. We think we can make the bike a bit better for the race so we’ll work on it and I’m looking forward to challenging for the podium.”
Position 5th - Time 1.48.756 - Laps 14
“I've been riding pretty good this morning. The bike has been working well but at the end in qualifying I couldn't improve. It is very complicated riding in wet conditions and the pole has been for the rider who took more risks. It's a shame because I hoped for more! My aim is to try to be in front. For this it's important to get a good start. All my team is focused to do another good race; they are working so hard for our home Grand Prix. After Silverstone and Assen we wish to come back to the podium!”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“Qualifying was a little disappointing with fifth spot on the grid. We used a different tyre package in the afternoon compared to the morning which cost a little time and as soon as we were ready to go with a faster one it started to rain. We know there is a lot more to come; the package is very strong so we have all confidence that we can do a good race tomorrow.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“It seems that the rain doesn’t want to allow us to work properly! We are satisfied we have both riders on first and second row. We improved the set up a lot from yesterday for both even with the limited dry time so far this weekend. I’m personally positive about tomorrow’s race I think both Ben and Jorge will be in front and both have the capability to fight for the podium.”