Nicky Hayden took the provisional pole for the British GP at Donington Park yesterday, but, sadly for the American, Valentino Rossi decided to impose his authority and take it from him. During Friday qualifying, Hayden broke the lap record with a...
Nicky Hayden took the provisional pole for the British GP at Donington Park yesterday, but, sadly for the American, Valentino Rossi decided to impose his authority and take it from him. During Friday qualifying, Hayden broke the lap record with a time of 1:29.295, 1.4 seconds faster than the previous record held by Max Biaggi. During today's final qualifying, Rossi managed to squeeze another half a second off Hayden's time and almost a full second of his Friday lap time with a time of 1:28.720.
Sete Gibernau, who is third place in the championship, also made great improvements to his Friday times, which had placed him in provisional fifth place. Today he cut eight tenths of a second, enough to place grid him second on the grid.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was Loris Capirossi retaining third place on the grid, aboard his Ducati Corse V4. After having a miserable start to the season, Capirossi's Ducati was a welcomed sight at the front of the grid. To maintain his provisional grid position, the Italian shaved five tenths of a second off his Friday qualifying times; just half a tenth behind Gibernau.
As evidence of how improved the GP4 is, Troy Bayliss, Capirossi's teammate, placed the second red machine in fourth, just five thousandths of a second behind Capirossi. Next to Bayliss is his WSBK adversary, Colin Edwards, four hundredths of a second behind. In sixth place is Friday's top qualifier, Nicky Hayden, a further four hundredths behind Edwards. It is important to reiterate that Capirossi, Bayliss, Edwards and Hayden all qualified in the 1:29.2 range, all within a tenth of each other.
Carlos Checa, Rossi's teammate, leads the third row, followed by last week's winner, Max Biaggi. The Roman qualified eighth on Friday, and could only shave four tenths off today. On the outside of third row is Repsol-HRC rider and Hayden's teammate, Alex Barros. Though the Brazilian had a good weekend at last week's Sachsenring's race, he struggled at Donnington Park; improving only one grid position from yesterday.