ROSSI TAKES FIRST POLE OF 2005 WITH STUNNING LAP RECORD Gauloises Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi and his YZR-M1 machine will start from pole position at the opening round of the 2005 MotoGP World Championship after a...
ROSSI TAKES FIRST POLE OF 2005 WITH STUNNING LAP RECORD
Gauloises Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi and his YZR-M1 machine will start from pole position at the opening round of the 2005 MotoGP World Championship after a breathtaking performance in this afternoon's qualifying session for the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez. Rossi smashed his own pole position record from last season by almost 1.5 seconds as he stormed to a time of 1'39.419, holding off the challenge of closest rival Sete Gibernau (Honda) by a comfortable 0.496 seconds.
Colin Edwards enjoyed contrasting fortunes to his Gauloises Yamaha team-mate, struggling to convert his race pace to a qualifying lap and lining up 15th on the grid. Edwards has shown good consistency all weekend but suffered from grip problems with the front end of his YZR-M1 machine when using Michelin's excellent rear qualifier and now faces a fight through the pack when Sunday's race gets underway at 2pm local time.
Rossi and Gibernau are joined on the front row of the grid by Marco Melandri (Honda), who posted his best time on the final lap to relegate Nicky Hayden (Honda) to the second row alongside Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki) and Loris Capirossi (Ducati).
VALENTINO ROSSI -- (1'39.419, 24 laps)
"My fast lap was incredible! Michelin made a great job with the qualifying tyres -- my first one was good but the second was even better. There is a big question mark over the tyre choice for the race tomorrow because after a few laps they start to slide a lot, but it's the same situation for everyone. Now we're just looking for good weather tomorrow and hopefully it will be a beautiful race."
COLIN EDWARDS (1'41.176, 28 laps)
"I was really confident that I would be able to lap in the mid-1'40 mark but it just didn't happen today. The basic problem is that the rear qualifying tyre has so much grip that it pushes a lot of load on to the front and it keeps tucking under. I was losing the front all over the place and we just couldn't come up with an answer in time. The good thing is that on race tyres I'm not having this problem and my pace is pretty good. I've been in the mid-41s fairly consistently and if I can grit my teeth together and squeeze a couple more tenths out then it should be enough to stay with the front group. The hardest thing will be to make sure I don't get blocked in so I'll be going out there to pass as many riders as I can from the first corner."
DAVIDE BRIVIO -- TEAM DIRECTOR
"Valentino did an incredible lap and for a few minutes afterwards the garage was in shocked silence! Michelin have made a big step forward with the qualifying tyre and it allowed Valentino to exploit his full potential. But this is only pole position and our focus now is on the race. It will be a different matter altogether because tyre durability could become a major issue. Colin will start with a disadvantage because of his grid position but he has shown this weekend that he has good pace and I am looking forward to seeing him improve his position in the race. We'll see what happens tomorrow but I'm confident that both our riders will be competitive."
<pre> FRONT ROW 1. VALENTINO ROSSI (ITA) Gauloises Yamaha Team 1'39.419 2. Sete Gibernau (SPA) Movistar Honda MotoGP 1'39.915 3. Marco Melandri (ITA) Movistar Honda MotoGP 1'40.179
SECOND ROW 1. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda Team 1'40.465 2. Shinya Nakano (JPN) Kawasaki Racing Team 1'40.542 3. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Ducati Marlboro Team 1'40.648
THIRD ROW 1. Makoto Tamada (JPN) JIR Konica Minolta Team 1'40.707 2. Alex Barros (BRA) Camel Honda 1'40.720 3. Troy Bayliss (AUS) Camel Honda 1'40.774
Plus: 15. COLIN EDWARDS (USA) Gauloises Yamaha Team 1'41.176