Rossi fourth after first day of practice in tricky Turkish conditions Valentino Rossi finished the first day of practice for the Grand Prix of Turkey in fourth position today, the top Michelin rider in the 19-strong MotoGP field at Istanbul Park.
Rossi fourth after first day of practice in tricky Turkish conditions
Valentino Rossi finished the first day of practice for the Grand Prix of Turkey in fourth position today, the top Michelin rider in the 19-strong MotoGP field at Istanbul Park. After heading the standings in this morning's practice, Colin Edwards struggled with front-end problems this afternoon and the American could only manage 15th in the combined standings. Although the sun shone all day, an overnight rainstorm and cool temperatures this morning meant the track was still wet for first practice and, although it had dried out somewhat by the afternoon, it remained quite dirty and the poor conditions meant that lap times were considerably slower than the existing lap record.
Without any testing at this track this season, the team face a hard task to find the correct set-up and tyre combination before Sunday's 22 lap race and the tricky track conditions today complicated their task. After losing much of this morning's session to the wet track both crews worked hard throughout this afternoon's practice, which was interrupted by a red flag for a short time after Shinya Nakano fell. Team-mates Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi topped the time sheets, whilst third spot ahead of Rossi went to John Hopkins.
Position: 4th Time: 1'55.120 Laps: 33
"The conditions today weren't ideal for us as the track was very, very dirty. However we're not in such a bad position in fourth and when you compare it to last year, when we had some serious problems here, things are much better and I can ride the bike very well, in fact I like the track a lot more with this bike! Stoner especially was very fast today and I think that tomorrow is going to be a hard battle for qualifying. We need to work on the tyres and the set-up but I am confident that we can improve things quite a bit more tomorrow. The Japanese engineers have been working very hard during the break and today we tried out some new modifications for our engine. My first impressions are that it's a definite improvement and we can go a little bit faster. It's not a big difference but it's very important, especially here at this track. Now let's see what we can do tomorrow."
Position: 15th Time: 1'56.320 Laps: 28
"Strangely I felt more comfortable with the front end this morning, when the track was wet and even dirtier than it was this afternoon! Unfortunately we've got some problems to deal with in the front-end and we didn't quite get to the bottom of them today. This afternoon I stayed on the same front as we used this morning and we've been playing with the setting but at the moment it's not working great and I can't ride it how I want to. We need to look at both the setting and the tyre situation and make some adjustments in order to be in a position to challenge tomorrow. Apart from that the bike feels okay and I'm confident that once the team work their magic tonight, as they always do, things will be working good."
Davide Brivio - Team Director
"The conditions today weren't good because of the rain overnight and so we lost a lot of this morning's practice. Unfortunately the track remained quite dirty and so the lap times are quite a lot slower than the last couple of years. Anyway, we have to work in these conditions so the team have tried to make the best of it and we're trying to analyse the problems we've encountered today. This afternoon Colin was suffering more than Valentino and he has some set-up problems which we need to work through. Of course the tyres are also very important here because it's the first track that we've been to this year without testing and our choice is also limited by the new regulations. However Valentino was able to improve his set-up a bit this afternoon and hopefully we can do the same with them both tomorrow."