GAULOISES YAMAHA RIDERS GETTING TO GRIPS WITH SHANGHAI Gauloises Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards continued with the difficult task of adapting their YZR-M1 machines to the Shanghai International Circuit on just the second...
GAULOISES YAMAHA RIDERS GETTING TO GRIPS WITH SHANGHAI
Gauloises Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards continued with the difficult task of adapting their YZR-M1 machines to the Shanghai International Circuit on just the second day of MotoGP action in China today. After brief rain showers interrupted proceedings yesterday, cracks of sunshine broke through the hazy clouds this afternoon and gave the riders crucial time to find a suitable setting for the dry conditions.
Whilst Rossi will be looking to run with the lead group from the second row of the grid after setting the sixth fastest time of 2'00.821, Edwards faces another charge through the pack after again suffering from the run of bad luck that has dogged his otherwise encouraging start to the season. The American was unable to make the most of his qualifying tyre today and actually set his best lap of 2'01.401 on a race tyre, confirming his excellent consistency and pace but limiting him to a fifth row start in thirteenth place.
Sete Gibernau (Honda) set pole position with a time of 1'59.710 and the Spaniard will be joined on the front row by Italian pair Marco Melandri (Honda) and Loris Capirossi (Ducati) in what promises to be another close and exciting race, with the top fourteen riders on the grid all qualifying within 1.8 seconds of pole.
VALENTINO ROSSI, 6th -- (2'00.821, 20 laps)
"We tried a lot of things yesterday and today with the set-up but I'm still having problems, mostly because of a lack of front feeling. This is causing the tyres to not work properly, more on the right than the left. We made slight alterations to the forks today and we have some more things to try in the warm-up tomorrow. After the session I had a long briefing with my crew to decide where we can make any improvements. Unfortunately it wasn't possible to start from the front row and I'm only in sixth position, which is not ideal. If all is okay tomorrow, including the work we do tomorrow morning, I might be able to finish on the podium. It's going to be a really difficult race because it's such a demanding circuit - I think it's going to test the riders and the bikes to the maximum."
COLIN EDWARDS, 13th (2'01.401, 21 laps)
"It's the first time we've ridden at this circuit and after a wet day yesterday we just did everything we could today to improve the general set-up of the bike. I finally found a setting I liked but we were unable to use the qualifying tyre on it and I actually set my fastest lap on a race tyre. It is encouraging because I know I have a good race pace but the problem is that I'm starting from the fifth row and it won't be at all easy to make my way through the pack, especially at such a tight circuit. Because we've had so little dry time we haven't been able to run endurance tests on the tyres, so I think there is a big question mark for everybody about what is going to happen in the second half of the race. I guess I'll just have to lose a few friends on the opening couple of laps, get as close to the front as I can and take it from there."
DAVIDE BRIVIO -- TEAM DIRECTOR
"Today wasn't an easy day for either of our riders, but I think both Valentino and Colin have the pace to run at the front of the pack. It is going to be tough for Colin to start from so far back but his lap times show that he has the potential to get a good result if it stays dry. Of course, there is a good chance it could rain and in those circumstances nobody knows what will happen. We still have a few doubts about the setting of the bike but we have 20 minutes in the warm-up tomorrow and we have to use that time carefully."