Pole! Michelin rider Colin Edwards (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) scored Michelin's fourth consecutive pole position this afternoon at Shanghai, maintaining the company's full-house of 2008 MotoGP poles. The Texan Tornado left it until the...
Michelin rider Colin Edwards (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) scored Michelin's fourth consecutive pole position this afternoon at Shanghai, maintaining the company's full-house of 2008 MotoGP poles.
The Texan Tornado left it until the last gasp, snatching pole from Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1) just four seconds before the chequered flag came out. Joint World Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) completed a heroic session in fourth place, riding with both ankles injured following his accident yesterday morning at turn two. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin), who is equal on points with Lorenzo, was fifth in qualifying after running a close second fastest on race tyres in the first three practice sessions.
"Qualifying went well -- we were very impressed by Colin's lap time," said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "It was great to watch him ride that lap, more than three tenths ahead of Rossi, it's a great result for him. Lorenzo also did a fantastic job, we were amazed by his performance. But we were surprised that the bike-tyre combination didn't work as well as expected with the Hondas. We didn't expect that and we will sit down to examine the reasons. Dani was very fast on race tyres though, so he has a good chance. The forecast suggests it will rain tomorrow. If the race is dry our race tyres are working very consistently and it's pretty clear what tyres our riders will use. We also expect a big fight because the lap times on race tyres are very close. The forecast says it will rain in the morning and then maybe not so much rain in the afternoon. We will see."
Edwards was delighted with his third MotoGP pole position, all scored on Michelin tyres. "We made quite a few changes after yesterday's sessions, so my thanks to my guys for their work," he said. "Then when we put the Michelin qualifiers on the bike was just great. On that last lap I closed my eyes and told myself: okay let's see what happens!"
Shanghai first-timer James Toseland (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) qualified seventh, just off row two. Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) was looking good for a strong grid position until he slid off during one of his qualifying runs. He ended up tenth, just off the third row.