Pole man Stoner leads chase for Czech-ered flag Ducati Corse's Casey Stoner claimed the fifth pole position of the 2007 season on Bridgestone tyres in this afternoon's qualifying session at the Automotodrom in Brno. It is Stoner's third...
Pole man Stoner leads chase for Czech-ered flag
Ducati Corse's Casey Stoner claimed the fifth pole position of the 2007 season on Bridgestone tyres in this afternoon's qualifying session at the Automotodrom in Brno. It is Stoner's third consecutive pole position, the last of which came in last month's United States GP, a race which the championship-leading Australian went on to win in convincing style.
Suzuki's John Hopkins and Kawasaki's Randy de Puniet continued their good qualifying form this season ending the qualifying hour in fourth and fifth places respectively with both riders having demonstrated encouraging race pace in the Czech Republic so far this weekend.
Just one-tenth-of-a-second further adrift, Loris Capirossi will start tomorrow's 22-lap Czech Republic GP from seventh on the grid and will be joined on the third row by Suzuki rider Chris Vermeulen in eighth place, ensuring that five of the nine participating Bridgestone-shod riders will start from the front three rows of the grid.
With weather conditions expected to be similar tomorrow afternoon, lap times during the qualifying hour should give a good indication of riders' potential for the race, with several Bridgestone-shod riders displaying competitive performances on race tyres this weekend.
Tyre Talk with Junichi Kawajiri - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
Were you pleased with the performance of the Bridgestone qualifying tyres this afternoon? "The overall qualifying results were very good today with Casey Stoner able to take pole position as the only man to set a time under 1m57s this afternoon. His time was still some way from the existing pole position time set in last year's event, but this can be largely attributed to the performance differential between the 990cc and 800cc bikes, I believe. The qualifying tyres gave an increase of over one second for most riders but we would have benefited further from some extra grip from the Q tyres over such a long lap. Even so, to have five riders on Bridgestone tyres in the top nine is a great result."
Have you also been satisfied with the race tyre performance? "After a strong start to the weekend yesterday, our riders were able to continue in the same competitive way in this morning's free practice and in qualifying, although some of our riders were a bit restricted with the number of laps that they could complete this afternoon. Nevertheless, the lap times have been very competitive and Casey was able to set an extremely fast pace in the morning with his best lap time one-tenth-of-a-second quicker than the current race lap record. The competition is tough here and we have seen some very close races here at Brno in the past, so the performance of the bike and tyre package over the complete race distance will be the key to success tomorrow afternoon. After Loris claimed a sensational win on our tyres last season, we are hopeful that a Bridgestone-shod rider can also achieve a similar result this season."
Rider's Perspective - Casey Stoner - Ducati Corse - Pole Position "We had some problems this afternoon but we were able to put a few laps on the race tyres and we pretty much understand where we are going. It was then just a matter of putting the qualifying tyres on. Everything has performed very well today and the qualifying tyres also. Most tracks that we go to where we have a good race pace, we also qualify well, so we were able to get another pole position today, which is very nice."