Espana: Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha Team Saturday notes

Rossi Takes Second Pole of The Season; Checa Third Fastest Slippery track conditions during this afternoon's final qualifying session at the 4.423 km Jerez circuit ensured that none of the MotoGP challengers would improve on their opening day ...

Rossi Takes Second Pole of The Season; Checa Third Fastest

Slippery track conditions during this afternoon's final qualifying session at the 4.423 km Jerez circuit ensured that none of the MotoGP challengers would improve on their opening day qualifying times. Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi relied on his first day lap time of 1'40.818 to take his second pole in as many races on the Yamaha YZR-M1, whilst his team-mate Carlos Checa secured a front row start in third. They share the revised three-rider front row of the grid with Checa's fellow Spaniard, Sete Gibernau (Honda), second fastest.

The weather-affected session started with the track surface still seriously wet in places, drying out faster in others, with the final section of the session providing the quickest lap times. Fastest in the session, although not affecting the grid positions for Sunday's 27-lap MotoGP race, was Kenny Roberts' Suzuki with a time of 1'46.997, second quickest being Troy Bayliss (Ducati) 1'48.224.

Rossi's first day brilliance on the YZR-M1 makes his pole lap the fastest ever at Jerez, a particularly impressive achievement as it came after only two one hour practice sessions. The 25-year-old Italian has an enviable record at Jerez, having won the past three premier class races at the Andalucian track.

VALENTINO ROSSI (1st, 1'40.818)

"Yesterday was fantastic and that lap was finally what gave us pole position. We did a very good lap time at the end and the bike was also not so bad with race tyres. This afternoon was a bit of a waste of time. It was raining and we were not able to make some modifications we had wanted. We were just going around and around. For tomorrow I hope, for all the riders and all the fans, it will be dry. I have great memories of this circuit, it has always been good to me; from the first test I did on the 125 to now. I always like the longer corners here. I think that Sete and Max can be very fast in the wet, also Bayliss."

CARLOS CHECA (3rd, 1'41.427)

"Finally here I was able to get a good feeling thanks to the technicians and team. They have understood quite well what I have said and we've made improvements. I am able to ride the way I want to, braking and getting on the gas where I want and that has given us a front row start."

JEREMY BURGESS, ROSSI'S CREW CHIEF

"We tested here and went fastest but it's good to know that we got a good set-up as quickly as we did yesterday. It was a phenomenal lap time so everything worked well for us yesterday. We need to do a little bit of work if there are wet conditions. That session was neither one nor the other."

ANTONIO JIMENEZ, CHECA'S CREW CHIEF

"All our references are from yesterday. We just went around today to use up time. The conditions changed every five minutes and we can learn very little in those conditions. We have the base from yesterday, and we can work from that. Everyone had only two hours yesterday so they will all be on the same level. We just hope for a dry race tomorrow. Then it will be an enjoyable race."

<pre> FRONT ROW 1. VALENTINO ROSSI ITA GAULOISES FORTUNA YAMAHA 1'40.818 2. Sete Gibernau SPA Telefonica Movistar Honda 1'41.198 3. CARLOS CHECA SPA GAULOISES FORTUNA YAMAHA 1'41.427

SECOND ROW 4. Max Biaggi ITA Camel Honda 1'41.546 5. Makoto Tamada JPN Camel Honda 1'41.631 6. Shinya Nakano JPN Kawasaki Racing Team 1'41.645

-gfyt-

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Max Biaggi , Carlos Checa , Valentino Rossi , Troy Bayliss , Sete Gibernau , Shinya Nakano , Kenny Roberts Jr. , Makoto Tamada