Michelin was the dominant tyre brand at the top of MotoGP qualifying at the tight and technical Sachsenring this afternoon, Michelin men filling five of the six places on the front two rows of the grid. Pole position man Casey Stoner (Ducati ...
Michelin was the dominant tyre brand at the top of MotoGP qualifying at the tight and technical Sachsenring this afternoon, Michelin men filling five of the six places on the front two rows of the grid.
Pole position man Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Desmosedici) was in a class of his own but the battle for second place was thrilling, with three changes of second place in the final seconds of the qualifying session. Class rookie Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Team Scot Honda RC212V-Michelin) held the runner-up spot for a matter of seconds before he was toppled by Colin Edwards (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) who was then bettered by World Championship leader Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin). Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) also featured well, ending the day fifth fastest, just ahead of Randy de Puniet (Honda LCR RC212V-Michelin). Just four tenths covered the top five Michelin men.
"The qualifying session went quite well for us," said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "It's good to see our qualifiers working well, though the most important thing we have done this year is our work on race tyres, improving grip, operating range and warm-up. Dani and the rest of our guys did some good laps on race tyres today, but much will depend on the weather, which seems to be the story of this season. Conditions are once again very changeable, tomorrow could be cooler or it could be warmer and even rain is a possibility. In this morning's damp session we had enough time so see that our intermediates are working well here.
"Dani is in really good shape. He has done a really good job with his team, but it will be a tough race for all the riders because everyone is pushing hard. This track is so demanding on the left side of the tyres, so track temperature can have a big effect on lap times. Conditions were a bit cooler today than they were yesterday when the high track temperature meant we had to work hard to improve front grip, using the hardest front tyres, then adjusting tyre pressure and compound and making machine settings adjustments.&rdquo ;
Pedrosa reckons he can make some further overnight adjustments to improve his race pace after scoring his seventh front row start of the year. "Today we improved the chassis set-up so the bike gives me a better feeling," said the Spaniard. "But we still need to make some more adjustments to further improve our race pace."