DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM'S STONER ON MUGELLO POLE, CAPIROSSI ON SECOND ROW Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner scored a superb pole position in tricky wet and dry conditions at Mugello this afternoon while Loris Capirossi also performed ...
DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM'S STONER ON MUGELLO POLE, CAPIROSSI ON SECOND ROW
Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner scored a superb pole position in tricky wet and dry conditions at Mugello this afternoon while Loris Capirossi also performed brilliantly to claim a strong second-row start.
Stoner took his first pole of the year with a full second's advantage over his nearest rival. The Australian and his Italian team-mate also performed well in earlier dry sessions, setting the third and fourth fastest dry laps of the weekend this morning, Capirossi just 0.031 behind his team-mate.
Torrential rain hit Mugello at lunchtime, so riders commenced qualifying on a wet track using rain tyres. The circuit began to dry but before riders could switch to slick tyres a second storm arrived. Stoner had timed his push to perfection, so he was already fastest when the heavens opened for the second time with 25 minutes to go. Bridgestone dominated the session, filling six of the first seven grid positions.
CASEY STONER, pole position, 2m 00.359s
"At the start of qualifying we were going round and doing some pretty good lap times and it seemed to be getting drier and drier, so I decided to come in and wait it out. I had been in the garage for two minutes when it started to pour so we waited that out, then when we saw it getting drier so we went out for a couple more laps. No one managed to go quicker than my time during those last few laps but I still man to go quicker than everyone else in those conditions, so that's pretty good. It's been really confusing this weekend. This morning wasn't really dry, there were a few wet patches but you could petty much ride it like a dry session, so we've been able to make our settings from that. We've got a good enough dry set-up for now and I think we can improve in morning warm-up. I've heard all sorts of forecasts for the race and I'm not going to believe one of them till I see what's happening tomorrow."
LORIS CAPIROSSI, 5th fastest, 2m 01.797s
"I'm a little disappointed with my final lap time which is due to the strange and difficult conditions - the weather made qualifying a bit of a lottery. Otherwise I'm pretty happy - in both today's sessions I used the new spec engine and we've worked well on this spec, even if we have only just started to understand how to set it up. We also worked a lot on the chassis and I've found a better feeling in that area too. I will race the new engine because it's more rider-friendly, even though it's a few horsepower down. I want to heartily thank Ducati for what they've done for me because they've prepared the new spec in a very short time. We still have to work on it, but I feel are going in the right direction. I'm confident for tomorrow - rain or shine I think I can fight up front".