Malaysian GP: Fiat Yamaha qualifying report

Rossi gets it right in tricky qualifying to take tenth front-row Valentino Rossi secured his tenth front row start of the season in Sepang today in a tricky qualifying session which saw the track conditions changing constantly after a heavy ...

Rossi gets it right in tricky qualifying to take tenth front-row

Valentino Rossi secured his tenth front row start of the season in Sepang today in a tricky qualifying session which saw the track conditions changing constantly after a heavy downpour. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo made it two Yamahas on the front row, leaving the pair in prime position for a double-podium assault tomorrow.

Following a strong opening day yesterday, Rossi continued in the same vein in the dry this morning and was fourth fastest. Torrential rain throughout the 125cc qualifying session left the track soaking as the MotoGP qualifying got underway, but as the sun came out the track began to dry rapidly, meaning conditions were changing for the riders on every lap. The teams were faced with delicate tyre decisions as they tried to keep abreast of the rapidly drying track but Rossi, his crew and his Bridgestone tyre technician got it right each time and the Italian remained close to the top throughout the session. As the hour closed out it looked like a Fiat Yamaha one-two, with Rossi on pole, but a final effort from Dani Pedrosa was even faster and he edged the world champion off the top spot for tomorrow's 21-lap race.

Valentino Rossi - Position: 2nd Time: 1'01.957 Laps: 21

"The conditions were incredible today and this practice was as much about strategy as it was about qualifying tyres and set-up, because you had to judge the right moment to go out with the right tyre. We worked very well in our garage and managed to make the right decisions every time, so I was at the top or near to it for most of the session and able to constantly make big improvements. When I saw that I'd done a 2'01.9 I thought that I might have the pole, but Dani was even faster so congratulations to him today. Anyway it's good to be back on the front row because we have been off it for two races, and now we're in a good place to start our challenge tomorrow. I am really looking forward to the race because I love this track and my M1 is really flying here. However I hope the weather is ok because for sure it will be more fun in the dry!"

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

"We came out very well from a tricky situation today. It was a delicate job to correctly follow the conditions, which were changing so quickly, but we managed it very well and this front row is just reward for some good work from the team. This was an important front row because there are a lot of riders here looking very competitive, but also the information from this session might be useful tomorrow if we have the same conditions. Let's hope not, but anyway we will be prepared."

Five in a row for Lorenzo as he claims another front-row

Jorge Lorenzo and his Fiat Yamaha crew got their strategy right to secure an important front row start during a complicated qualifying session in Sepang today, the rookie's eighth of the season and fifth in a row. Lorenzo will start from third with team-mate Valentino Rossi beside him in second and Dani Pedrosa on pole.

A dry morning session gave the leading rookie time to make further improvements to his race-setting and he finished in third, but by late morning the weather had turned and an hour of heavy rain left the track soaking for the start of the MotoGP practice. Once the sun came out the track began to dry rapidly and conditions were changing by the minute, but the Spaniard and his crew did a good job of choosing the right Michelin tyre for the right moment and he was competitive throughout. A fast final lap left him in second behind Rossi but Dani Pedrosa had the edge and pushed the pair down to second and third, nonetheless leaving Lorenzo in a good position to launch his podium challenge in tomorrow's 21-lap race.

Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 3rd Time: 2'02.171 Laps: 19

"It was a strange session today but as the track began to get more and more dry I thought that it would be possible to try for the pole position. I made some good laps but I think in the end, and after so many laps in the wet, I wasn't quite at the maximum in the dry and I didn't do the fastest possible lap I could have. Anyway this front row is very important because I am determined to be back on the podium tomorrow and now we are in good shape to fight for that. I hope that the weather is better tomorrow and that we can have a dry race, our bike is working so well here and I am looking forward to the battle."

Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager

"This was a very different kind of qualifying session because the track changed so much, but it was great fun and very exciting! The team worked very well and we chose the best tyre for the right conditions each time, so this helped us to be competitive throughout. This morning's session was also very encouraging because we improved a lot from yesterday and our race pace is now very good. We're starting from the front row and we're in good shape so we are expecting an exciting race tomorrow."

-credit: yamaha-racing.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Davide Brivio , Dani Pedrosa