FIAT YAMAHA TO START FROM THE FRONT ROW AFTER ESTORIL QUALIFYING WASHOUT Severe weather at Estoril today forced the cancellation of the MotoGP qualifying session, with torrential rain flooding the circuit and making any on-track action...
FIAT YAMAHA TO START FROM THE FRONT ROW AFTER ESTORIL QUALIFYING WASHOUT
Severe weather at Estoril today forced the cancellation of the MotoGP qualifying session, with torrential rain flooding the circuit and making any on-track action impossible in the afternoon. As a result the starting grid has been taken from the combined free practice times, leaving Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo on pole and his team-mate Valentino Rossi in third. It was a proud moment for Lorenzo, whose 42nd pole puts him equal with Jorge Martinez Aspar as the most successful Spanish pole-man of all time.
This morning's practice was run in wet conditions and the slippery track caught several riders out, including Lorenzo who high-sided in the last corner late in the session. Luckily the World Champion was unhurt and he still managed to top the standings once again. Rossi had a good morning's work and finished as runner-up, just over half a second off his team-mate. The top six fastest times were all set yesterday however which left Lorenzo on pole but Rossi in third, with Nicky Hayden splitting up the Yamaha pair for the season's penultimate race.
Tomorrow's race, weather permitting, is due to get underway at 1300 local time, which is 1400 CET.
Jorge Lorenzo Position: 1st - Time: 1'48.522 - Laps: 39
"It was a pity about this today because we needed a bit more time in the very wet conditions to try to improve our setting more, but there was no way we could have ridden this afternoon. This morning I felt quite good but at the end I was pushing too hard, I thought the other riders were closer to my time and I just went a step too far and crashed. I was lucky, my airbag inflated and I didn't hurt myself. Now we have to wait and see how the weather is and we especially hope that warm-up is the same conditions as the race, it will be very, very difficult if not. Today I became the Spanish rider with the most poles of all time, joint with Aspar, and this is a great honour for me, I feel very proud."
Valentino Rossi Position: 3rd - Time: 1'48.883 - Laps: 46
"It's a real disappointment about today because we had some things we wanted to try, but in the end the rain was just too much and it was too dangerous. It really was impossible to ride this afternoon! In the wet I have a good setting, even if we could have improved a bit this afternoon, but I am happy about the balance of my bike. Now we just have to wait for the conditions tomorrow. We are prepared for the wet; if it's dry it could be interesting! If it's dry from the morning and it's possible to have the warm-up in the dry then it will be okay to have a dry race, but if warm-up is wet and then the race is dry....honestly it's better not like this! We will just have to wait and see and at least we're on the front row."
Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager
"Our seventh pole of the season, but without actually qualifying! Jorge had quite a big crash this morning when he was pushing quite hard and lost the rear, but he is fine and this is all that matters. We wanted to improve our pace in the wet conditions a bit more; when it's drying up we're okay but when it's really wet we're struggling a bit with the rear feeling, so we need to work on this tomorrow morning if possible. Of course we don't know how the weather will be so we will just have to wait and see."
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
"A strange weekend and a difficult one with the weather. So far, in the two sessions we've had, we've been quite good and it seems our wet setting is okay. It's a pity because we had some things to check today to try to improve a bit but it was impossible. We will have to wait for tomorrow. If the race is wet we are prepared, if it's dry it's going to be a big gamble."