Valentino Rossi rode his Yamaha YZR M1 to the pole position for the Turkish Grand Prix, third round of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP) that takes place this weekend on the Istanbul Park circuit. The Fiat Yamaha Team ...
Valentino Rossi rode his Yamaha YZR M1 to the pole position for the Turkish Grand Prix, third round of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (MotoGP) that takes place this weekend on the Istanbul Park circuit.
The Fiat Yamaha Team dominated the session as Colin Edwards took second spot to complete a one-two for the Japanese bikes in a session that virtually no wind or humidity and the track was completely dried out after some slippery conditions yesterday.
After all three practices were dominated by Ducati, Rossi -- who completed 24 laps today -- managed to put his Yamaha on top with a lap time of 1:52.795 in his best shot.
"I'm very happy to have a pole position at this track, which has never been one of my favourites! I've had some bad moments here in the past but this year it feels like a different track for me and I'm having great fun! My M1 is very competitive, a lot more fun to ride here than in the past and the new modifications we have for our engine have made an important difference to our overall performance", stated "The Doctor".
Rossi moved into the top qualifying spot with eight minutes remaining after his first flying lap before consolidating his position with another even faster lap on his second qualifying tyre soon after.
"The team has done a great job because we had some problems yesterday but they've found some good solutions and now Colin and I are first and second. My tyres are working well and we've found the right front for tomorrow. We need to make a final decision about the rear in the morning," the Italian added.
This was Rossi's second pole of the season and with his ninth consecutive front row start puts him in a strong position to challenge for a win at one of only three circuits on this year's calendar where he has yet to stand on top of the podium.
Edwards' second qualifying lap of 1'52.944 was good enough for second position behind his teammate, which gave to the Fiat Yamaha squad a good day. Clearly that had found a good set-up after another inconsistent Friday for the "Texan Tornado".
"Well after the problems we had yesterday I've got to say a massive thanks to my team. They looked at the issues, got out their protractors, did their math and worked their magic like always! The Michelin qualifier really sticks like glue for us this year and I was able to really push it. I thought I was going to run into traffic at one point on my last lap but I just kept my head down and somehow came out the other side in front. It was definitely a mistake-free lap", Edwards explained.
About his hopes for Sunday`s Grand Prix, the American commented, "We need to work a little bit on our race pace - two tenths would be good but three would be even better! I think we're losing it in T3 so we need to concentrate on that part of the track. We've moved onto a different front from the 'old faithful' we've been using so far this year because that one was a little bit too close to the limit here, but it's working really well so we just need to make a final decision on the rear".
Spaniard ace Dani Pedrosa came-up in third place, with a lap time of 1:52.971 that allow him to complete the front row. However, the Repsol Honda rider would be able to fight for the pole position, but he found John Hopkins in his final attempt and lost important time.
After being the fastest in Friday, both Ducati of Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi snatched top fourth and fifth place, which allow them to wait in good shape for a good race tomorrow.
Current world champion, Nicky Hayden, took top sixth in his best qualifying performance of the season, a result that might make the American to think in a podium finish after a hard start of the year in Qatar and Jerez.
That Turkish Grand Prix will start tomorrow at 15.00, local time, in a race that is expected to have a head-to-head fight for the victory.