The reigning world champion, Valentino Rossi, took his third pole position of the 2004 season aboard his Gauloises Yamaha M1 at Assen. In the process, Rossi broke the current lap record by over a second with a time of 1:58.768. Based on...
The reigning world champion, Valentino Rossi, took his third pole position of the 2004 season aboard his Gauloises Yamaha M1 at Assen. In the process, Rossi broke the current lap record by over a second with a time of 1:58.768. Based on yesterday's weather, no one would have predicted that QP2 would be semi-dry, but 15 minutes before the session began the Sun showed its warm face.
The biggest problem for most riders was deciding which tires to use. With Friday being a wet day, everyone had their bikes setup for rain, which caused confusion for the riders and the teams.
Rossi's teammate, Carlos Checa will grid alongside the Italian. Checa's qualifying time was over half a second off Rossi's. Third fastest and championship leader, Sete Gibernau, qualified with a time of 1:59.903, more than a second slower than pole position.
Second row will be led by yet another Yamaha, this time with Marco Melandri aboard it. Shinya Nakano and his Kawasaki are quickly improving, as shown by his strong fifth place, their best in MotoGP. Rounding up the second row is Alex Barros aboard his Repsol-HRC Honda.
Starting from the third row for tomorrow's race will be Kenny Robert Jr. aboard his Suzuki, Makoto Tamada on the Camel Honda and Ruben Xaus aboard his Ducati GP3.
Weather forecasts indicate we'll have a dry race, which will make it very exciting to watch. It is important to note this is the first time there are more Yamahas than Hondas in the top five positions during qualifying. Also, Ruben Xaus leads the Italian machinery attack aboard an "old" GP3. The young Spaniard is hungry and hunger can do weird things to a man. Watch out for Xaus tomorrow.
Stay tuned for a full race report.