After two days of testing at the Catalunya circuit, Sete Gibernau proved the most prepared for the 40-minute timed "win-a-car" session. "I'm happy to have taken the pole, especially for all the people here who have given me such superb backing....
After two days of testing at the Catalunya circuit, Sete Gibernau proved the most prepared for the 40-minute timed "win-a-car" session.
"I'm happy to have taken the pole, especially for all the people here who have given me such superb backing. I hope they enjoyed themselves. Last night I got together with the team to prepare the endurance; I think that to plan for the fastest lap would have been a mistake. Setting the fastest time was simply the fruit of all the hard work we had done previously," said Gibernau who was almost a half a second faster than Rossi.
While Rossi did not take his second BMW-award car, he said he was still "happy because we did a great job here today during the test. Saturday and Friday we had some problems and we didn't really understand why. We tried to follow a different way but it wasn't right. Today was much better. I made a small mistake in my hot lap in the qualifying session and I was second, but anyway I feel much happier. The bike was much better to ride and felt good on the race tires. It's fun to ride again, which is an important thing for me. We've still got a lot of work to do so hopefully we can continue in the same way at Jerez and find a good base setting for the circuit."
The surprise of the session was American Nicky Hayden, who eclipsed his teammate, Max Biaggi, by qualifying third-fastest. "Overall today (Sunday) has been the best of the weekend. I was real happy to be fighting with the front guys and was trying real hard. Everyone was saying they don't care about the car - man it was a new car we were fighting for! I was really pushing. I'll have to settle for some nice easy payments at my Pa's garage, Second Chance Auto's. Joking aside, it feels good to be up there. There are still three more days to go before we start a race weekend proper and it'll be show time. The team's really pulling hard, there's a great spirit with the new group and I think we're in pretty good shape," said Hayden.
Because the three-day visit to the Catalunya circuit was an actual pre-season test, teams continued to test after the BMW-award run. This gave Biaggi enough time to wiggle himself into the second-fastest overall spot pushing Rossi to third. And Alex Barros to squeeze into the fourth fastest position, pushing Hayden fifth-fastest overall.
The next and final pre-season test will take place at Jerez as the MotoGP circus prepares for the opening round April 10.