Spanish GP: Fiat Yamaha qualifying report

Lorenzo On Front Row, Rossi 4th Jorge Lorenzo put his Fiat Yamaha M1 on to the second spot on the grid in Jerez this afternoon, in an exceedingly close qualifying session which saw the first ten riders all within a second of one another. His ...

Lorenzo On Front Row, Rossi 4th

Jorge Lorenzo put his Fiat Yamaha M1 on to the second spot on the grid in Jerez this afternoon, in an exceedingly close qualifying session which saw the first ten riders all within a second of one another. His team-mate Valentino Rossi will start from the front of the second row tomorrow, with Spaniard Dani Pedrosa heading the field for the 2pm race.

Lorenzo had looked in menacing form in the morning practice session, turning out laps in the low 1'39s with meticulous consistency. This afternoon was much warmer however and the Mallorcan found he was a couple of tenths slower in the sweltering heat, as he battled to extend his run of four consecutive poles at this track. With twenty minutes left he moved to the top of the standings but his lead was short-lived as his Spanish rival Pedrosa took over soon after. Lorenzo improved his time twice more but it was not enough to overhaul his compatriot and he eventually finished 0.285 seconds off pole position. The Yamaha man is feeling confident for tomorrow however and the Spanish fans have high hopes for an exciting battle between their two home favourites.

The World Champion found he was in much better shape today and in the end detained from taking any painkillers for his recovering shoulder. Instead he and his crew turned their attentions to improving the set-up of his M1, having lacked rear traction yesterday. Rossi definitely looked much happier this afternoon and indeed led the standings for the first forty minutes of the session before surrendering the lead to his team-mate and then slipping down to as low as sixth at one point. The Italian lost time on a fast penultimate lap when he had to pass another rider but his final push saw him improve significantly and haul himself up to fourth, just 0.047 off Stoner in third position.

Jorge Lorenzo
Position: 2nd Time: 1'39.487 Laps: 27

"I was very fast this morning and I hoped I would be again this afternoon, but we struggled a bit in the increased heat and couldn't keep up quite such a good pace. This morning I could ride exactly how I wanted, which was a great feeling, but in qualifying it wasn't exactly the same. Anyway, my lap time is not so bad and we are on the front row, which is very important. I am very excited about tomorrow and I feel confident that I can make a good race in front of the Spanish fans. This is a very special track to race at and I can't wait to hear the crowd!"

Valentino Rossi
Position: 4th Time: 1'39.558 Laps: 28

"Of course it would be better to be on the front row but fourth is okay and I'm very happy about how much we've improved since this morning. After Pedrosa, the next five of us are all very close and this afternoon I was able to do some laps in the 39s with the harder Bridgestone tyre. We are fast now but we're still not consistent enough so we have to work on this for tomorrow. My shoulder feels a lot better today and I have to say thank you to all of the Clinica Mobile and everyone who has worked on it. I am still lacking a bit of strength but the pain is okay. I am hoping for a great race tomorrow for all the fans."

Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager

"It was a lot warmer this afternoon and the session was hot in more ways than one; there's plenty of good racing rivalry between Jorge and his fellow Spaniard! We were very fast this morning and not quite as fast this afternoon but it's important to remember that there are no points for qualifying and we're just happy to be on the front row, which was our target today. The race conditions will be more like those of this afternoon and we had a good rhythm out there so we will be going for it tomorrow."

Davide Brivio
Team Manager

"We were all surprised and happy today to find that Valentino's shoulder was a lot better and that he was able to continue to ride without any painkillers. We will start from fourth tomorrow but we know we have the performance to fight; we just need to make sure we can maintain it for the race distance. We have a bit more work to do on the bike and some settings to adjust in order to make the tyre work better for us and then we will be ready."

-source: yamaha

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