CAMEL YAMAHA TEAM PROGRESS DAMPENED IN ISTANBUL Local weather forecasts predicting heavy rain for today's qualifying session at the Grand Prix of Turkey were borne out today as an early downfall and intermittent afternoon showers thwarted the...
CAMEL YAMAHA TEAM PROGRESS DAMPENED IN ISTANBUL
Local weather forecasts predicting heavy rain for today's qualifying session at the Grand Prix of Turkey were borne out today as an early downfall and intermittent afternoon showers thwarted the Camel Yamaha Team's hopes of improving their YZR-M1 machines ahead of tomorrow's 22-lap race. After struggling to find an ideal setting for the demanding Istanbul Park circuit in yesterday's free practices, both Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi had hoped to complete some dry laps before this afternoon's crucial grid decider but they were forced to splash their way through the puddles and battle hard for ninth and eleventh place respectively.
Edwards' cause wasn't helped by a heavy fall in the morning session, which left him nursing several bruised joints, whilst Rossi has yet to get comfortable with his bike in either wet or dry conditions. For the second successive race, pole position went to an Australian rookie as Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) showed impressive wet pace with a fastest lap of 2'04.617, holding off the challenge of yesterday's pacesetter Nicky Hayden (Honda) and Sete Gibernau (Ducati), who complete the front row.
COLIN EDWARDS (9th - 2'07.334, 21 laps)
"I had a big highside this morning and came down heavily on my head, shoulders and knee. It was pretty painful but after two laps back on the bike you soon forget about that. To be honest I felt quite comfortable in the wet but if we want to be competitive in this race we have to find another two seconds from somewhere and I'm not quite sure where at the moment. Our tyre rivals seem to have an advantage but I also have to say 'hats off' to Nicky Hayden -- I'm not sure how close he was to ending one of those laps on the floor but he showed that Michelin have a good wet tyre so we clearly need to find the performance from our own bike. Wet or dry we have to pull a result out from somewhere tomorrow, but after this afternoon's session I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed for sunshine in the morning."
VALENTINO ROSSI (11th - 2'07.552, 20 laps)
"We're having a lot of difficulty, not just at this track but during this period. Unfortunately the problem with the bike came late in the pre-season and we have not had time yet to fully understand it. It means we are off the pace here in the wet and the dry, but we don't completely understand why. It seems that our tyre competitor is strong here but we can't blame this. Nicky Hayden was very fast all day and after him the next Michelin rider is Casey Stoner; with the amount of MotoGP experience he has in these conditions we should be in front of him. I'm surprised, because last year our bike was really good in the wet and after the new bike worked so well at Catalunya during the rainy pre-season tests I was confident it would be good today as well, but it has been the opposite. I don't have enough confidence in the front to lean the bike over as much as I would like on the entry to the corners and not enough grip on the rear to make it up on the exit. If it's dry tomorrow then we have some things to try in the morning, but if the conditions are the same as today then it's going to be very hard for us."
DAVIDE BRIVIO -- CAMEL YAMAHA TEAM DIRECTOR
"We are clearly in a very difficult situation at the moment and we need to first understand our problems before we can work to improve them. The engineers are looking at the data as we speak and seeing if we can come up with something for tomorrow. Our team have shown in the past that they are capable of producing quick solutions and I have full confidence in them; somehow we have to find a better performance in the wet and in the dry conditions."