Five of Michelin's six riders at Laguna Seca placed in the top seven in this afternoon's US GP qualifying session, local hero Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) making the front row with third-best time. Behind front-row starter Hayden,...
Five of Michelin's six riders at Laguna Seca placed in the top seven in this afternoon's US GP qualifying session, local hero Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) making the front row with third-best time.
Behind front-row starter Hayden, row two is an all-Michelin affair with Laguna newcomer Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin), James Toseland (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) and Randy de Puniet (Honda LCR RC212V-Michelin). Texan Colin Edwards (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) was seventh fastest this afternoon to share the third row with another Laguna first-timer Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Team Scot Honda RC212V-Michelin).
"Today's qualifying session was very important because we had to continue the work we had already done with our race tyres," said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "The conditions here are very different to those at last year's US GP when we struggled with high temperatures and a new and aggressive surface. This year the surface is much less aggressive and the conditions aren't so hot. We brought some hard constructions and hard compounds to prevent a repeat of the problems we had last year, so our riders have had to work on the settings of their bikes to get good warm-up from the tyres and to use the tyres' maximum potential. Casey Stoner is once again very fast, but we are happy that five of our riders are in the top seven positions on the grid. Tomorrow's race is very long - 32 laps - and it seems that it may be cloudy, which will mean a different track temperature, so during morning warm-up some further adjustments may be necessary. It will be tough but we hope for a nice race."
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) withdrew from the event this morning due the injuries he suffered whe n he crashed out of the lead of last Sunday's German GP. The Spaniard fractured his left index finger and his left wrist, which required surgery on Monday. The tough Spaniard rode yesterday but the severity of his injuries made the 32 lap race an impossible challenge.