ROSSI STORMS ONTO FRONT ROW AT LAGUNA SECA Yamaha Factory Racing riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards will start from the first and second rows respectively in the eighth round of the MotoGP World Championship, after finishing second and...
ROSSI STORMS ONTO FRONT ROW AT LAGUNA SECA
Yamaha Factory Racing riders Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards will start from the first and second rows respectively in the eighth round of the MotoGP World Championship, after finishing second and fifth fastest in today's sell-out qualifying session at Laguna Seca. After lapping fifth and sixth quickest in the morning free practice, both riders were consistently on the pace in the afternoon heat and are confident of their chances in tomorrow's Grand Prix, the first to be held on U.S. soil since 1994.
Riding at the Californian circuit for the first time, Rossi produced a stunning lap to gatecrash the top three at the end of the session and out-qualify ten riders with previous race experience at this circuit. The only man capable of lapping faster than Rossi today was local rider Nicky Hayden (Honda), who took his first ever MotoGP pole position with a time of 1'22.670. Edwards rode equally hard for a top grid position in front of passionate home support and is now targeting a second consecutive podium finish following his third-place in Assen two weeks ago.
VALENTINO ROSSI (2nd; 1'23.024 -- 31 laps)
"It was very important to make a good lap time today and to be on the front row and second place is very good. The team have worked so hard and there was a big difference in the bike between yesterday and today. This track is very particular compared to any other circuit in the world so the settings have to be very particular too. Now I have started to understand the track and I was able to do a fast lap, but I think I will discover some more secrets in the warm-up. It's always difficult to win races in MotoGP but this time it's even worse because there are more riders than usual with a chance of victory -- Hayden is very fast, also Bayliss and Colin. The Americans have an extra motivation but we all want to win and that is what I am here for. We have a good position on the grid, now we need to improve the setting some more and choose the tyres. We'll see what happens at the end of the race."
COLIN EDWARDS (5th; 1'23.469 -- 28 laps)
"It took a big effort to set that lap and I'm actually quite lucky to be on the second row because we made a small mistake with the front tyre choice at the end of the session. Anyway, the important thing is that we're on the second row and I've got a decent race pace. Nicky did a few laps in the 1'23 mark today, which looks to be the benchmark, and it will be tough to go with that but I'm confident we can do it. Laguna is a funny track and you never quite know what to expect on race day because a lot of things can happen, so we'll just concentrate on the job at hand and go for it. The support here has been amazing all weekend and I can't imagine what the atmosphere will be like tomorrow. Hopefully we can give them all something to shout about."
DAVIDE BRIVIO -- YAMAHA FACTORY RACING TEAM DIRECTOR
"Valentino did a very good lap at the end and he has an excellent position to start the race, which is important at this circuit. Colin is also in good shape because he managed to keep a good pace. At the end he qualified on the second row so I think both Colin and Vale have a chance to stay with the top group in the race, although they will be 32 hard laps. It will be a big emotion to see our riders in the yellow and black colours for Yamaha's 50th Anniversary and I'm sure our riders will try their best to help us celebrate."