Jorge Lorenzo qualified third today in the final MotoGP qualifying session of the season in Valencia. It was the 16th time the Spaniard has been on the front row this season, more than any other rider. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate and the 2009 World...
Jorge Lorenzo qualified third today in the final MotoGP qualifying session of the season in Valencia. It was the 16th time the Spaniard has been on the front row this season, more than any other rider. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate and the 2009 World Champion Valentino Rossi qualified in fourth at the Spanish track, ahead of tomorrow's season finale.
Lorenzo continued from where he had left off yesterday afternoon, making some more improvements to his M1-Bridgestone package throughout the session and going into provisional pole with just over ten minutes remaining. He immediately surrendered his lead to eventual pole-man Stoner however and was eventually moved one place further down when Dani Pedrosa also bettered his time by just 0.018. The 22-year-old is happy to be on the front row however and with a strong race pace he is confident of a good race tomorrow, from which he needs just one point to confirm the runner's-up spot in the championship.
It was a more difficult day for Rossi, who has a somewhat turbulent history with this tight and twisty Spanish circuit. The Italian and his crew were unable to come up with a set-up today that gave them enough grip to allow him to ride as he would like and they are faced with some hard work overnight to improve the situation. A better flying lap near the end of the session was good enough to secure him fourth on the grid so he will be in touch to challenge tomorrow, as long as he is able to make a step forward in warm-up.
Rossi's fourth position today sealed him the 2009 best qualifier award, for which he will receive the prize of a new car.
"I'm happy to have ended the season on the front row, where I have been for all but one race! I am feeling very confident about a good race tomorrow because my bike feels good and I am riding well here. My number one aim tomorrow is to make sure I finish the championship in second and I only need one point to do this, but of course I would also like to finish the season with a good race so I will try to challenge at the front as well. I'm looking forward to riding in front of all the Spanish fans, it's always an amazing atmosphere here for the last race!"
"Today was not the best day for us. We haven't found the right setting for the bike yet, we've tried hard but we don't have enough grip yet to allow us to go fast. I have to start on the second row and we have quite a big question mark for tomorrow's race. At the end of the session I was able to do some better laps with the softer tyre but unfortunately with these conditions we will have to use the harder tyre tomorrow. We will work tonight and again in the morning warm-up and hopefully we can find a way to improve so that we can race as we would like to. I'm happy about the qualifying award, at least we have one positive thing to take from today!"
Daniele Romagnoli, Team Manager
"Two good sessions for us today and we're happy because our target was the front row, as it has been all season. Our race pace is good too and we are confident that tomorrow we can put up a good challenge for the last race of the season, which looks like it will be very exciting! It was quite windy today so we hope it's less so tomorrow, we'll try and refine the setting a little more but we're ready to race."
Davide Brivio, Team Manager
"We've got quite a lot of work to do at the moment and we haven't yet been able to find a good solution. The problem is that our bike still isn't able to put enough grip on the tyres and so it's a struggle for Valentino to ride like he wants to. We need to analyse all the data we have from the two days and find something that works better for us. Fourth position isn't too bad however and if we're able to fix the problem then we're still in a position to challenge at the top tomorrow."