Valencian GP: Fiat Yamaha qualifying report

Tough Task Ahead 2008 MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi faces a tough task in his quest to win his tenth race of the season tomorrow after a below-par qualifying performance left him on the fourth row in Valencia. The Italian will...

Tough Task Ahead

2008 MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi faces a tough task in his quest to win his tenth race of the season tomorrow after a below-par qualifying performance left him on the fourth row in Valencia. The Italian will start from tenth with his Fiat Yamaha team-mate, Jorge Lorenzo, directly ahead of him on the grid in seventh.

After yesterday's downpour this morning's session was a little drier but still very cold, with Rossi finishing in fourth. This afternoon temperatures increased but the Italian and his team struggled throughout the session to find a good set-up for their M1 at this tight and twisty track. With the skies looking threatening Rossi began his qualifying sequence earlier than usual but his set-up problems persisted on the softer Bridgestone qualifying rubber and he was unable to set a fast enough time, meaning he will start from the head of the fourth row tomorrow in tomorrow's 30-lap race.

Valentino Rossi
Position: 10th Time: 1'32.962 Laps: 26

"Today was not one of my best days; I think one of the hardest we've had all year! Yesterday in the wet we were okay but in the dry today we couldn't find the right setting and I was finding it especially hard on the exit of the corner, which meant I was then losing a lot of time in acceleration. Unfortunately we couldn't improve much with the qualifying tyres and so now we must start from tenth tomorrow. At the moment with the setting as it is I think we might only be able to finish eighth so now we need to work very hard to try to find a way to be competitive tomorrow!. We have been in this situation before though so it is not the end of the world and we will try to find a good setting in warm-up, get a good start and then have some fun! It seems that my battle with Valencia is continuing, so far she is winning but I will try to change that tomorrow!"

Davide Brivio
Team Manager

"We have a hard job ahead of us tomorrow because starting from the fourth row here is not easy. However hopefully we have set up another exciting race! Today's conditions were difficult because it was quite cold and we couldn't get the setting right to enable us to properly use our qualifying tyre. Now we have to analyse the data tonight and use the warm-up well. Our target is now to give Valentino a good enough bike to let him enjoy the race and then we know that the rest will come from him."

Difficult Quali

Jorge Lorenzo endured a difficult qualifying session in Valencia today and will launch the final challenge of his rookie season from seventh on the grid. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi meanwhile had an equally troublesome day and will start from tenth, directly behind Lorenzo.

This morning's session was run in damp conditions that gave way to a light rain shower at one point, and with temperatures very low Lorenzo and his crew were unable to find a good balance between bike and tyres and finished in 14th. They were confident of improvements this afternoon in the dry but it was not to be and the first part of the session saw the young Spaniard lapping four seconds off the leaders. He made some headway as time went on but is still lacking grip and confidence in the corners, a problem the team will be looking to address in tomorrow's warm-up. Lorenzo, whose target for tomorrow is to secure the title of leading rookie, was nonetheless able to make a slight improvement with qualifying tyres and will start from the head of the third row when the lights go out for the 30-lap season finale.

Jorge Lorenzo
Position: 7th Time: 1'32.594 Laps: 26

"We don't really know what happened here today. At the start of the practice I was four seconds slower than the top riders and this is really too much! I couldn't ride how I wanted and it is quite frustrating here, because I really want to finish with a good race. Anyway now we need to look at the data and work out what is going on, I have confidence in my team that we will find a way. We also need to work on the tyres with Michelin because at the moment I don't have the grip or confidence that I need and we haven't really had enough dry time to find the right balance. It will be hard tomorrow but I will try to start fast and pass some riders and then see what I can do."

Daniele Romagnoli
Team Manager

"This was a very difficult session for us and we didn't expect to have so many problems here, at a circuit at which we have already tested at the end of 2007. We are struggling to find rear grip and because of this Jorge doesn't have enough confidence on the entry to the corner. Now we need to analyse the data carefully in order to help us understand the problem and then we will have to use the warm-up as well as possible. Hopefully we will find a setting which will allow us to have the race that Jorge and the team deserve tomorrow."

-credit: yamaha

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