Valentino Rossi on provisional pole for Jerez

Valentino Rossi broke the current lap record by more than a second on his way to nabbing provisional pole for the Spanish GP this weekend at Jerez. Jerez, known as the Cathedral of motorcycle racing, hosts the first European round of the...

Valentino Rossi broke the current lap record by more than a second on his way to nabbing provisional pole for the Spanish GP this weekend at Jerez.

Jerez, known as the Cathedral of motorcycle racing, hosts the first European round of the MotoGP series. "Honestly, when I saw the time on the computer I couldn't believe it," Rossi said. "We started with the same good rhythm as Welkom and we are in the front. The bike is going really well, it's really agile and great to ride! We have some other things to try with the tires, which we will do tomorrow morning." said Rossi.

But today may have been the last dry day of the weekend for the MotoGP circus, as rain is expected Saturday and Sunday. "I don't know if it will rain tomorrow but I'm more worried about Sunday's weather anyway. I'm very happy, I love this track, it's my favorite and the Yamaha goes well here. We are at a good level but for sure we are not at our maximum. We need more horsepower." ended Rossi.

Rossi's teammate, Carlos Checa, shared the front row in third. Checa commented "We are on the provisional front row but we know that the weather tomorrow might not be so good and I realized that today it was quite important to finish in a good position. In the morning we had a few troubles with the bike but I am happy with the work we have now done. I just need some more time to take the full potential from the bike. We are getting close with the settings and I feel more comfortable with the bike - a very different feeling from South Africa. Now I am looking forward to a dry race, but really we do not know what the conditions will be like."

Fellow Spaniard, Sete Gibernau, was sandwiched between the two Yamahas in the front row.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the season has been the performance of the Ducatis. Last year, Ducati Corse rider, Loris Capirossi, sat on pole for Jerez. Today, he qualified 15th, more than two seconds behind Rossi. Even worse, he qualified behind Ducati satellite rider, Ruben Xaus who qualified 12th.

If the forecast is correct, this may be how they grid for Sunday's race. If it does rain on Sunday, the big question will be whether or not the Yamahas can keep the pace of the Hondas in the wet. While the Yamaha M1 performed fairly well at last year's wet LeMans GP on the hands of Alex Barros, Sete is an expert wet rider and will surely be Rossi's main concern.

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Carlos Checa , Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , Alex Barros , Sete Gibernau , Ruben Xaus