MotoGP Sachsenring - Riders talk Qualifying

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rossi pole sachsenring

Here’s what the riders had to say after today’s difficult qualifying at the Sachsenring circuit . I you’ve happened to miss seeing what happened in this session, the MotoGP official website has put up a video with a selection of the crashes, just click here and check out Ducati’s Nicky Hayden’s highside that knocks out Pramac Racing’s Niccolò Canepa.

Valentino Rossi - 1st - 1′32.520

“I’m really happy for this pole because it means I’ve already got more than in the whole of last year! Getting the pole position here is very important for the race because it’s such a hard place to overtake, so I’m really happy. We’ve done some good work today and my team has done a great job to set-up the bike. We’ve made a few small modifications, which have improved the feeling for me and I felt very confident today despite the bad conditions. At the end it was really very difficult and we were right on the limit because there was so much water on the track, but I knew I could push a bit more and the result was this great lap. I really hope it’s dry tomorrow – for the sake of everybody – but at the moment it’s doubtful so at least we can be confident that we’re well prepared in the wet as well.”

Jorge Lorenzo - 2nd - 1′33.160

“Yesterday I was quite worried about my injuries but I am happy to say that today I feel a lot better and I was able to ride much more strongly and brake much later. I was really fast in the dry this morning and then this afternoon I did a lot of consistent laps, improving all the time, which is very good because often I struggle in the wet. At the end it was very easy to crash so I didn’t want to push too much or take too many chances, it was important to be careful! Second place is very good and I’m happy about the work we’ve done. I hope I feel even better tomorrow for the race and of course that the weather is a bit better too.”

Casey Stoner - 3rd -1’33.759

“That was a crazy session because of all the standing water on the track and the grip levels were minimal. There were riders crashing all over the place so once we knew we had a decent lap time in the bag I decided to sit out the last few minutes of the session because the last thing I needed was a crash. I’m still feeling the effects of the qualifying crash at Laguna two weeks ago so to be honest the first thing I’m pleased about is to have stayed upright today, the second thing is to be on the front row! I have to take my hat off to Rossi and Lorenzo today because whilst everybody else was sliding around all over the place those two looked like they were on rails. They are clearly the guys to beat again tomorrow in wet or dry conditions although to be honest I’d prefer it to be wet – at least that way I know I am physically fit enough to be strong to the end of the race!”

Nicky Hayden –4th - 1’34.404

“In some ways the session was a complete disaster but I ended up with my best grid position of the year so I’ll take it! I went out on the first bike and immediately something happened to the gearbox going into turn one and I almost went down. It was stuck in second gear so I had to ride it all the way back to the pits like that. I didn’t feel as comfortable on my second bike but I knew that was all I had to work with for the rest of the session so I was a little tentative. Then we made a couple of changes and got going pretty good. Things were coming together so I went out with ten minutes to go, got right on the pace and felt I could do something special. I set my best time through the first split but then in the downhill section I lost the rear and there was no way of getting it back, unfortunately it took Niccolo out too. I’m basically okay from the crash and I hope Niccolo is okay too because it was my fault. I was trying too hard when it was getting too slippery – it was raining harder but I felt like I could go faster”

Alex De Angelis - 5th - 1’34.490

“We started out really well and my lap times were good in the early part of the session, when we were using a tyre that we already put a few laps on yesterday. With a new tyre it was really hard to generate the heat to get it working at optimum temperature but gradually I started to feel better. Then unfortunately I crashed in the corner where everybody else went down too. It is never a nice feeling to crash but especially when I know that I could have made an attack at least for the front row. Anyway, fifth place is a fantastic result for us and if it rains again tomorrow then we’re ideally placed. Even if it is dry we know we have a good starting position and good pace for what I hope can be my best race of the season.”

Randy De Puniet - 6th - 1’34.564

“We have got a good grid position and I am quite satisfied but it has not been easy as wet session is always a gamble. Everybody push to find the limit but sometimes we push too much and we crash. I was very fast in the first run (12 laps) and my machine wet set up was almost perfect. Unfortunately I crashed on turn seven because I opened the throttle too much and the asphalt was like an ice-skating rink! After that I went out on my second bike but it took me some time to find the right pace. When I started to push I had some engine brake issues and at two laps to go I went out in the gravel. The guys must work hard to repair both bikes for tomorrow but I feel confident as we made a good performance in both conditions”.

Colin Edwards - 7th - 1’34.607

“It was a bit of a struggle to be honest, so to be as high as seventh, I’m not going to complain too much. I thought we’d made a big step with the wet set-up yesterday but the rain was much harder this afternoon and the track temperature was a lot cooler. I knew two laps into it that I’d got no feeling from the rear. We made a couple of changes and the lap times were getting a bit better but each time I wanted to push the rear would just come round on me. The Bridgestone front rain tyre is just awesome and you can do what you want with it. If I could chop the bike in half and just ride the front around here it would be fantastic. But as soon as I load the rear tyre it comes round on me and picks me up. I want to push and go faster, but the faster I go the more load I’m generating and that just pushes the rear out even more. The balance isn’t quite right because I feel like I’m riding well in the rain. Tomorrow is all about getting a good start with it being hard to overtake. And the start pretty much determines which group you’re going to be battling in. The new electronics I’ve got though are unbelievable. I don’t want to curse myself but my starts have been phenomenal and I need to thank Yamaha because the new electronics have helped me massively.”

Dani Pedrosa – 8th - 1’ 34.725

“Qualifying in eighth isn’t ideal, so I’ll be trying to make another good start tomorrow. That’s going to be important here because the first turn is quite close to the start line, plus it’s difficult to overtake at this track. The conditions were quite difficult this afternoon, they were changing all the time and I was struggling to get into a good rhythm. There were a lot of riders crashing out there and I don’t have a lot of experience on this year’s wet tyres because I missed some testing earlier in the season. This was why I wasn’t going so quickly this afternoon. It wasn’t because of my crash in last year’s wet race. It was good that we had a dry practice session this morning and of course I’d prefer a dry race tomorrow. The forecast is not certain so we’ll aim to improve our set-up for both wet and dry conditions.”

Loris Capirossi – 9th - 1′34.741

“Overall the practice has not been too bad because we were able to work on getting a good wet setting. We made a few changes half-way through to improve engine-braking and control, but the biggest problem was the amount of rain on the track in the last 15 minutes of the session. I did quite a good lap and then on what felt like my best lap I lost some time behind Melandri, so I decided I had to go for it on the next lap, but in turn seven as I opened the throttle to accelerate out, the rear tyre just let go and I flew a long way off the bike. The good thing for us though is that the feeling in the bike is good in the wet and this will help us if it is like this tomorrow.”

Mika Kallio - 10th -1′34.771

“A very intense day. This morning we have done really well with a dry surface keeping really close to the firsts positions. Then, in the afternoon with really wet surface, we stayed in the top ten and conquered the fourth row. Any weather condition there will be tomorrow we are trustful to be able between the fastest. I am sorry for Niccolò because he was having a good qualifying session and I hope he will be ok for tomorrow’s race.”

Andrea Dovizioso – 11th -1’ 34.892

“The grip levels were quite low this afternoon which meant the machine was sliding a lot - this was the same for everyone of course. We were working on wet settings and the area we primarily need to improve is the stability of the rear on the entry to the corners. This is where the bike was tricky to control in the slippery conditions. It was raining throughout the session and this meant the track was getting increasingly wet. If I had the choice, I’d prefer the less wet conditions from earlier in the session - and ideally fully dry of course. We’ll have to see what the weather does tomorrow, aim to make a fast start and make up some places quickly.”

Chris Vermeulen – 12th - 1′34.937

“I am quite disappointed with qualifying because we struggled to get the bike working well for me. That was probably due to my lack of track time at speed today, but we did make some steps during the session. Right at the end, when there was a lot of standing water, we struggled to get good grip from the rear of the bike and that is something we’ll look at tonight so we can be ready if it is wet tomorrow. With my injuries it will be a bit easier for me physically if it is wet tomorrow, but if it’s dry I’m expecting it to be a tough race. My shoulder and my hip are both hurting from the crash on Friday, but I’ll be ok to race and trying as hard as I can!”

James Toseland - 14th 1’35.005

“I’m gutted. I felt like I was riding really well, so to come in and see myself four-tenths of sixth is hard to swallow. If I wasn’t riding well and not putting in the effort I know I am, I wouldn’t be so frustrated. I had my best feeling in the wet for a long time and I knew I was riding well, but each time I came across the line I was seeing P12 or P13. And then to find out I’m so close to a top six is really frustrating. We kept one set of tyres through the whole session and just as I did my quickest lap time the rain started coming again and there was a little bit more water. I’d used the best grip of my tyre and I couldn’t go any quicker. So instead of sitting here in sixth or seventh with a big smile on my face and feeling confident of a good result, I’m fourteenth and that makes it a tough race with it being so hard to overtake. But my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 have done an amazing job to give me a good bike for the wet and build my confidence. We kept going softer with the set-up because the edge grip on the Bridgestone rain tyre is amazing. It will be a tough race with overtaking so difficult on this track, but as always I’ll be giving it my all.”

Niccolò Canepa - 15th - 1′36.012

“What a hit ! I didn’t understand what happened until I saw the reply while I was in the mobile clinic. When I was on the ground after the accident I saw and heard Hayden saying to me “Sorry, sorry, sorry”, but I didn’t understand why. He doesn’t have to worry because this sort of things can happen and the most important is that both of us are ok and ready to race tomorrow. I suffered a hard contusion ad my back, head and ankle, but nothing is broken. I felt a lot of heat in my lower back but everything seems back to normality now. I want to thanks the mobile clinic doctors who have helped me to relax and will do all possible to put me back in top form for tomorrow’s race.”

Gabor Talmacsi – 16th - 1′36”055

“It was my first time, on the wet. We began which a basic set-up. Then, we stopped, as programmed, to switch to my second bike, and we improved. With 17 minutes to go, I stopped for the third time, to change tyres and to modify the setup. We did not get what was desidered, but we have a few ideas to improve”.

Toni Elias - 17th -1’36.531

“I didn’t feel as comfortable today as I did yesterday in the wet or the dry. Track temperature was 15ºC lower and I really felt the difference. It was taking too long to get any heat into the tyre and even when I did the feeling wasn’t there. It wasn’t a good day and it finished off with a crash, which I was lucky to come away from without any injury. I’d had a few warnings beforehand, the bike was sliding around in a lot of places, and then I lost control and the next thing I knew I was laying on top of the bike like I was sunbathing or something! It’s funny to watch on television but I can assure you it wasn’t so funny for me. Hopefully the fans get chance to sunbathe tomorrow because we need a dry race. I’m starting from last place so it will be a tough race for sure. My only option is to fight and pass as many people as I can. Let’s hope we have the conditions and a set-up that allows me to do so.”

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