CASEY STONER (1th – Repsol Honda): “In general it’s been a good day for us and I’m really happy to get pole. FP3 was positive and we made progress on the bike, we had the bike turning well with good front feeling. Unfortunately in qualifying we tried to improve it further but managed to lose the good points! We did find a little better feeling in the rear but we couldn’t get the bike to turn and do what we wanted it to. We’ve been pretty fast in every session and our race pace gives us confidence but we’ll have to have a think about which set up direction we go for in warm up and hope this is the best for the race. I was sorry to see Colin has broken his collar bone again and I send him by best wishes”.
DANI PEDROSA (2nd – Repsol Honda): “I think we did a good job in qualifying and to be on the front row here after all the issues we had is a great thing. I couldn’t put too many good laps together because I had some problems on the bike, first with the brakes, then with the electronics and by the end I was feeling good but we had to stop again due to the red flag. I honestly think that in the last minutes of the session I could have taken the pole but there was a lot of traffic and I missed it by just 0.013. The race will be very tough tomorrow because the track conditions are poor, the grip is low and it makes the tyres spin a lot. We will try to set up our bike a little better for tomorrow to do our best in the race”.
CAL CRUTCHLOW (3rd – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “To be back on the front row again is a really great achievement for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team and this is reward again for all of our hard work. I am really happy as well to be the fastest Yamaha because that proves what a good job all of us are doing. I felt really comfortable and confident on the soft tyre and felt I could be fighting for the front row. I was actually going to scrap my best lap but I made up some time in the last sector and it was good enough for the top three. I’m happy with that but we still have to improve the bike a bit more for the race. I want it to turn a little better and brake a little better. I am looking forward to the race but it is going to be a difficult job. We know Jorge is going to be there and a podium will be very hard but as always I’ll try my best”.
JORGE LORENZO (4th – Yamaha Factory Racing): “The main problem for me today was that in turn one and two I couldn’t enter aggressively so I lost a lot of time in this section. In general the bike is not giving me a good feeling so this lap time was the maximum I could get today. We are in fourth but tomorrow is going to be hard, as I have to try to pass Cal who is a hard braker! I will keep thinking positive and see what we can do.”
BEN SPIES (5th – Yamaha Factory Racing): “It was a tough session for everybody, the annoying thing was that three of my best laps were blocked but that’s just the way it goes. Two of them I think could have been avoided but one of them was just a racing incident. We’re on the second row in the middle and we’re a lot better than we were in Jerez. I feel good on the bike and I just need to keep building the confidence now. Being three tenths behind Jorge at this track is pretty good”.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (6th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “We did a good job today. This morning we completed race distance on the hard tyre and it was a positive session. Everything went according to plan in the afternoon too but on the last soft tyre we ran into a lot of traffic on track and when I tried to push on the very last lap I came up behind Spies in the first turn. It is a dangerous thing to do and I think it is up to all us riders to make sure that when we slow down we move aside and make way for the guys coming behind us. Anyway, a second row start is good for us having qualified on the fourth row in Qatar and the third row at Jerez. Tomorrow we need to make a good start and if we can stay with the guys at the front over the opening laps we can look forward to a good race”.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (7th – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “I’m quite angry to have qualified down in seventh today because we could have done much better. It is always tricky when you have to start from the third row of the grid and I hope my starting position is not going to hamper me at the start of the race. Getting a good start will be crucial but I am really satisfied about my pace on the hard tyre. I was third fastest and only 0.2s behind Lorenzo on the hard tyre, so I think my rhythm for the race is going to be very competitive”.
HECTOR BARBERA (8th – Pramac Racing): “I struggled a little yesterday, in particular because of the tricky track condition, but today I’m much happier and confident with my GP12. I’m so happy to be the much consistent and fastest Ducati on the field, even if toward the end I could have dropped more than 3 tenths of a second. The today’s result highlights the excellent work done by my crew and I have to say thanks to everybody”.
VALENTINO ROSSI (9th – Ducati Team): “The day wasn’t bad in the end. We’re on the third row, 0.8 seconds behind pole position, and we’re matching the pace of the intermediate group, after the top four. We’ve worked better this weekend, steadily making small improvements, and now I’m able to ride closer to the limit and push harder on the bike. We have a lot of work to do, especially on acceleration, where we’re losing time, but for sure it’s our best session so far. We managed to improve in T4, the sector where we had problems yesterday. We loaded the rear of the bike to improve grip, which worked. I’m also doing better on the brakes, so I should be able to fight better during battles. We’ll see. Tyres will be important, because the soft is difficult to manage to the end, whereas with the hard, it’s very difficult to push in the beginning. Maybe we’ll see some riders with the hard and some with the soft”.
NICKY HAYDEN (10th – Ducati Team): “Obviously, this isn’t where we wanted to be. I’m one second from the top, which sometimes isn’t that far off, but here I’m in tenth place. All weekend, we just haven’t been able to find that last little bit, as I’ve had a lot of little problems. For whatever reason, we’re not getting the bike to work the tyre properly, and it’s not really gripping the track. I used the same hard tyre the entire morning session, so I thought I’d take more of a step in qualifying. Some of my used tyres still look like new, but they’re just spinning. We’ve got to sort that out and improve change of direction. We’ve only got 20 minutes in the morning, but we’ll see what we can come up with. It’s going to be difficult. On a positive note, I went much faster than I did here last year in qualifying”.
STEFAN BRADL (11th – LCR Honda): “We have been unlucky today: without the red flag we could take the 7th spot on the grid. I am a bit disappointed because we were doing a good job improving a lot the bike compared with yesterday when we were far away from the top. Today we are just one second to the top but during my quickest lap I saw the red flag in the last corner. Starting from the 11th spot will be more complicate in the beginning of the race but I think we made a good job today and I was capable to adapt my riding style to this track”.
ALEIX ESPARGARO (12th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “It has always been our objective to be the fastest CRT bike but I didn’t think it would happen today. Randy had a second over me this morning but I knew that wasn’t indicative because he had a new tyre on and I didn’t. I put the new tyre on this afternoon and could have gone even quicker. So far this is the closest we have been to the MotoGP bikes and we’re improving every session. The only thing is that we only have two units of the new front tyre, which solves our chatter problem, so we have to work on the older stuff for the rest of practice. It focuses all your work into just a few laps and today I managed to find six tenths of a second with it”.
RANDY DE PUNIET (14th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “It was a really heavy crash with Colin. I was on a flying lap and came up behind him by surprise. He wasn’t on the line but I braked hard and lost the front. I was hoping against hope that neither of us got hurt. I was lucky not to break anything but it hurts my chest when I breath so I don’t think I’ll be 100% but I’ll do what I can. I am disappointed because it happened when I was on a new tyre. Everything went perfectly this morning but the things we tried this afternoon didn’t work and when we went back to the standard setting I crashed. My objective for tomorrow is the same as ever: to be the first CRT”.
MICHELE PIRRO (16th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “Unfortunately I made a mistake on my good lap which prevented me from keeping my promise to the guys, which was a 1’39. They deserve at least that because they are working so hard to help me improve. We know we are behind with development but as I have said before nobody is losing faith. Hopefully we can get a good start tomorrow and then complete our principal objective right now which is to make it to the end of the race”.
MATTIA PASINI (17th – Speed Master): “Today things went pretty well. Finally I have a good feeling with the bike, we started working in the right direction both for the electronics and the general set up of the chassis. I can ride the bike as I like. It’s a shame how things went in the qualifying practice of this afternoon. We could have done better, but we had a problem with the bike that I prefer, and for that reason we had to use the other bike for most of the session. I went out with my favourite bike only for the last run, but in the whole this compromised the final result. In any case I am happy, I think there’s a chance to have a good race tomorrow”.
Sincerely, Eduard Ballús