DANI PEDROSA (1st – Repsol Honda): “I’m not a pole man, so I’m happy to be here for the first time this season; front row is always good and the team has done a great job with the bike. It’s been a difficult session, quite similar to Jerez, the track was drying up but we had some drops again in the last five minutes. So it’s been key to choose the right moment to push and to not get out of the line. Let’s see what the weather does tomorrow but we have to be ready to go fast in any conditions. The race is very long here, 28 laps, and everything can change during the race, so I hope to have a good start and to be able to keep a good pace until the end”.
CASEY STONER (2nd – Repsol Honda): “We’re really happy to be on front row, but qualifying definitely didn’t go to plan. The track was drying out and we knew we had the pace, you just had to be a little cautious in some areas that were still holding water. We felt we were fast enough to be on pole position but every time I was on a good lap or building up to one, I got held up. I think we’re looking good for the race, we’re pretty comfortable in dry conditions but we still have warm up and a chance for the others to find something extra, so we’re going to have to improve our bike a little also and wait for the race as the weather conditions are still unpredictable”.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (3th – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “I am really happy to be on the front row for the first time with Tech 3 and Yamaha. We have done a great job all weekend. I have been fast in every session and even in the tricky conditions at the start of qualifying I was very competitive and strong and the times were coming really easily. I am particularly happy to be on the front row because a small problem meant I was not able to be on track for the final five minutes of the session. That is the period when you improve your time and it was a pity that I couldn’t battle in the final stages because I’m sure I had a chance of getting pole position. So to be on the front row despite not riding in the last five minutes is fantastic and I am very confident for the race tomorrow. I’m sure I have the pace to stay at the front and I am very happy to be on the front in the Tech 3 Team’s home race. I will do my best for Tech 3 and our main sponsor and event sponsor Monster”.
JORGE LORENZO (4th – Yamaha Factory Racing): “I’m not happy, I wanted to be at least on the front row but it was not possible, Andrea was very fast today. I didn’t make one perfect lap, maybe three or four tenths could be improved with a perfect lap but the track conditions were very difficult today and it was very easy to crash and get injured. We are in fourth position and tomorrow I think we can fight for the podium and the victory. I will try to make a very good start”.
CAL CRUTCHLOW (5th – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “I can’t be disappointed to have qualified in fifth position but I think I could have chal lenged for pole position had things gone my way. I made a couple of small mistakes on my fast laps right at the end and that cost me a little bit of time. And we didn’t have the best set-up with the bike. We made some modifications for qualifying but with the conditions wet and damp at the start, we couldn’t tell if it was an improvement and in hindsight it would have been better to stay with the setting I ran this morning. We are not sure what is in store with the weather tomorrow but I am happy with the job we did today and once again we are very close to the front and I’m really looking forward to a good fight in the race. Andrea did a good job today and it is great to have both Tech 3 Yamaha riders competing for the front row. Hopefully we can both have a strong result for Tech 3 and Monster tomorrow”.
BEN SPIES (6th – Yamaha Factory Racing): “Today was a tricky session for everybody, kind of risky. Finally the track started to come good but the guys who did the better lap times were a little bit more brave than others. With this tarmac it’s hard to see if it’s wet or dry in some places. We did the best we could and put together a decent lap to get on the second row. It was pretty hard to commit to 110% when the track is like that so the result is good”.
VALENTINO ROSSI (7th – Ducati team): “I had to pass a rider on my good lap, otherwise I could have been faster, but anyway, I’d say that it’s going pretty well. I’m a bit sorry not to have made the second row, which was pretty close, but the fact remains that this is our best qualifying session of the season and that we were also at the same level in this morning’s dry session. This afternoon we did a good job of adapting to the track conditions, which changed quite quickly, and every exit I found myself on the track at the right time. We made another small step forward compared to Estoril, and we worked well. We’ll see what conditions we find tomorrow. If it’s dry we’ll have to try to start well and stay with those in front for as long as possible, and maybe we’ll be able to cut a little more time”.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (8th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “It was a shame about the crash because we worked well again this morning and my pace was good. Unfortunately the session this afternoon was affected by the weather. At the start the track was wet and then when we were able to go out on slicks I was trying to get comfortable but the conditions were less than perfect. Eventually I crashed in turn nine and it ruined qualifying for us because we had another couple of laps in us and the potential to go half a second quicker. These things happen in racing but tomorrow we will aim to make up for it because we have a good setting for the dry and wet”.
HECTOR BARBERA (9th – Pramac Racing): “Beautiful day, I’m really pleased with how i rode and for the great work of my team. We are less than 0.3 second away from the second row and I hope that we can fight for the fourth consecutive top ten finish in tomorrow’s race. The feeling with my GP12 is strong with dry condition and that allowed me to have a very interesting race pace. Certainly, if there are rainy conditions tomorrow, everything will change, but I know that my crew already have ideas to be able to be fast even in the case of a wet race. Now I have to say thanks again to my guys because they have worked really well one more time and this allowed me to improve my confidence with my Desmosedici”.
KAREL ABRAHAM (10th – Cardion AB Motoracing): “We had started with wet tyres, but track was getting dry during the session. Than we saw Stefan Bradl trying dry tyres and making the best lap immediately after. Despite the fact he crashed in next lap, he showed us the right way. We were doing very good time in next few laps riding on second place and I must admit I was hoping for raining again at this moment. Well, it didn´t and we must fight until the end of the session. Tenth place is good comparing to the problems in last races and Friday´s practices. Now we must hope, that we will ride on dry tomorrow. And if it rains, I hope it will start before warm up, so we got the chance to try the bike on the wet”.
STEFAN BRADL (13th – LCR Honda): “Saturday in Le Mans is a day to forget asap. This morning it wasn’t so bad because we were using a different strategy than other guys. Honestly the cooler conditions caused me some problems because it took me a long time to feel the bike on new tyres. In general at the beginning of the qualifying session it was quite dangerous not really wet and not really dry but I felt pretty good. We were the first to go out on slick tyres because we expected some rain through the session so it was the right decision from our side. Unfortunately I was attacking too much and had a big crash but I am okay. I am still looking forward for tomorrow because I think we are still able to perform well”.
MICHELE PIRRO (14th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “Qualifying took place in tricky conditions but this morning we had found a good balance for the bike and perhaps could have done even better this afternoon if it wasn;t for the conditions and some ongoing back pain that I am suffering. Now we are just hoping for dry conditions tomorrow because it is always difficult to ride in the wet. My thoughts today are also with the family of the sixteen-year-old girl who has been killed today in Brindisi, Italy, which is very sad news indeed”.
MATTIA PASINI (20th – Speed Master): “This was really a difficult day. Yesterday things went reasonably well, whereas the situation today didn’t quite work as we hoped. In the morning I crashed out straight away, probably because the cold track didn’t really help us. In the afternoon, we started fairly well on wet track, we hadn’t completed many laps in the whole, but we still could improve the electronics a little bit. When it was time to get back on the track with slick tyres, we had a problem with the clutch. At the end, once I got out, it was starting to rain again and it wasn’t possible to improve the grid position. It’s a shame because yesterday we were fast, we could have had some good qualifying session. In any case the race is tomorrow, so we’ll a recap and sort things out for Sunday”.
Sincerely, Eduard Ballús