JORGE LORENZO (1st – Yamaha Factory Racing): “The pole position is really important. It was difficult at the beginning and the track was very scary because it was very slippery and cold – there were so many crashes. At the beginning we were four or so seconds slower than in the test a few weeks ago but in the end, on the qualifying tyre, we were able to push 100 percent. So we’re happy but tomorrow is another day”.
DANI PEDROSA (2nd – Repsol Honda): “It was hard in the beginning because I actually wanted to stay on the track for longer. Somehow, I lost the front so I lost a lot of time and had to go back to the pits. When I took the second bike it was hard because I knew it was the only bike remaining for me, so I had to settle for a while just to make sure I would be at the front of the grid. In the end I was able to forget more about it and push hard. The front row is always good so I hope to push more in the race”.
CAL CRUTCHLOW (3rd – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “I think we did a very good job today to finis h on the front row when this session was the first time we have been able to work on the settings in the dry. My main aim for the session was to get the bike set-up for the race and immediately out of the box I was fast and all through the session I was able to steadily improve my pace. I’m confident going into tomorrow’s race because the bike feels good, despite the fact that we missed a lot of dry track time, so credit to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew because they did a fantastic job again. I thought we’d be struggling more because Jorge, Dani and Ben all tested here for two days recently, so to be so close to them shows we’ve done a great job. That is the third front row start on the bounce now but after Misano I have got to finish the race tomorrow. Hopefully it will be in the top three because it would be great to get another podium”.
BEN SPIES (4th – Yamaha Factory Racing): “In the end we weren’t too far off the fastest guys. The session was quite tricky in the beginning, very slippery in parts and quite different to when we tested here. In the end we did an ok job, we didn’t make a perfect qualifying session but honestly speaking after seeing some of the crashes I was probably being a bit cautious. It was the first dry session of the weekend so it’s quite hard to go full speed that quickly. The bike is working well so a good warm up tomorrow morning and we’ll be ready for the race”.
STEFAN BRADL (5th – LCR Honda): “I am pretty satisfied about my qualifying because we lapped with a good pace since the beginning of the session. Unfortunately in one middle-session run I suffered a bit because of the front tyre: we were using the soft rubber the whole session but normally I prefer the hard one but in these cold conditions we thought the soft ones were the best choice. At the end I was trying to put the things together but it was not easy because the rear tyre dropped very fast so I was expecting to get one more position on the grid but P5 is good anyway”.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (6th – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “It has been a particular session this afternoon with quite tricky conditions as qualifying was the first dry session of the weekend and with the low temperatures we had to use the soft front tyre, which is normally unusual for this track and for my riding style. I can’t push as hard as I would like while braking on corner entry, so we will probably use the hard option in the race tomorrow without having it tried before. I’m still really happy with my feeling with the bike. I could have been faster during the last run but I did just two of the five planned flying laps because I found some slower riders on track. I’m confident that I will be able to fight for the podium tomorrow, but it will be important to make a good start to stay with the leading group during the opening laps”.
JONATHAN REA (7th – Repsol Honda): “It was the first dry session of the weekend, I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve this weather! Towards the end of the session we started to get going and find our rhythm, the lap time was ok and I see a few areas where I can improve, but we are closing the gap, now just a second from the pole time which I’m pleased with. In general I’m really happy with the bike and with the set up so hopefully tomorrow I can be closer to the front guys than I was in Misano. It looks like my last ride so I want to go out tomorrow and make every single lap count”.
VALENTINO ROSSI (8th – Ducati Team): “This is a pretty difficult track. You spin a lot, and it’s basically the opposite of Misano. Today went pretty well considering that the others tested here recently and that qualifying was basically the first normal session all weekend. Being on the third row isn’t great, but it’s not too bad either. Unfortunately, I fell about midway through the session, and that cost us some time. Tomorrow we’ll have to decide between a couple of setting options. Let’s hope that the warm-up session will be dry so that we’ll have the opportunity to improve the setup a little bit. Then in the race we’ll see what pace we’re actually able to do”.
NICKY HAYDEN (9th – Ducati Team): “It wasn’t a great day. It was hard to check much in the wet this morning, and I wanted to save some rain tyres for the afternoon just in case, so we didn’t do a lot of work. In qualifying, at times we weren’t too far off, but then when we put in my last tyre at the end, I lost the front in the middle of the last corner. I picked it up, but I was headed right for the wall. I just touched the brakes, and with slicks on wet grass, that was it. We certainly could have done without that, but luckily it wasn’t a big one. This was the first time I was able to really ride the new chassis in the dry, but I need more setup time with it. We’ll regroup and see what we come up with for tomorrow”.
HECTOR BARBERA (10th – Pramac Racing): “I would like to explain my feelings after this tough period, but it’s too difficult. Probably only a rider may be able to understand me. Getting back to the track after six-week absence it seems like getting back aboard on the bike after the winter break! Despite that I’m confident about tomorrow’s race because I’m feeling better lap after lap and I was able to improve also my best lap time, as consequence”.
ALEIX ESPARGARO (11th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “I am really happy with our performance today, it has been a fantastic weekend so far. We have been improving all season in the wet conditions and here we have taken another step forward. In the dry today I felt comfortable from the start and on my last run with the soft tyre I set three really fast laps. I think the lap time is impressive and I hope we can repeat it tomorrow. It will be a tough race because we haven’t had chance to test the hard tyres due to the low temperatures, whilst the soft option goes off quickly. Hopefully the sun comes out tomorrow morning for warm-up so that we can make a choice for the race”.
ALAVARO BAUTISTA (12th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “This afternoon was our only dry session so far and I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike. I wasn’t confident with the front and the rear was sliding around too much. We couldn’t find a solution for qualifying and it was my worst one of the season so far. Hopefully tomorrow with dry track and higher temperatures we can find the confidence to put in a good race performance”.
RANDY DE PUNIET (13th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “I am a bit annoyed because I felt I had a chance of the third or fourth row of the grid today. We have worked well, the lap times were quick and our pace was consistent. Unfortunately we had a problem with only a couple of laps remaining and it’s a shame we didn’t get chance to fight for that top CRT spot. Anyway, we have to stay positive and look on the bright side which is that it is better these things happen today rather than tomorrow. I am sure the mechanics will do a good job tonight and everything will be ready for us tomorrow to approach the race with confidence. Apart from that one incident my feeling in general with the bike is really good and I am sure we can have a good race tomorrow”.
KAREL ABRAHAM (14th – Cardion AB Motoracing): “Morning wet session had been really good, but in the afternoon we rode on dry track for the first time and we had some problems with set up. We discussed some changes during my pit stop, but we couldn´t do them immediately. Even I tried to go faster and I was able to improve my lap time, we wasn´t able to move up in classification. Lot of rider, who had been behind me, did their best times in last lap and overtook me. I can´t be satisfied by this result after successful morning session. We are really curious about weather forecast”
MICHELE PIRRO (15th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “Finally we had a dry session this afternoon and even though the conditions weren’t perfect I was able to get back the feeling for the bike that I had lost in the wet. Our pace is good and if we can close the gap a little more to the top two CRTs we can have a good race tomorrow. We need a little more traction from the rear because at the moment I am struggling to put the power to the ground but I think we can make improvements and be more competitive tomorrow”.
MATTIA PASINI (16th – Speed Master): “I’m quite happy with this session, considering this was the first actual chance we had to complete laps without rain on top of my ART machine at this circuit, and to get to know it effectively. We worked hard during the qualifying practice, and we found a few small things we know we can focus on and try to improve. Now we’ll put together all the data we gathered and we’ll do our best in order to find a good setting for the race, so that we can try and finish the weekend with a positive result”.
COLIN EDWARDS (17th – NGM Mobile Forward Racing): “In all reality we have a good rain setting and its good that we have been able to get in a few laps in the dry before the race. We have made some changes in the electronics and they feel pretty good. Tomorrow we will be working on the chassis to try and work on making the bike turn in a way that feels more natural, to make it smoother”.
DANILO PETRUCCI (18th – CAME Iodaracing): “We get a quite good result, but with just one practice on the dry is very hard to develope the new IODA-SUTER BMW. We are very close to the other CRTs and we will work still tomorrow during the warm up to be more competitive as possible for the race”.
Sincerely, Eduard Ballús