JORGE LORENZO (1st – Yamaha Factory Racing): “We made a very good lap at the end of the session with the new ‘qualifying’ tyre. In the middle of the practice we struggled a little bit because we had a bit of chattering and the rear tyre wasn’t working as well as it had been in the morning session. We need to still work a little on our pace as it’s not extremely good yet but we have some options for tomorrow. Let’s see what happens, it’s going to be a long race in difficult conditions”.
DANI PEDROSA (2nd – Repsol Honda): “It was hard because we had a lot of chattering this afternoon and it was very difficult to get a clean lap as in some areas the bike was chattering too much, even in the straight! Nevertheless, we managed to get on the front row again and the second position is good. The pace is high and after missing FP2 yesterday because of the mixed conditions, this morning we’ve been working hard on the race pace. I just hope that we don’t have this chattering for the race. The weather can play an important role too, so we’ll have to see what happens tomorrow afternoon”.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (3rd – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “I am very happy with today’s front row because it is confirmation of how strong we have been all weekend. I have to say a big thanks to my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew because in every session we have made progress with the set-up of the bike and for qualifying we made another big improvement. It is always good to be on the front row bu t the pleasing aspect is my race pace. I am very close to Lorenzo and Dani and my goal will be to stay with them for as long as possible tomorrow. With more rain earlier it meant the track was quite slippery, but normally when that is the case I am very fast and again today I have proved that. Hopefully it will be a dry race tomorrow but if it is raining then it will be the same for everybody and nobody has an advantage because we haven’t tested on a full wet track”.
CASEY STONER (4th – Repsol Honda): “It’s been a really disappointing weekend, but especially today. We’ve had pace all weekend and the first session looked promising but we’ve had problems with the brakes and some other small issues. Every step we take to try and improve the bike, we make it worse and it’s becoming very frustrating. Our potential is much higher than where we are currently at and now we go into the race without any real direction. Physically I’m not sure how I am going to be as we haven’t been able to complete many laps this weekend, our pace is there and I just hope that we can make some small improvements in tomorrow’s warm up”.
CAL CRUTCHLOW (5th – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “After qualifying on the front row at the last four races I should be pretty disappointed with fifth position and I am. To be honest I am not happy with the performance of the bike and I had the same issue that struck in qualifying last weekend in Japan. I had a big vibration and all the changes we made to improve the situation didn ‘t work. It felt like I had zero grip and we can see the problems on the data but we still haven’t been able to identify what is causing the vibration. We have a lot of work to do tonight and I will be sitting down with my crew and analysing a lot of data to come up with a plan for the race. If the situation remains the same for the race it will be really difficult and demanding. As always I will try my best and the main goal will be to claw back some of the points I lost to Alvaro and Valentino with the bad luck in Japan”.
BEN SPIES (6th – Yamaha Factory Racing): “Qualifying was good, we had good pace in early in the session but when it came down to putting in that one fast lap we didn’t quite have enough. We also wanted to bring the bike back in one piece and not a broken one like we’ve done a few times this year. We’re looking forward to tomorrow and getting stuck into the race”.
HECTOR BARBERÁ (7th – Pramac Racing): “I’m very happy about today. The Sepang circuit is one of my favourite tracks and I always went quite fast here. I achieved a good result in today’s qualifying session, finding a good pace. The 7th place of today, allows me to arrive on the grid tomorrow, with confidence to battle for a great race and it was what I needed. I’m feeling good on my Ducati and I know we can hunt for one of our best results, in this 2012 MotoGP season. Today I rode with the same lap times I set during the winter test (even if during the preseason test we found different weather conditions compared this weekend) and this improved a lot my confidence for tomorrow’s race”.
STEFAN BRADL (8th – LCR Honda): “Today’s qualifying was extremely tough for us because we did not improve our set up before the afternoon session. This morning we have tried to find the right way to reduce the chattering because I could not enter the corner and we are losing too much in the middle of the corner and we are struggling to find the solution because we never had such a big chatter issue in the past. In these conditions I do not have enough confidence and this cost me a lot of time that’s why I am too slow in those areas. In the beginning of the session on used tyres, it looked like we were capable to reduce the chattering problem but as soon as we went out on new rubbers the problem was still there. The guys are working hard to adjust the bike ahead tomorrow’s race and I am confident”.
NICKY HAYDEN (9th – Ducati Team): “It hasn’t been an easy day. In qualifying I lost some time due to a couple of issues I was having with the clutch and rear brake. Then we made a few little changes and got going better, but I had so much chatter that both of my hands are still tingling. I think a lot of guys are dealing with it, but it’s really making it difficult for me in the fast corners. I was able to do an okay lap, but the pace is really fast. I made one little mistake on what turned out to be my best lap, and that probably cost me two or three tenths. We’ve got a couple decisions to make for tomorrow, and we’ll see what we can do”.
ÁLVARO BAUTISTA (10th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “This morning we tried to improve our feeling with the bike from yesterday but we only partly managed it. In the afternoon we continued to work in the same way but rear traction was still an issue and the small progress we made wasn’t enough to improve our position before the crash. There were a lot of riders on track at the same time and nobody wanted to give anybody else a tow so we lost some time there and when I tried to push again the tyre temperature had dropped and I lost control. Luckily I wasn’t hurt but the bike needs rebuilding and I am sorry to the team for the extra work. It will be a tough race tomorrow but I am confident that we have found some solutions today that should work”.
VALENTINO ROSSI (11th – Ducati Team): “We were going pretty well at a certain point this afternoon, as I was able to do some laps with the hard tyre at a low-2:02 pace. We were pretty optimistic for the end, but when we put on the soft, it triggered a lot of chatter and I wasn’t able to improve enough to be further up the grid. Anyway, we’re not too far from Hayden, Barbera, Bautista and Bradl, so we’ll see. The warm-up will be very important for choosing the tyres. With the soft, it will certainly be necessary to slow down a lot in the second part of the race because today, it was already sliding a lot after just three or four laps. With the hard tyre, in theory we should suffer more at the beginning and then… we don’t know yet. Tomorrow we’ll try to understand. Finally, there’s the rain variable, which could shake everything up. We’ll see what time it comes”.
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ (12th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “I am really happy with the result today. We put the new engine in this morning and it made quite a big difference but we have had a lot of chatter this weekend and I think that’s the case for most riders. The strong point of our bike is in corner entry but with so much chatter we’re losing ground in this aspect to the prototypes. We have done a great job and the lap times are good despite the two long straights here, where we also lose out a lot to the prototypes. I have a decent advantage over my teammate, probably the biggest we have had for a while. I lapped alone and set a good pace for several laps so we’re in good shape for the race. It will be very tough because of the heat so we have to be mentally prepared for that”.
RANDY DE PUNIET (13th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “There seem to be a lot of riders struggling with front-end chatter here and having spoken to a few of the guys who were here for preseason testing it seems the track conditions are very different to back then and a lot more bumpy. We have been trying to make the bike more stable but I am really struggling for front-end feel, I don’t know why. I can’t keep my speed up through the corner and it is damaging my confidence with the bike. We haven’t stopped working to fix our problems and we will keep going in the warm-up tomorrow. Hopefully we can find something”.
KAREL ABRAHAM (14th – Cardion AB Motoracing): “I´m not happy about today again like it seems normal recently. I feel I do my best at the moment. Driving this bike is very crazy and risky sometimes and it´s very hard to find the way how to deal with it. I know I´m quite fast on breaks compared to the other riders and that makes our loss. I want to finish the whole championship in the best way and without any injury and heavy crash. I hope for a good start tomorrow”.
MICHELE PIRRO (15th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “We set a good lap time today and closed the gap to the top but their pace was very strong. We are the third CRT behind the two Aprilias and now I am ready to give my maximum in a tough race. We still have some vibration problems that I am not comfortable with but if we can fix them then I am sure we can do well. It is important to be physically prepared here at Sepang because it’s such a long race but I feel fit and I’m determined to get a good result to dedicate it to Marco”.
COLIN EDWARDS (18th – NGM Mobile Forward Racing): “We had so much chatter when we came here to test compared to now. We changed the gearing at the beginning of the session because this morning it felt too short and bike was too busy, so we went a little bit longer and lengthen the swingarm a little bit and created a lot more chatter. We went for a soft front, still had strong chatter, I was having to ride the bike differently, couldn’t carry the lean angle. We have a couple of ideas to work on during the warm up, let see how it goes”.
ROBERTO ROLFO (19th – Speed Master): “I’m not really happy with the final position in these qualifying session. I was hoping for a better placement. During the sessions we had at disposal, we managed to improve, but we still have some trouble in the last part of the track, where we lose quite a lot, compared to the other parts. I’m struggling in the final part of turns and I can’t take full advantage of the power of the bike. Today it was useful to have other riders as reference, so that I could understand better the last few corners of the track, but we still have some work pending in order to be more competitive. In the warm up we’ll try out some other solutions to try and improve our pace, so that we can stay with the other CRT machines. We have some margin to move forward, we just have to make it effective with the objective to be fighting with the other CRT riders”.
Sincerely, Eduard Ballús