Rizla Suzuki racers Loris Capirossi and Álvaro Bautista will start tomorrow’s Portuguese Grand Prix from 13th and 14th positions on the grid respectively after today’s qualifying session was washed out.
Capirossi (1’51.518, 25 laps) and Bautista (1’52.734, 23 laps) were both able to get an hour of practice this morning – despite the rain that had previously fallen – and the pair improved their lap-times from yesterday to leave them in 10th and 12th places on the timesheets. Both riders were looking to improve further in this afternoon’s qualifying session, but a huge storm hit the Estoril area around lunch-time and with no sign of the rain abating as the day progressed, the race officials had no option but to cancel all of this afternoon’s proceedings. This left both riders frustrated and disappointed, as the grid positions for tomorrow’s race had to be decided by the combined times from the two practice sessions that have managed to go ahead so far this weekend. World Champion Jorge Lorenzo will start tomorrow’s race from pole position.
Rizla Suzuki will be hoping for better conditions in tomorrow’s warm-up session so Capirossi and Bautista can make some improvements to their bikes if it is a wet race, but with the forecast showing drier weather for Sunday, they will need to work hard to get a dry set-up to prepare for the 28-lap race that gets underway at 13.00hrs local time (13.00hrs GMT).
“I am a little bit upset about the weather because it has made it really strange for the whole weekend. Yesterday morning we didn’t do practice because of the rain, then we were able to go out in the afternoon, this morning we rode in the wet and then this afternoon we just couldn’t go out because it was so dangerous on the track. Overall I feel quite happy with the bike, but I am not happy at being 13th on the grid. I was 10th yesterday and 10th this morning, but on combined times I have dropped back! I think it looks like the weather tomorrow will be better and I believe we can have a competitive race if it is. The bike worked well here last year, so we are feeling quite positive and hoping for a good result.”
“I am disappointed, but at least this morning we were able to try a different setting in the bike and it felt much better than yesterday. We had another improvement for this afternoon, but we could not try that. Depending on the weather tomorrow we will continue with the wet weather settings and try to make some improvements for those conditions during the warm-up. If it is dry it will be new for everybody so it will be interesting to see who is faster in the drier conditions and who can adapt the quickest. I will be pushing really hard for a good result, I just hope I can make a good start and fight my way through.”
bwin Grande Premio de Portugal Qualifying Practice Classification:
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’48.522: 2. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) +0.135: 3. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) +0.361: 4. Casey Stoner (Ducati) +0.539: 5. Ben Spies (Yamaha) +1.199: 13. LORIS CAPIROSSI (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +2.996: 14. ÁLVARO BAUTISTA (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +4.212: