Rizla Suzuki goes in to the final Grand Prix of the season looking to end the year moving forward after a tough qualifying session left the riders with plenty of work for tomorrow’s race.
Loris Capirossi (P14, 1’33.339, 25 laps) made a big step in his lap-times from Friday, but couldn’t make significant in-roads further up the grid. He will start from the fifth row tomorrow, determined to end the season with a constructive performance that will help Suzuki to take things forward into the winter test programme.
Álvaro Bautista (P17, 1’33.515, 23 laps) has so far had a weekend to forget at Valencia, as he has struggled to get the grip levels he wants to help him on the 4,005m circuit. He will work with his crew this evening to assess the data in the hope that a new setting they are planning to try in tomorrow’s warm-up will assist him for the race.
Today’s qualifying session was held in clear and dry conditions with the air temperatures reaching 22°C. The fastest lap of the day was set by Ducati’s Casey Stoner, as the Australian took his fourth pole position of the season.
Tomorrow’s 30-lap race will be the curtain closer to the 2010 season and the main event will get underway at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs GMT).
“What can I say about today? I am obviously upset that this is the last qualifying of the year and it was a very difficult one. We improved a lot from this morning, but we stayed in the same position. The weather today was a bit better and this helped the bike, but it was still tough. Tomorrow will be a hard race and that is easy to see because I am 14th and Álvaro is last, we are close, but this is the reality of the situation. The forecast for tomorrow is to be colder and cloudy, so this might put us in the same position that we experience when the temperature drops.”
“It has turned into a difficult weekend so far and I feel like I am struggling with the bike. I’m having the most problems with the exit from the corner, but we have improved the GSV-R since yesterday as we have tried to get more grip and less movement form the bike. This afternoon it was still difficult and at the end of qualifying I was only really concentrating on the exit of the corners, more than I was on making a fast entry, so this made it very hard to be competitive. I’ve improved on my best time here, but it is still not enough. In warm-up we are going to try a new setting to help me with the rear of the bike and see what happens. We must work very hard and if tomorrow morning we find something better we will certainly use it in the race. It is going to be hard, because we will start form the last position – the only good thing about that is that I can only finish better than I start!”
GP Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana Qualifying Practice Classification:
1. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1’31.799: 2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) +0.331: 3. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) +0.445: 4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) +0.531: 5. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) +0.632: 14. LORIS CAPIROSSI (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1.540: 17. ÁLVARO BAUTISTA (RIZLA SUZUKI MOTOGP) +1.716: