RED BULL INDIANAPOLIS GP MotoGP POST-QUALIFYING QUOTES – Saturday, Aug. 29
1st) DANI PEDROSA (No. 3 Repsol Honda Team): "I think for the moment, we did a good job, even (Friday) in the rain. That’s good for us. It’s not easy to be in front of the Yamahas, so I’m happy for that. Starting in the front row is very important. For sure, the other riders will improve. So we have to keep focused and tomorrow for the race try to have the best package we can." (More Pedrosa to come in press conference transcript)
2nd) JORGE LORENZO (No. 99 Fiat Yamaha Team): "We made a big step at the beginning of the session. The only thing is we didn’t improve the last lap, the lap time. We had our pace, and we can have hopes to win tomorrow." (More Lorenzo to come in press conference transcript)
3rd) VALENTINO ROSSI (No. 46 Fiat Yamaha Team): "We worked a lot this afternoon trying to improve. But we didn’t have enough rhythm. Starting from the first row will be very interesting, very important. We hope we will be more competitive for the race tomorrow."
COLIN EDWARDS (No. 5 Monster Yamaha Tech 3): "It felt good. I felt comfortable. Right there at the end, I was pushing it. I just did my best lap, and it really wasn’t that good of a lap. I thought, ‘Let’s clean it up a little bit and get the lines right.’ And I came into Turn 6, I think, and there’s a bump that’s just huge. It’s right in the middle of the track. I been going inside of it and inside of it, and then if I brake a little deeper, I might go outside of it. But it’s hard to see. I got in there and just kind of got lost and I’m like, ‘Where am I?’ You know, the suspension compressed, and once you hit a bump like that it’s all over." (Will that section be a problem during the first few laps of the race with so many bikes going into the turn at the same time?): "No; not really. There’s some bumps out there. I’m not going to lie to you. There’s some big bumps out there that I think a lot of these guys aren’t accustomed to as far as motocross skill level on a couple corners. You know, we have to ride the same thing. Bike setup is so important around here; getting everything to work and follow the bumps." (Overall feeling going into the race): "It’s a home race. It doesn’t matter where we are, if we’re in the backyard racing or at Indy. I got friends and family here and am looking for a good result."
LORIS CAPIROSSI (No. 65 Rizla Suzuki MotoGP): "We were trying to find the best setup on the bike because we have a new chassis after the race in Brno. We have to sort it out. We improved, but not close to the top guy. We will use the warm-up (Sunday morning) to try to fix for a better bike and have a great race. Our position is to try to fight into the top six. That is our target for Sunday."
NICKY HAYDEN (No. 69 Ducati Team): (How was qualifying?): "It’s always the same. You feel like you left a couple of tenths out, but overall we’re quite competitive. We’ll see tomorrow. I know it will be a tough one, but actually it has been a pretty decent weekend for us. I hope to get some solid results tomorrow. The track conditions were better, but for me, the wet is not so bad. Yesterday, I was second fastest. I think we were due for some dry weather. And it is always nice to be at Indy, rain or shine. It could be snowing, and I would still be happy to be here. I like tracks that go left. I grew up in America, and there are a lot of tracks that go left. In Europe, it’s the opposite. I try to tell myself there is no difference, but all of my best drives go left. The results always say that." (Can you foresee a top-three finish tomorrow?): "Let’s don’t be talking podium. I’m not going to make any big predictions or nothing. There are a few guys in that front group that are certainly quick. But, you know, in racing anything can happen. We have got to put ourselves in a good position to just be there and capitalize. I’ll certainly try to hold on to the front group as long as I can." (What would a good finish mean to you remaining with the Ducati team?): "I’ve been in years like this before. Everybody is feeling the pinch on jobs. Truthfully, I try to block it out and let the managers handle the thing. I got a couple of good options. I don’t know if I will be here in this garage next year. But regardless, I feel pretty confident that I will have a good package."
JAMES TOSELAND (No. 52 Monster Yamaha Tech 3): "I’m just really, really frustrated at the moment. We made a change at the end, and the bike improved quite a bit. I was just catching Marco Melandri on my last qualifying lap, and just right on the last two corners he made a slight mistake. I had to roll the throttle, and that cost me the third row. For sure there was a low (1:) 41, high 40, maybe where Colin was. I’m just a bit frustrated, but now I’m really confident with the changes we’ve made. If we get a good start, we can get a decent result. All is not lost, but we should have been on the third row, at least. As I say, with the work the guys have done today, I’m quite pleased about tomorrow." (Maybe playing with your band this afternoon can take your mind off it a little): "At least we found our setting, because I would have been singing Barry White through the whole gig if not."
GABOR TALMACSI (No. 41 Scot Racing Team MotoGP): "I expected a little bit more. I’m a little disappointed. I the morning practice, I felt I had a little bit more power and would do better. We went in the wrong direction (in qualifying). I’m not happy about the rear weight. I was always sliding a little. We will have to wait and see on the data what happened and try to improve for the warm-up. My target it always to stay in the eighth, ninth, 10th position, and I think with this fantastic team we can do it. We need maybe just a little bit more time because this MotoGP bike is not easy to ride. We have had some difficulties, but I never give up because I feel the team power. We will just do our best in the race. We have to understand what happened today, and maybe for the race we try some different things, maybe a different suspension that will give me better support. My spirits are good, and I will try to race the competition."
CHRIS VERMEULEN (No. 7 Rizla Suzuki MotoGP): "The track was wet Friday, so every lap that the bikes did today, it put rubber down and got faster. Not only that, we’re improving and getting more familiar with the circuit and setting the bikes up. We’re going the right way. We’re going faster, which is better than going slower, but not quite fast enough. We have some work to do Sunday. The plan … to go as fast as I can from the first lap. It’s going to be a tough race. The lap times are very, very close, and a lot of these guys have been World Champions, so they are very consistent with each lap. It’s never easy, but we can make up a few places and fight in the top 10."
ALEIX ESPARGARO (No. 44 Pramac Racing): "I’m happy for the first time here for the MotoGP. It’s not an easy bike. But I’m happy. Riding the Ducati, we’ve had some problems. But I think for tomorrow morning we have to make a good start and have a fun race. The conditions were better than yesterday. Yesterday, everything was new, and with the rain, it was not good. But Saturday was better. I just have two hours, which is fine. But I’m happy, and we just have to continue working like this, and we’ll see tomorrow."
MARCO MELANDRI (No. 33 Hayate Racing Team): "It was a good day for me. We had a lot of fun this morning in the third part of the track. We’ve been working a lot, and we improved this afternoon. We improved a bunch in Turn 2. I’m looking forward to the race. I just need a good start. The start (standing) is very crucial. It’s not very easy to pass. For me, it has always been difficult this year to have a good start, and I have lost a lot of time at the beginning of the race. The weather will be the same for everyone. It’s nice to know it will be a dry day; that’s important to us and to the spectators. I am confident. My bike is working quite good. I’m looking for a good result."
NICCOLO CANEPA (No. 88 Pramac Racing): "It’s not so bad. In the beginning of the session, it was good. And then at the end, when I wanted to do a good lap time, the front tire was too old. My engineer told me to change the front, but I didn’t know what to do. I ended with the old one, but it was better to change it. Anyway, I did a good lap time, and I had a good session. It’s not too bad for tomorrow." (Did you prefer the weather conditions today compared to yesterday?: "For sure. Yesterday, we had some problems in wet conditions. Usually I’m not so concerned with wet conditions. But anyway, I am excited about it, for sure."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (No. 4 Repsol Honda Team): "I’d like to be further forward on the grid, and I think eighth doesn’t actually reflect our potential here, so we’ll be aiming to improve the setup for the race. My qualifying session didn’t go exactly to plan because I had a small crash near the beginning of the session in Turn 7. At that point in the middle of the turn, there’s a change in the asphalt, and you have to be more delicate on the brakes at the point. I didn’t change the lever pressure correctly, which was the mistake that caused me to lose the front. In fact, my feeling from the front end wasn’t perfect today, so this is what we’ll be working to improve for tomorrow. I think the front of the race is going to be run with lap times below 1:41, and I’ll need to get a good start from the third row to give me a chance of competing with the leaders. I’m confident we can take a step forward tomorrow."
TONI ELIAS (No. 24 San Carlo Honda Gresini): "I was faster than this morning. This morning it didn’t feel like I wanted. But I think it’s not good enough. We need to have a second more. We’ll try to find it for tomorrow. If we could do it, it could be very good for us."
MIKA KALLIO (No. 36 Ducati Team): "We started the session well, and my first outing on used tires wasn’t too bad. We tried a different setup in the middle of the session, but it wasn’t as good and I switched back. When we put a fresh tire on to push for a lap time, I had to abort a couple of laps because there were riders in my way. Then I tried to push again and crashed. It was a really similar crash to the one in qualifying at Brno. I just lost front grip, and the next thing I knew I was on the floor. For some reason, my feeling with the front is quite vague, and it is an area we know we need to work on. Hopefully we can find something before the race tomorrow."
RANDY DE PUNIET (No. 14 LCR Honda MotoGP): "This morning, it was not so easy to ride (with the broken ankle), but this afternoon it was getting easier to ride. My pain was getting much better. I finished 12th on the grid, which is not so bad. I’m very close to the seventh position. It’s a very physical track, and with one leg it’s not so easy. I hope to take a lot of points tomorrow. I think we can have a good race. I had hoped to finish in the top 10 (in qualifying), but my plan is to take some points toward the championship. The race will be interesting because Turn 5 is very adventurous. Many riders have crashed in this corner. I think tomorrow the most important thing will be for me to stay on the bike."