A soaking wet Sachsenring held no fears for Fiat Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo today, who took pole and second on the grid amidst heavy rain at the German Grand Prix. It is the sixth time the pair has shared the front row this season and Rossi’s third pole of 2009 is also his first ever in the premier-class at this track. Lorenzo meanwhile continues his impressive statistic of having qualified on the front row at every round so far this year.
This morning was overcast but dry and it was the young Spaniard who ruled the second practice session, with his team-mate half a second off in fifth. It began to rain heavily at lunchtime and did not let up all afternoon, creating treacherous track conditions with standing water in some places. Both Rossi and Lorenzo looked comfortable in the wet and the Italian took an early lead just ten minutes into the session.
22-year-old Lorenzo meanwhile put together a string of good laps, gradually improving his time as he gained confidence on the soaking surface and he duly moved into pole position as the session entered it’s final stages. The team-mates swapped the lead between them twice more before Rossi staked his claim for his 54th career pole with a masterful final lap which saw him better his team-mate’s time by an incredible 0.640 seconds. Casey Stoner joins the pair on the front row once again, a further six tenths off Lorenzo.
Valentino Rossi Speaks… (Position: 1st, Time: 1’32.520, Laps: 30)
"I’m really happy for this pole because it means I’ve already got more than in the whole of last year! Getting the pole position here is very important for the race because it’s such a hard place to overtake, so I’m really happy. We’ve done some good work today and my team has done a great job to set-up the bike. We’ve made a few small modifications, which have improved the feeling for me and I felt very confident today despite the bad conditions. At the end it was really very difficult and we were right on the limit because there was so much water on the track, but I knew I could push a bit more and the result was this great lap. I really hope it’s dry tomorrow – for the sake of everybody – but at the moment it’s doubtful so at least we can be confident that we’re well prepared in the wet as well."
Jorge Lorenzo Speaks…. (Postion: 2nd, Time: 1’33.160, Laps: 33)
"Yesterday I was quite worried about my injuries but I am happy to say that today I feel a lot better and I was able to ride much more strongly and brake much later. I was really fast in the dry this morning and then this afternoon I did a lot of consistent laps, improving all the time, which is very good because often I struggle in the wet. At the end it was very easy to crash so I didn’t want to push too much or take too many chances, it was important to be careful! Second place is very good and I’m happy about the work we’ve done. I hope I feel even better tomorrow for the race and of course that the weather is a bit better too."
Davide Brivio Speaks… (Team Manager)
"This is a good pole for us, Valentino improved his split times throughout so at the end it was a case of just putting everything together and this lap was the result. It’s difficult in very wet conditions like this and we had a bit of work to do during the session to adjust everything but it all worked well and it seems that we have a good wet set-up; it was a great job from the rider and the team. Pole position is important here because overtaking is hard, so we’re hoping for a dry race so we can take full advantage."
Daniele Romagnoli Speaks… (Team Manager)
"Today was a great day, both the morning and the afternoon. We started the morning strongly, finding a good setting for the dry that enabled Jorge to keep a very fast pace. This afternoon’s session also went very well, despite the terrible weather, and we’ve been able to attain our goal of starting from the front row. Of course we’d prefer it to be dry tomorrow but I think we’re ready for anything."
1. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team
3. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro Team
4. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Marlboro Team
5. Alex De Angelis (RSM) San Carlo Honda Gresini
6. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP
7. Colin Edwards (USA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3
8. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda
9. Loris Capirossi (ITA) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
10. Mika Kallio (FIN) Pramac Racing
11. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Repsol Honda
12. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
13. Marco Melandri (ITA) Hayate Racing Team
14. James Toseland (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3
15. Niccolo Canepa (ITA) Pramac Racing
16. Gabor Talmacsi (HUN) Scot Racing Team MotoGP
17. Toni Elias (SPA) San Carlo Honda Gresini
Sachsenring: Record Lap
D. Pedrosa (Honda) 2007, 1’23.082
Sachsenring: Best Lap
C. Stoner (Ducati) 2008, 1’21.067