Casey Stoner will start the final round of the 2009 MotoGP World Championship from the front of the grid after a dominant performance in today’s single qualifying practice for the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana. The Australian was rarely troubled at the top of the time sheets, while his team-mate Nicky Hayden was also impressive as he lapped sixth fastest in a late charge.
Casey Stoner Speaks… (1st; 1’32.256)
"We’ve been fastest in every session so far so we have to be pleased with that and the fact we were able to do most of the lap times we did on a race tyre today is a good sign. I felt pretty comfortable out there but one of the softer rear tyres pushed the front that bit harder and it folded on me in four or five corners. It’s a shame because potentially we could have gone that bit quicker but I can’t complain. We’re on pole position again, in good shape for the race tomorrow and looking forward to it. Hopefully the weather holds out because it would be nice for everybody to end the season with a good race."
Nicky Hayden Speaks… (6th; 1’33.154)
"We have made a lot of progress from yesterday but we have had to work hard and make huge changes to the bike. I know it’s not usually a good sign when you can’t roll something competitive out on a Friday but that’s what we’re aiming for and for the moment my team are doing a great job in the time we have available. The bike was more much enjoyable to ride today and after being fifth this morning I was hoping for the same result this afternoon because that is my worst qualifying result here at Valencia. We’ll take sixth though – it’s not my best qualifying position but from where we started the year in Qatar I think I was last on the grid and in the hospital so to end it with a second-row start is pleasing. Tomorrow is going to be a tough one as always but we’ll try to get a good start, make sure we don’t get squeezed in down in turn one and have some fun. I’m looking forward to it."
Jorge Lorenzo Speaks… (3rd, 1’32.537)
"I’m happy to have ended the season on the front row, where I have been for all but one race! I am feeling very confident about a good race tomorrow because my bike feels good and I am riding well here. My number one aim tomorrow is to make sure I finish the championship in second and I only need one point to do this, but of course I would also like to finish the season with a good race so I will try to challenge at the front as well. I’m looking forward to riding in front of all the Spanish fans, it’s always an amazing atmosphere here for the last race!"
Valentino Rossi Speaks… (4th, 1’32.922)
"Today was not the best day for us. We haven’t found the right setting for the bike yet, we’ve tried hard but we don’t have enough grip yet to allow us to go fast. I have to start on the second row and we have quite a big question mark for tomorrow’s race. At the end of the session I was able to do some better laps with the softer tyre but unfortunately with these conditions we will have to use the harder tyre tomorrow. We will work tonight and again in the morning warm-up and hopefully we can find a way to improve so that we can race as we would like to. I’m happy about the qualifying award, at least we have one positive thing to take from today!"
Colin Edwards Speaks… (5th, 1.33.085)
"I seem to be pretty much stuck with that fifth place! I know I run number five but it doesn’t mean I have to qualify in that place every race. But as I’ve said before, I’ve got to be pleased to be finishing next best behind those four guys, or should I say aliens. They are riding out of this world and to be right behind them means I’m doing the best job I can and that’s about as good as I can hope for at the moment. On my first couple of softer tyres I ran into a bit of traffic, which was a bit frustrating because I knew I could get a good time. We’d softened the front forks and I felt much more comfortable. We’ve really got the bike turning well this weekend and I think I’ve got a good race pace. Now the bike turns without running wide and that’s helping tyre life too. I’m not sure if I’ve got the pace of the four in front of me on race tyre s but I wanted to give myself a shot at fifth in the championship and I’ve done that. Dovizioso is a few places behind me but I just need to focus on doing my own job. I’m sure my neck won’t be a problem tomorrow. I first hurt it when I crashed in Germany last year and every few months I do something to aggravate it. This time I was in the shower reaching for the shampoo and the way I turned my head it just seized up. It won’t stop me from trying to end a brilliant season on a high and giving my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 something to cheer about for all their hard work and effort in 2009."
James Toseland Speaks… (14th, 1.34.107)
"The conditions were really difficult out there this afternoon. There was a strong wind and it made reading the track conditions really difficult. The lap times were not brilliant this afternoon but that was because there was quite a lot of dust being blown onto the track and it wasn’t easy to find grip. The session certainly didn’t go as planned but I feel I’ve got a good and consistent set-up for the race tomorrow. Starting from 14th on the grid isn’t going to be easy at this track. It is quite tight and twisty and that makes it difficult to overtake. My plan is to make a good start and get into a consistent pace and finish the season on a high note for all my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3."
Mika Kallio Speaks… (11th, 1’33.809)
"Basically this year, in every racing weekend, during the qualifying session we finish around the tenth, eleventh position. The feeling with the bike is always really good, but I feel I still miss some confidence to be able to fight for better positions. It’s a pity because in the race we always demonstrate to be constantly faster than some of the riders that are in front of us on the starting grid. Next year, with the experienced gain this season, I am sure we can do much better."
Aleix Espargarò Speaks… (16th, 1’34.308)
"Today I made it to be more aggressive on the bike and this makes me happy and trustful for tomorrow’s race. In my best lap time I made a mistake in a couple of braking points otherwise I could have improve my fastest lap time. Now the hardest part of my work is about to begin: to stay two seconds behind the fastest ride isn’t too bad as a result, but from here I really need to sweat to really improve. Every tenth of second gained under the two seconds is like gold. I consider tomorrow race the beginning of my MotoGP career."
MotoGP Valencia Qualifying Results Summary
1. Stoner (1’32.256)
2. Pedrosa (1’32.519)
3. Lorenzo (1’32.537)
4. Rossi (1’32.922)
5. Edwards (1’33.085)
6. Hayden (1’33.154)
7. De Puniet (1’33.391)
8. Elias (1’33.475)
9. Spies (1’33.539)
10. Dovizioso (1’33.678)
11. Kallio (1’33.809)
12. De Angelis (1’33.844)
13. Capirossi (1’34.097)
14. Toseland (1’34.107)
15. Melandri (1’34.188)
16. Espargaro (1’34.308)
17. Talmacsi (1’34.357)
18. Vermeulen (1’34.537)