MotoGP: Misano Qualifying Quotes

Misano Grand Prix Qualifying

The Repsol Honda ridden by Dani Pedrosa was fastest Saturday, the RC212V on the pole for the Misano Grand Prix, Round 12 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship.

Pedrosa was 0.308 of a second faster than Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo. Taking the last spot on the front row was Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner on his GP10.

Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi placed his M1 in fourth for his home crowd, and the American Ben Spies took fifth on his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha.

Here’s what the riders were saying after Misano Qualifying:

Dani Pedrosa says: “I’m happy to be on pole position because we were strong throughout practice and things have gone according to plan so far this weekend. We are doing a very good job at the moment, improving at every round and now we have the chance to have another good race. I’ve never won two MotoGP races in a row and this is a good challenge for me – I really want to go for it. Today went well especially because this was a very tight qualifying session and, as I said yesterday, it was crucial to be on the first row of the grid to have the best chance of getting through the first corners cleanly, because they are very tight.”

“It’s a quite a tricky circuit and tomorrow it will be important not to make any mistakes – particularly on the brakes – in order to keep a high pace for the whole race distance. I think it will be very difficult to make a gap, but we’ll wait and see what t he strategy is for the race. Hopefully we can get through the first corners cleanly, and then we will simply need to push very hard to win. We have a good opportunity.”

Andrea Dovizioso says: “We made a big change to the set-up of the bike in terms of weight distribution to get a better feeling with the front end, but it didn’t work for us. I was struggling a lot with the front and at the end of the session I almost crashed – like in Brno. It is very difficult to improve your lap time when you don’t have the confidence with the front. Now we have to decide whether to keep going in this set-up direction with something more radical or go back to what we had before.”

“I’m disappointed to have qualified this far back for my home race, so we have some work to do tonight to find a setting that can improve things for warm-up and in the race. We’ve made it quite tough for ourselves, but we’ll aim to get a good start and make up as many positions as possible early on.”

Jorge Lorenzo says: “We have improved in every practice here and after the troubles of yesterday I’m happy about this session. I have a good pace now and I’m feeling confident about a good race. Unfortunately we couldn’t profit as much as we might have with the softer tire at the end of the session and our bike isn’t the fastest here, but we have good corner speed so I hope we will be able to stay with the leaders. I am feeling excited and motivated for tomorrow’s race.”

Valentino Rossi says: “The front row would have been good for the race of tomorrow but I just missed out today. I think I had the potential today but unfortunately with the last tire I found some traffic at the end. The rear tyre is going to be very important for tomorrow’s race and we still have a decision to make; at the moment we are thinking more of the hard one but we need to wait and see the weather.”

“I am feeling better here than in Indy because it’s much cooler; I am still suffering a bit with my shoulder in the hard right braking zones but it’s not too bad. Anyway it’s fantastic to be here in Italy with all of these fans and I’m excited about tomorrow. The helmet is a joke about my timekeeping – we have put a big clock on the top of it with a different helmet showing the right time for each session so I make sure that I arrive on time!”

Casey Stoner says: “We definitely found something for the bike today. This morning we went back to the old fork and immediately we knocked a second off the lap time and then we worked even better this afternoon. We tried something different in bike one, which I didn’t feel comfortable with, but bike two in general felt better and I immediately made a fast lap. When I wanted to try to improve my lap time a little bit I was trying to carry a bit more corner speed and lost the front in a small corner.”

“Anyway, I’m not worried – we just have to improve the front feeling, especially with the number one bike because I had a better feeling with the second one today even though I crashed it. In general the bike is working a lot better here than it was at faster tracks so we are more comfortable for the race tomorrow and we will see what we can do. We don’t know how the weather is going to be but we are looking for a podium.”

Nicky Hayden says:
 “Qualifying didn’t go well from the start – we had a few problems we couldn’t fix and the lap time didn’t just come this afternoon. This morning we gained a second from yesterday and reduced the gap to the front quite a lot and I was quite confident for the afternoon. Unfortunately from the beginning it wasn’t good, we had a couple of problems here and there. But regardless the bike is much better than fourteenth – Casey is on front row.”

“I apologize to the team because the bike was better than me and at Ducati’s home race it’s terrible to start so far back and I take responsibility for that. I was on the front row a week ago and even here in some parts of the track I’m really okay, like in the second section I’m third fastest but then I lose a lot. Starting at the back is never good but the race is long so we’ll give it our best shot.”

Ben Spies says: “We made some changes to the bike overnight that didn’t really help this morning and then made more changes before qualifying and they made a big improvement. Everything went smooth and it was a good qualifying session. The first goal is to be on the second row at least and I’ve done that, but I think I should have had another front row. I got caught up with Capirossi and that was a little annoying.”

“I wasn’t too upset at the time because I didn’t think it would be a front row lap, but looking back I was on my best lap and I’m pretty sure I would be sitting on the outside of the front row. But I’m a lot happier and more confident with the bike than I was this morning and I know we can make some more changes to make us stronger for the race. We can make the bike easier to ride towards the end of the race and I’m looking forward to it. My confidence is really high after the last couple of races and there’s no reason why I can’t be challenging for a top position again tomorrow.”

Colin Edwards says: “I’ve felt good on the bike all weekend and that showed with fourth position overall in practice. I really felt I had the speed to get on the second row, but de Puniet just got sixth from me by less than a tenth. But I’m happy with the way things have been going this weekend.”

“As the temperature came up today it felt like I was pushing the front a bit but I know we can make a minor adjustment to fix that and my race pace has been pretty strong all weekend. I doubt I can do mid-34s the whole race but I think a top six is definitely within my grasp. After what happened last year I just want to make it through the first corner and at lea st get the chance to put up a fight. But there’s no reason why the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team shouldn’t have a double top six finish tomorrow and that would be a great result.”

Loris Capirossi says: “Today has been a good day, but again the position is not what we want or deserve. On my best lap I caught up with a group of three or four riders in the last section and I lost three or four tenths-of-a-second. If that hadn’t have happened I think I could easily have been on the second row. I am really positive for tomorrow’s race because the bike is working very well here at Misano. I need to make a good start and do my best because the setting of the bike is good. We are still losing a bit on the exit of the corners and we need to do something about that – as it makes it difficult to overtake. Our potential is much more than this qualifying position and we will be trying as hard as we can tomorrow to prove it.”

Álvaro Bautista says: “This morning we improved the bike a lot from yesterday and I was able to get a good pace. In the qualifying it was a bit difficult at the start because I used the hard front tyre and I didn’t get the feel from it under braking. At the end of the session we put in the softer compound and that was much better. Unfortunately on the last lap some riders slowed me up and I couldn’t improve my lap-time – which I am sure I would have done. I feel good with the bike here and if I can get a decent start tomorrow I have a strong enough rhythm to be able to battle my way into the top 10.”

Randy de Puniet says: “It is good to be back up there with the guys! After the bad week end in Indy I knew that I could bounce back here in Misano because I like this track very much and my leg is getting better day by day. This morning we struggled with the front end in the entry of some corners but we reduced the problem quite a lot. Honestly we are not at 100% yet but I am delighted with this performance. Hopefully if we could take a good start tomorrow we will be able to fight for another positive result. I want to forget the crash, the fracture and the bad luck.”

Marco Simoncelli says: “We were having problems yesterday and they continued for the first twenty minutes of qualifying this afternoon. Then we went back to an old set-up because we had made some changes to the bike to suit Indianapolis. It was a step backwards in one way but with a few modifications we were able to set a good lap time. I am fairly happy right now because up until this morning we were not in good shape but now we have seen the light.”

Marco Melandri says: “That was actually a positive session. Unfortunately we made some changes at the end to the forks and they had a negative effect, which meant I couldn’t improve my lap time. However, my pace is pretty good and the target for tomorrow is to get a good start and set a strong pace. I am in better shape than in recent weeks and I hope we can have a decent race tomorrow.”

Aleix Espargarò says: “I feel very good and I still like this track very much, unfortunately I have not been able to use in the best way the wake of other riders as many of my colleagues have done, that did not allow me to make a good lap time. However I have a great confidence in tomorrow’s race where, thanks to changes that the Team will make on my bike, I will try to recover good positions right away. I want to get a good result on this track which is one of my favorites.”

Mika Kallio says: “Although I have reduced my yesterday’s best lap time by almost two seconds, I did not get a good position on the starting grid. Starting in last position is not the best for me, but I hope to gain some positions from the start so that I can be able to retake positions after positions since the first laps. With my Team we have identified some changes to make on my bike to make it more powerful in all sectors of the track. I will try to give my best tomorrow to conquer a significant position in the race. ”

Hiroshi Aoyama says: “The qualifying was interesting as we stayed with the old set up and we still were able to improve. Also the lap times improved more than I expected. The gap to the others in front of me got smaller and that is very positive for us. I don’t know how the conditions will be tomorrow, but I hope similar to today and that I can improve in the race. I am looking forward to the race tomorrow.”

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One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007 and is currently Editor at Large at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).