SECOND STRAIGHT POLE FOR STONER, MELANDRI PRAYING FOR A DRY RACE2008-06-21 09:03
For the sixth time in eight rounds the MotoGP paddock was hit by rain today as the clouds burst over Donington Park for the final free practice and qualifying sessions. Casey Stoner, the fastest man in the dry yesterday, splashed his way to pole position for the second time in as many races whilst his team-mate Marco Melandri will start from the fifth row after qualifying fifteenth fastest. The Italian is hoping for dry conditions after finding a more promising set-up yesterday, whilst the Australian is ready to charge into battle whatever the weather.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) Pole Position - 1'38.232
"We've always had a good setting with this bike for wet conditions but we managed to find a little bit extra today and I was able to get into a fast and consistent rhythm with a good feeling. Obviously I'm happy to have set this pace in the wet and to be on pole position by such a margin but the most pleasing aspect for us so far this weekend has been the bike's performance in the dry yesterday. The work we did at Barcelona has made it a lot easier to ride, it's a lot smoother and that gave me confidence to push it in wet conditions, which is important. You can never trust the weather forecast here so we'll just sleep on it and see what we get in the morning. Whatever it is I'm confident."
MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 15th fastest - 1'41.379
"I couldn't ride the bike during practice this morning but thanks to a few changes to the setting the situation was improved for qualifying. At the end of the session I pushed to improve my position but I was lacking rear grip in the fast section, where it was spinning up a lot, whilst in the slow section I was struggling with the front and couldn't brake as hard as I wanted. Unfortunately the track conditions are always really tricky in the wet here, probably worse than any other track we go to because of the virtually non-existent levels of grip. So, tomorrow I'm hoping for a dry race because we definitely found a better set-up for those conditions yesterday."
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