THIRD ROW PUTS LORENZO IN BETTER SHAPE FOR DUTCH CHALLENGE2008-06-27 15:30
Jorge Lorenzo finished his second day's work in Assen in a somewhat happier mood than yesterday, after qualifying seventh for the 60th Dutch TT. The Fiat Yamaha Team rookie was struggling yesterday but a good run with his Michelin qualifying tyres this afternoon gave him confidence and he will start tomorrow's race ten places higher than he started last Sunday's in Donington.
After yesterday's troubles a wet session this morning was the last thing that Lorenzo and his team needed, and the Mallorcan was languishing down in 15th place after the rain-hit practice. The sun soon came out though and a strong wind helped to dry the track out, meaning that the team were able to try out a new dry setting in the first half of the afternoon session, which seemed to work well. Things improved even more with qualifying tyres; it was clear that Lorenzo was in much better shape than last week and he will head the third row tomorrow, alongside Chris Vermeulen.
Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi managed to qualify third today and will be aiming to keep pace with championship rivals Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, in first and second respectively, when the lights go out at 1400 CET tomorrow.
Position: 7th Time: 1'36.532 Laps: 26
"Today was a bit better than yesterday and I felt stronger, even if the improvement is still not what I hoped for since Donington. With race tyres we still have some problems, although it was better than yesterday with a new setting, but with my Michelin qualifying tyres I was able to push more and seventh is not so bad for us today. The front riders are very fast here and we know that to stay with them is going to be very difficult, but I have more confidence today and so I hope that I can be at least in the top seven. If I can do this I will be happy. We still have to go step-by-step and if I can improve a bit again tomorrow then I hope to be able to push more within the next two or three races."
"Overall this afternoon was important and interesting because we found some general improvement, even if we still have more work to do. Unfortunately the weather didn't help us this morning and for us it was an almost useless first session. In the afternoon we decided to try the new setting that we found last night and, although our lap time was more or less the same as yesterday, other riders were a bit slower than yesterday with race tyres due to the different track conditions and so this is actually encouraging for us. With qualifying tyres we were able to be in seventh place, which is much better than in Donington and gives us some confidence for the race tomorrow."
1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro 1'35.520
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda 1'35.552
3. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'35.659
4. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda 1'35.975
5. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 1'35.985
6. Colin Edwards (USA) Tech 3 Yamaha 1'36.278
7. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'36.532
8. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki
Source: Fiat Yamaha Team
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