SECOND ROW BOOSTS LORENZO'S CONFIDENCE AT THE SACHSENRING

2008-07-12 08:57
Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo secured his best grid spot since the French Grand Prix back in May today, qualifying fifth for tomorrow's German Grand Prix. The Spanish youngster put in a promising showing on his Michelin qualifying tyres and set his best time on his 25th of 29 laps.

After hot sunshine yesterday, heavy rain early on left the track wet for the morning's practice session, which meant that Lorenzo and his team were unable to try some of their planned modifications. This afternoon's qualifying session was dry but the 21-year-old was unable to make much headway on race tyres and is still lacking the pace that came so easily to him earlier in the year. His good performance on qualifying tyres therefore was a welcome confidence boost and he will be looking to make the most of it in tomorrow's 30-lap race. Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi meanwhile will start from the front of the third row, in seventh, when the race gets underway at 1400 CET.

Position: 5th Time: 1'21.795 Laps: 29
"We've worked very hard this weekend and I am happy to be on the second row, it's an improvement and with the Michelin qualifying tyres I was able to go quite fast. However with the race tyre we still have problems and it's very frustrating; we don't have enough grip with the rear and this means I don't have enough confidence in the bike and I can't ride fast. More than ever today, I am finding it very hard to understand how I was so fast earlier on in the season and now I am so slow! All we can do is keep working and not stop, in order to try to find the confidence we are lacking. I hope tomorrow that I can make the most of starting on the second row, try to stay with the leading riders and hopefully enjoy my race. I'm sorry really that Valentino was behind me on one of his fast laps, I was slowing down to go into the pits and I wasn't aware that he was there. In fact I didn't know anything about it until afterwards but I am very sorry that it happened, especially when he was doing such a good lap."

Team Manager
"Today has been another difficult qualifying session and Jorge still doesn't have enough confidence to ride with as fast a pace as the front riders. Our biggest problem is the lack of rear grip and the fact that the rear tyre is spinning too much, especially under acceleration. The team is working very hard to improve our package but the weather didn't help us much this morning and we didn't have time to try all the solutions we had planned. Therefore we will have to use the warm-up to continue our work! With the Michelin qualifying tyres Jorge was able to make a good second row so for the race we hope he can get a good start and then try to stay with the leading riders."

Qualifying Times
FRONT ROW
1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro 1'21.067
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda 1'21.420
3. Colin Edwards (USA) Tech 3 Yamaha 1'21.519
SECOND ROW
4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) JiR Team Scot MotoGP 1'21.656
5. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'21.795
6. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 1'21.821
THIRD ROW
7. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'21.845
8. Nicky Hayden (USA) Repsol Honda

Source: Fiat Yamaha Team

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