In historic night race
Alex de Angelis made his MotoGP qualifying debut today with the twelfth fastest time, a result that doesn't reflect his race potential after a crash on his final qualifying tyre ruined his chances of improving at the end of the session.
in the final free practice the San Marino rider had worked hard to improve his race set-up and he found a good feeling that allowed him to challenge at the top of the time sheets, in touch with the pacesetters of the class.
Shinya Nakano continued to work hard during both of today's sessions to improve his own race pace but he also struggled to make a significant step forward on qualifying rubber.
The first few laps of tomorrow's race will be crucial for the Team San Carlo Honda Gresini pair, who will have to make up several positions if they are to maximise their true potential in race trim.
Alex de Angelis (17 laps, 1.55.692, 12th):
“I'm a little disappointed to be twelfth on the grid because as we have seen my race pace is very different and I managed fourth in the last free practice. Obviously that is a bit of a shame so we need to work hard with Bridgestone on the qualifiers, gather some data and work together to achieve better starting positions in the future. Tomorrow I'll do my best and I'm sure the result will be much better than today.”
Shinya Nakano (23 laps, 1.56.434, 15th):
“I'm not happy with today because qualifying is so important and I couldn't improve my pace as I'd wanted. Both myself and the team have done our best but the chance has gone and now we have to think about the race.
We'll have to get a good start and I'll do my best to achieve the best result in this first GP of the 2008 Season.”
Fausto Gresini – Team Manager:
“I think they have been two positive days for Alex. In race trim he has been consistently fast and we know we've struggled a little with the qualifiers. It's not nice to be starting so far back but I think if Alex can get his pace together he can have a good race. Tomorrow is the first race of the season and Alex's debut appearance in MotoGP so we're looking forward to seeing how he does. Shinya has worked hard all weekend, we didn't manage the time we'd hoped for on qualifying tyres but we'll see. He's a little behind but it's his first race of the season too and there is plenty of time for him to find his way.”