“I am 100% optimistic for a good result”
Rizla Suzuki MotoGP racer Loris Capirossi is positive he can deliver a good result from tomorrow's Portuguese Grand Prix despite qualifying on the fourth row after a big crash at Estoril yesterday.
Capirossi (P12, 1'37.786,
22 laps) was on his first qualifying tyre when he made a mistake going into a fast right-hand turn and lost traction, causing him to crash very spectacularly at high-speed. The gutsy Italian picked himself up and managed to get back to the pit-box to continue with the session, but he was unable to better the time he had set previously on race tyres.
Capirossi and his crew had made big improvements to his Suzuki GSV-R during the early part of the qualifying session and was on a competitive race-pace towards the top of the time-sheets, which is certainly an encouraging sign for tomorrow's 28-lap race.
Chris Vermeulen (P13, 1'37.843, 29 laps) couldn't find the extra speed he wanted from his qualifying tyres and will start on the fifth row at the 4,182m Estoril track tomorrow. He also improved on his race pace and is pleased with his set-up for the race. Vermeulen is now determined to get a good start and be challenging for a much higher position in the race.
Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo on his factory Yamaha took his third pole position in a row. Tomorrow's race is round three of the 2008 MotoGP World Championship and the event gets underway at 13.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT) on Sunday 13th April.
“We have to think about tomorrow, because for us the qualifying was pretty bad - I tried a bit too hard on my first tyre and I crashed! I am very happy about the race rhythm, we tried to find a good setting and the best tyre for the race and for sure the whole package now seems really good.
I am very happy with where we are on race tyres and I will need to get a good start and try to out-brake a few people into the first corner. We worked really hard today and found many good things and we now have to take that into tomorrow. It is not the best thing being so far back on the grid, but I am 100% optimistic for a good result – maybe more so than I was at Jerez!”
“It was a very disappointing qualifying session and again we really struggled to get the extra bit of grip and time out of the qualifying tyres. There didn't seem to be any more grip from the qualifiers than there was from the race tyres! It is quite difficult when the race times are so close because we are now starting so far back that it will all be down to the start and getting away well. I have got quite good tyres for the race, they are a pretty hard compound but they work very well and I can do low 38s, high 37s on them, so hopefully that will be quick enough tomorrow to get me into the front group.”
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
“We haven't had a good qualifying result so far this year and today was no different – unfortunately! Without question though there are some positives to take from it, the main one being that Loris set his best qualifying time on a race tyre that had done a few laps and we have improved the speed of the bike considerably for both riders since yesterday. As ever, starting from further down the grid won't be easy, but let's see what happens. If conditions are similar to this afternoon and we get a bit of luck we could be on for a pretty good result!”