250cc : Quotes after day two
The final 250cc qualifying session belonged firmly to series points leader Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia) who set a pole time of 1m 51.374 seconds to secure his tenth pole of the season so far.
But Andrea Dovizioso (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW)
kept close on his heels qualifying second fastest, 0.758 seconds away of the pole time.
Alex de Angelis (Aprilia) was third fastest and Hiro Aoyama (KTM) completes the front row. Shuhei Aoyama (Honda) heads the second row with Yuki Takahashi (Honda) alongside him as sixth fastest qualifier.
250cc RIDERS QUOTES:
Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia – Pole Position): “I wasn't expecting to lap so fast and I even surprised myself. This result shows that by working hard you can overcome your own limits. I'm expecting a hard race because setting a fast lap is one thing but riding so hard for twenty laps is completely different. There are also a lot of Japanese riders near the front and they are not going to make life easy. I'll be checking the weather as soon as I get up but I can't worry about that because it's something we can't control. I'm happy to have equaled the record number of poles but the points get shared out in the race and that is where we have to be at the front. In any case the pole shows we are working well and gives us confidence for tomorrow.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Honda - 2nd): “I am happy. Things have definitely improved since yesterday as we were able to find a very good set-up of my bike. The Honda machine works very well in this track, and in the afternoon, my rhythm was fast and I could even make an ‘hot' lap with the race tyre on. I'm proud for today's second place here at Motegi and I'm optimist for tomorrow.”
Hiroshi Aoyama (KTM – 4th): “Today I finished fourth. This means I start from the front row on the right side. What I wanted was to go from the left side into the race. I expected to be able to do a better lap time than I did. Anyway the front row position is fine for a good race result, as there is a big difference between a qualifying session and a race.
I hope for a good race that will give us another good result. The race here in Japan is naturally something special for me and not only because so many people have come to see me and to cheer me on. I want to give my best, as always, and if I manage to do it, so much the better that I will be doing it at home in Japan. My second home if I'm in Europe is in Barcelona/Spain, where, in the meantime, I have made some of my own friends. Europe was very foreign for me when I raced in my first Grand Prix season in 2004 and at the beginning I hardly spoke any English. That was quite difficult at times. But now it's my third year and I feel very well in the Red Bull KTM team. We work very hard. The KTM FRR was first developed in 2005 and has not yet had a lot of race experience. But it is impressive just how quickly our information is used and how we get our new parts. That's because the KTM factory is small compared to the others. It is only a short distance from Harald Bartol, the Technical and Race Director to the CEO Stefan Pierer and the cooperation between them is very close. We receive every possible support. Because of this, it is a lot of fun developing the KTM and being able to underline that we are doing a good job by getting good results.”
Shuhei Aoyama (Honda – 5th): "I'm not really happy. I finished fifth, that means second row of the grid. I don't really know what happened. I tried, I pushed but I just couldn't get on the front row. The setting of the bike is OK, the tyres are also OK, as well as the rider. I will need to make an aggressive start and push hard during the race. We'll have a look at the suspension settings tomorrow during the warm-up, because I think I have a tiny problem there, and then just keep on pushing."
Yuki Takahashi (Honda – 6th): “After having worked at the set-up of the bike, I went on track with new tyres with the intention to improve my time. I waited for some free space in the track and I slowed down a bit at the beginning, but probably tyres cooled off too much. Then, I entered too fast in the first corner and I crashed out, luckily escaping unhurt. Anyway, my pace is good and I think I can be competitive for the race.”
Roberto Locatelli (Aprilia – 7th): “Here at Motegi, we could start immediately well, contrarily how was happened last week in Australia. The feeling with my Aprilia had become very good, and I could improve constantly today as well. Many thanks for my squad who had find the right way with the optimal gear box setting and with the suspension setting. Thereby I could improve more than a second on my Friday's lap time, and I could try a rhythm for the race. I am very confident of the race of tomorrow, where I should have a good chance to stay close to the leading group: important to not raining tomorrow.”
Hector Barbera (Aprilia - 8th): “We've improved a little from yesterday but we need much more if we're going to be at the front, as you can see in the lap times. I ran into traffic on my fast lap and I'm sure that cost me a couple of places on the grid. The top speed of the bike is good but I'm losing out on acceleration. Tomorrow we'll work to improve the feeling and see how we get on in the race.”
Andrea Ballerini (Aprilia - 12th): “It's good! The work we've done yesterday proved to be satisfactory today. Riding alone I can do laps in 1'54-ish so I'm satisfied with my pace. Maybe I could have gotten a better time but on my last lap I got a small problem with the gear lever; it doesn't matter anyway as I'm in 3rd row and that's great.”
David De Gea (Honda – 13th): "I'm very happy. I have improved the times I set yesterday a lot and I would actually said that it would be impossible to be better. Despite the difficult challenge I've been able to improve them. This is not my usual bike and improving your times means moving forward, and moving forward with a bike you don't know is always more difficult. It is a challenge I have managed to achieve. The bike has worked perfectly well, as well as the team and this has also been something that pushed me forward; the team but also Alberto who has been there supporting me all the time, and everything in general. The bike behaves perfectly well, it is a very noble bike that allowed me to improve my times. The most important thing for tomorrow is finishing the race, because after such a good weekend, the crowning point would be finishing the race. But I haven't set myself any objective so far, I don't know in which position I will be able to finish; I just want to make my race and to do it as much in the front as possible."
Ratthapark Wilairot (Honda - 14th): “Yesterday, I was impressed because I could ride with the Grand Prix riders, but today, I was riding cool. Engine set-up is not yet perfect and also I am not so good at braking. So overall, I am not so happy but tonight I will think about the tactics for the race.”
Aleix Espargaro (Honda - 19th): “I'm not very happy really even though we have improved a lot from yesterday. We changed a few things overnight, mostly on the chassis and I feel comfortable while braking hard, my hand is not so sore today. I am sure I can run with the group tomorrow but the factory bikes have much better brakes and more acceleration than us so we cannot run with them in the race.”
Fabricio Perren (Honda - 20th): “I crashed after just three laps of qualifying. I was on a new tyre from Dunlop and it felt good but on lap three the rear end let go and I high-sided off the bike. It took 25 minutes to get it back to the pit. The team took eight minutes to get it ready so I only got in three more laps. I felt OK on the track so if the warm up goes well for me I could have a good race.”
Arturo Tizon (Honda - 23rd): “This is my first time at Motegi and yesterday I didn't do well. We came here with the same set up as we had in Phillip Island last week and have only had to make a few adjustments. This track is so hard on braking and you need good acceleration so I have had to change my riding style a little to go fast. I am still learning the best lines around Motegi but I know I will have a good constant race pace tomorrow.”
Taro Sekiguchi (Aprilia - 28th): “Today I did laps at 1'55 and this is good for me because now I can push a bit more compared to few weeks ago. My grid placement is not great but nevertheless I'm happy as today we've concentrated on getting a good race setting and the bike is fine. Tomorrow I hope I can find my pace pretty quickly and stay with the group ahead.”
Arnaud Vincent (Honda - 30th): “Qualifying was the first time we have been completely free of the engine problem that started in Phillip Island but at the moment the engine is not fast enough. I think the standard kit engine is better. The chassis is always good but that will not be enough around here. I am happy with my riding, the engine is my only problem.”
Source: HRC, KTM & Aprilia