125cc : Quotes after day two
Qualifying for the 125cc class was dominated by the new 2006 World Champion Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) who put his machine on pole with a 1m 57.231 second lap. Mika Kallio (KTM) qualified second with Hector Faubel (Aprilia) third fastest and Julian
Simon (KTM) completing the front row.
Former World Champion Thomas Luthi (Honda) qualified eighth fastest to achieve a second row start, while rookie Bradley Smith (Honda) made his best qualifying performance of the season so far for a top ten start as ninth fastest man.
Fabrizio Lai (Honda) qualified 11th and Gabor Talmacsi (Honda) 12th.
125cc RIDERS QUOTES:
Mika Kallio (KTM – 2nd): “Practice went ok. The time we did was very good, more than 1.5 seconds faster than last year, but sometimes I get frustrated and even bit annoyed that I'm always second. This year the 125cc championship seems tougher than last year. Compared to 2005 at Motegi I think the biggest improvement with my KTM has been with the engine and we have also found a good setup for our suspension.”
Julian Simon (KTM - 4th): “We worked very well in all the practice sessions at Motegi and I really happy with the 4th place on the grid, which is my third front row position this year. I had a little bit pain in my leg and also in the shoulder after a crash in the morning session, but I was still fast even though I had some problems coming out of some corners. We will try one more solution during the warm-up Sunday morning and then I believe I can put in a good race and a good result for my team.”
Thomas Luthi (Honda - 8th): “Much better today we have got rid of most of the chatter that lost me time yesterday.
I had to fight hard to get a second row start but I started from seventh on the grid last year and ended up fight for the lead with Kallio. In the warm up we have a couple of little things to try on suspension set up, only details really. On my start lap I was alone but could see Faubel in front and just tried my best to close the gap. He was for sure faster tan me but I'm not worried I'm quite happy with t he bike and I now the team will make it even better in the warm up.”
Bradley Smith (Honda - 9th): “I'm very happy. This is my best qualifying position so far. I'm on the third row. It was actually my plan for this weekend. From Australia I said that I wanted to be in the second or third row because that's where I needed to be so it's nice to accomplish that after such a difficult day yesterday so that's a really positive thing. Now I have to make a very good start, and try to get off with the leading group and make a good finish, that would be perfect. Let's wait and see tomorrow because that's what really counts and I'm really looking forward to it.”
Fabrizio Lai (Honda – 11th): "I went out of the track at 150 km/h. I don't remember anything about the accident and for a few of time I have lost the sensitivity of my legs. I have reported a lot of contusions on the back and a fracture of a finger but now I feel good enough to hope to do the race tomorrow. The doctors will decide tomorrow in the morning if I will be able to ride… I hope it will be a positive decision particularly if it will be a wet race."
Gabor Talmacsi (Honda - 12th): “I am not satisfied as I've been having problems since yesterday. I keep having problems with the front of the bike; I tried many solutions but still I don't feel confident in entering the curves and I can't get a good rhythm. Still I haven't found a solution and so we have to invent something during tomorrow's warm up, because I'm not enjoying so much.”
Mike di Meglio (Honda - 13th): “We had a lot of rear wheel chatter yesterday but we fixed that. The only problem I have is the front wheel juddering under heavy braking. The engine is very good and I feel good here. On my fast lap I was with Bradley Smith but we had different lines in the fast corner and I had to ease off and lost a little time to him.”
Sandro Cortese (Honda - 14th): “That session was much better we found more acceleration off the corners but I have a small problem with over revving in the middle gears but we can change the gearbox to help with that. On my fast lap I was behind Bautista but he went away from me a little and it didn't seem that I had made a fast one but I didn't realise he was on his fastest lap time. The bike is pretty good and if I get a good start I will have a good race.”
Pol Espargaro (Aprilia - 20th): “I started today's qualifier with a pretty good bike. Then, when I was following Cortese I realized that my Derbi gears were short. So we changed a setting but this had a negative effect on the other gears and when I got back on track it was very hard for me to recover a good pace. At that point there wasn't any time left so I was unable to improve my lap-time. I hope that tomorrow, I can take a good start and do a high-quality race.”
Tito Rabat (Honda - 21st): “The bike was much better today after we fixed the clutch problems I had yesterday. Qualifying started well for and I was following Gadea and I O but many riders got in our way. When I went out for the second time everything was fine until I tried for my fast lap I was 0.5s faster at the first intermediate following Talmacsi and Luthi then a wild card rider virtually stopped in front of me and I had to close the gas and I did not improve my time. The bike is good today but maybe not the rider.”
Simone Grotzkyj Giorgi (Aprilia - 27th): “I'm sorry because I could have done better. Unfortunately I was able to do just 1 fast lap during the whole session as there was a lot of traffic on track and when I did well on one sector I'd find slower riders ahead on the next one.”
Michael Ranseder (KTM - 28th): “It's difficult to ride a meaningful race gird position 28. We made some alterations to the chassis in the morning so that I can come out of the sharp corners more easily. But by doing this we went in the wrong direction. I slipped twice over the front wheel during free training for qualifying and then we went back to the old setting. Then I was a bit faster but not good enough. I lost a bit of time in every corner and at the end it amounted to seconds. I learn more with every lap.”
Kazuma Watanabe (Honda – 31st): “I'm very disappointed because I made a mistake and went wide at turn 4 during the final lap and so I couldn't improve. Anyway, today I understand better the bike, I can ride it more easily and also I can control it as I would like.”
Hiromi Iwata (Wild-card Honda - 32nd): “I just couldn't go fast. Yesterday I was doing OK and I expected to repeat it today but I am back to where we started yesterday morning. I wanted to follow the fast guys but I missed it. I was going fairy smooth so I thought I could improve my lap time but I couldn't.”
Blake Leigh-Smith (KTM – 33rd): “It's a bit easier for me at Motegi being on the bike for the second time after the GP at Phillip Island last week. Ok, the circuit is new and it is my first time in Japan, but when I go out on the KTM I understand the bike much better. But even so, I don't know what happened during the first few laps in qualifying. I was running too wide. It was heaps better after we changed to different tyres. What I had to work on most at this track was to slow down going into the corners. Breaking earlier did help me to accelerate faster out of the corners. Tomorrow I'll try to put in a good start and stay with the guys.”
Shouya Tomizawa (Wild-card Honda - 35th): “It wasn't a good day either. My machine is getting better. But I can't a good rhythm and wasn't feeling comfortable. I hope to go faster during the warm-up tomorrow morning.”
Michele Conti (Honda – 36th): "Today I could improve my time but the session of 30 minutes it is really a very short time with that traffic on the track! So tomorrow I will start again from the back."
Toshihisa Kuzuhara (Wild-card Honda - 37th): “I couldn't make the lap time I expected today. It is getting better and better but my lap time does not improve. I should have tried everything earlier but I was behind my schedule. All I have to do tomorrow is to try my best.”
Iori Namihira (Wild-card Honda - 38th): “Both engine and chassis set-ups are improving. I made a mistake at the final corner during my final qualifying lap and I touched another machine. If I didn't make this mistake I would have marked better lap time. Luckily there is no damage to the machine and I will try my best tomorrow by thinking the tactics.”
Joey Litjens (Honda - 39th): ”I have too much pain from the injuries I got in my crash at Phillip Island. I am just not flexible or comfortable on the bike. I think the bike is good on top speed but in the end I have to do it and I'm just not fit enough.”
Source: KTM, HRC & Aprilia