Having struggled to find pace all weekend the team made a big step for qualifying, dramatically improving his speed and resulting in a qualifying time just 0.1 seconds from pole. Teammate Ben Spies continued to show the impressive pace he’s displayed all weekend for qualifying. The Texan looked on target for a record-breaking pole lap nearly half a second clear until a big high side between T13 and T14. The difficult track conditions at that corner also claimed Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden with serious crashes. Spies was able to rejoin for the last eight minutes of qualifying but was unable to improve on his time so will start from fourth on the grid tomorrow with a time 0.4 seconds from pole.
“A really tough weekend so far, I really thought I wouldn’t be able to deliver but finally we modified the bike a lot with some weight on the rear to enter the corners with more confidence. I felt great as a result, could lean a lot and open the throttle quickly so I got second and was close to Dani. We don’t have a bad pace but not as good as Dani yet, we need to improve a little in the morning.”
“My shoulder is really sore after that crash, maybe some torn ligaments so it’s pretty painful. I’m getting some treatment and we’ll see how it is tomorrow. It’s frustrating as we’ve been going really well all weekend and I’ve been feeling really confident with the bike, I think we could have been on pole. The track surface is pretty tricky at the end there, it seems to have caught a few people today.”
Press release courtesy of Yamaha Factory Racing.
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