MotoGP > MotoGP 2008 Round 12: Czech Republic GP > Qualifying
WGPCzech RepublicAugust 16, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 12
Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno

DE Angelis Best Honda Qualifier, Dogged Dani 12th

Race Results >>

Casey Stoner (Ducati) qualified on pole for the sixth successive time here at a rain-lashed Brno with his main title rival Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) alongside him as second fastest man and a resurgent John Hopkins (Kawasaki) completing the front row.

Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini) Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)


Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini)


Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)

Fastest Honda man here Alex De Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) qualified in fifth spot for a second row start, his best effort of the season so far. And with Dani’s team-mate Hayden missing through injury De Angelis will be depended on to show strongly in the race.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V), still recovering from injuries sustained in his crash at the German Grand Prix, managed a resolute 12th place for a fourth row start. Ordinarily this would be a massive handicap but such has been Dani’s lightning form off the lights that he still has the capability to spring a surprise from deep on the grid.

His hand injury is still a concern and the Spanish title contender was anxious not to worsen the fractured left wrist and index finger by falling in the vile conditions that prevailed for the decisive hour of MotoGP qualifying.

It rained for the free practice session this morning and then again this afternoon, getting heavier as the session progressed, for the timed hour. Most riders, with the notable exception of Anthony West (Kawasaki), put in their best times early in the session.

It was West who deprived Randy De Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V) of a second row start when he fired in his best lap of 2m 14.064s in the ebbing seconds of the stint to snatch sixth. And with his team-mate Hopkins on the front row this a timely revival for the green team.

De Puniet fell trying to better his time with 40 minutes of the session to go and he wasn’t the only faller in the treacherous conditions, Suzuki man Loris Capirossi went down early on and Yamaha rider James Toseland tumbled with 25 minutes left.

This was something of a lacklustre session, with nothing of the recent last gasp duels for supremacy in the dying seconds of the hour. The conditions saw to that, many riders sat forlornly in their pit garages as conditions worsened, knowing any efforts to improve times would be futile with so much standing water on track.

With ten minutes of the session remaining, the time when the qualifying tyre battle is usually at its height, the grid order was just as it had been at the halfway point of the hour. It was only the determined West that provided any light in the gloom.

Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) qualified eighth for a second row getaway while Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) will be disappointed with his 14th place start after his front row performance recently in Germany. Conditions are likely to be better tomorrow with overcast skies yet no rain forecast.

De Angelis, fifth fastest, said: “I’m satisfied with this result - I’ve been waiting for a while for a wet qualifying session so that I could get a better starting position. We worked really well today - we were fast from free practice this morning and in the afternoon, with a few modifications to the bike, we made further improvements. That gave me confidence and I was able to show that even on a really wet track I can be very fast too. I’m also confident about the race because we’ve found the right feeling with the front. In any case it will be important to get a good start, to make sure I don’t lose any positions and to have a good race.”

Dani, who starts from 12th, said: “I wore a heavier strapping on my left hand today, for better support, but anyway the cold weather gave me more pain. I will start the race from the fourth row. Of course, I’m not happy about starting from there, because it won’t help us in the race. If the race is run in the dry I hope we will have a dry warm-up so that we can work on our suspension set-up and tyre choice. If it is dry in the morning we will work hard to make improvements so we can have the best possible race.”

De Puniet, seventh on the grid, said: “This is a good result for me and the Team because we were not very fast in these conditions especially this morning. We made some adjustments to the bike settings and the feeling with the tyres improved a lot in the afternoon but was impossible to do better than this. At the end I lost the second row but I do not feel worried about that. I am the first Michelin rider on the grid in these conditions and this is positive.”

Nakano, eighth quickest, said: “Riding a new bike in conditions like today without enough time to test it properly isn’t easy, but I was satisfied with the lap times we managed in the first session, when the track wasn’t as slippery. Third row on the grid isn’t bad but tomorrow it will be important to get a good start and to ride to the best of my ability. My objective is to have a good first race on this bike, improve on our best result so far this season and at the same time provide Honda and my team with lots of useful data.”

Dovi, down in 14th, said: “Today was a day that just worked against us. Because of bad weather we were unable to carry out the test programme, placing us in a position where we must fight. With the rain ever more intense I found it very difficult to find any grip, and too much time was lost to have any chance of catching the riders who recorded the best lap time in the initial laps. Tomorrow will be a tough race. I am determined to get the most out of the tyres.”

250cc

Series points leader Marco Simoncelli (Gilera) took his second consecutive pole in wet conditions ahead of front row qualifiers Alex Debon, Hector Barbera and Mattia Pasini (all Aprilia). Second fastest Debon was 0.766 seconds shy of Simoncelli’s 2m 10.723s lap.

Yuki Takahashi (JiR Scot Honda RS250RW) qualified eighth and Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda PTT SAG RS250RW) managed 20th place on the grid. Takahashi is 3.221 seconds adrift of the pole time, Wilairot just over seven seconds short.

Takahashi said: “During the morning free practice I compared two different swingarms so we could determine which to use in the afternoon. In wet conditions we achieved a good overall balance but if the race were to be on a dry track we’ll have to work quick in the warm-up with this set-up because we have no data to refer to. The new asphalt has a lot of grip but can let go very suddenly, so I wanted to ride as many laps as possible to find the limit.”

Wilairot said: “I’m regaining my confidence a little bit on the bike, but it’s still not enough, because the race is tomorrow, and if it rains it will be very difficult for me. I hope to have a dry race to be able to gain some places and fight for a decent result.”

125cc

With heavy rain throughout the session no rider improved on his time from yesterday’s first qualifying session and so the order was Gabor Talmacsi on pole with a 2m 09.870s lap followed by Nicolas Terol second fastest, with Andrea Iannone third and Bradley Smith completing the front row (all Aprilia).

Series points leader Mike Di Meglio (Derbi) qualified fifth fastest and heads row two while Honda rookie Louis Rossi (FFM Racing Honda RS125R) managed a best time of 2m 16.321s to qualify 37th.

Rossi said: “The conditions are very difficult for my first time on this track. The Brno circuit is wide and very technical with a relentless series of bends. You need to have a good rhythm. Yesterday when it was dry I found it difficult to steer the bike. I was looking forward to today to improve on my times and get a better position on the grid, but it was raining this morning and in the afternoon the track was drying before it started to rain again.

Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini) Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)


Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)


Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP:

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 5th - 2m 13.352s.
“I’m satisfied with this result - I’ve been waiting for a while for a wet qualifying session so that I could get a better starting position. We worked really well today - we were fast from free practice this morning and in the afternoon, with a few modifications to the bike, we made further improvements. That gave me confidence and I was able to show that even on a really wet track I can be very fast too. I’m also confident about the race because we’ve found the right feeling with the front. In any case it will be important to get a good start, to make sure I don’t lose any positions and to have a good race.”

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 7th - 2m 14.535s.
“This is a good result for me and the Team because we were not very fast in these conditions especially this morning. We made some adjustments to the bike setting and the feeling with the tyres improved a lot in the afternoon but was impossible to do better than this. At the end I lost the second row but I do not feel worried about that. I am the first Michelin rider on the grid in these conditions and this is positive. The weather forecast for tomorrow is for dry conditions so we must use the 20-minute warm up session to find the right front tyre for the race.”

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 8th - 2m 14.718s.
“Riding a new bike in conditions like today without enough time to test it properly isn’t easy, but I was satisfied with the lap times we managed in the first session, when the track wasn’t as slippery. Third row on the grid isn’t bad but tomorrow it will be important to get a good start and to ride to the best of my ability. My objective is to have a good first race on this bike, improve on our best result so far this season and at the same time provide Honda and my team with lots of useful data.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 12th - 2m 16.032s.
“I wore a heavier strapping on my left hand today, for better support, but anyway the cold weather gave me more pain. The track was very wet this afternoon. I tried to improve my lap time, even though the rain got heavier, but I couldn’t improve, so I will start the race from the fourth row. Of course, I’m not happy about starting from there, because it won’t help us in the race. If the race is run in the dry I hope we will have a dry warm-up so that we can work on our suspension set-up and tyre choice. If it is dry in the morning we will work hard to make improvements so we can have the best-possible race.”

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 14th - 2m 17.632s.
“Today was a day that just worked against us. Because of bad weather we were unable to carry out the test programme during the qualifications, and placing us in a position where we must fight to redeem a result that does not represent our potential. With the rain ever more intense I found it very difficult to find any grip, and too much time was lost to have any chance of catching the riders who recorded the best lap time in the initial laps. Tomorrow will be a tough race. I am determined to get the most out of the tyres at our disposal. We will have to do our best to interpret the weather conditions which are forecast to be changeable, with the possibility of a dry race.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: Will not start race due to injuries sustained at X Games Supermoto event in Los Angeles on August 1.

250cc:

Yukio Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 8th - 2m 13.944s.
“During the morning free practice I compared the two different swingarms so we could determine which to use for qualifications in the afternoon. In wet conditions we achieved a good overall balance but if the race were to be on a dry track we will have to work quick in the warm-up with this setup because we have no data to refer to. The new asphalt has a lot of grip but can let go very suddenly, so I wanted to ride as many laps as possible to find the limit. I am satisfied with the second row and I think we could have a good race.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG: 20th - 2m 18.009s.
“I’m regaining a little bit my confidence on the bike, but it is still not enough, because the race is tomorrow, and if rains will be very difficult to me. I hope to have a dry race to be able to gain some places and fight for a decent result.”

125cc:

Louis Rossi, FFM Honda: 37th - 2m16.321s.
“The conditions are very difficult for my first time on this track. The Brno circuit is wide and very technical with a relentless series of bends. You need to have a good rhythm. Yesterday when it was dry I found it difficult to steer the bike. I was looking forward to today to improve on my times and get a better position on the grid, but it was raining this morning and in the afternoon the track was drying before it started to rain again. Despite this I managed the tenth time of the session, even if it doesn't mean a lot as nobody took any risk or improved in such difficult conditions. I really hope it will be dry for tomorrow's warm up so we can do more work before the race, because I am still as motivated and confident.”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 12
Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno

line
MotoGP
1 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
2 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
3 John HOPKINS (Kawasaki Racing Team)
4 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
5 Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
6 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)
7 Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)
8 Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
9 Loris CAPIROSSI (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
10 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Alice Team)
11 Marco MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
12 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
13 Toni ELIAS (Alice Team)
14 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)
15 Colin EDWARDS (Tech 3 Yamaha)
DNQ James TOSELAND (Tech 3 Yamaha)
DNQ Jorge LORENZO (Fiat Yamaha Team)
 
250cc
1 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
2 Alex DEBON (Lotus Aprilia)
3 Hector BARBERA (Team Toth Aprilia)
4 Mattia PASINI (Polaris World)
5 Thomas LUTHI (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
6 Julian SIMON (Repsol KTM 250cc)
7 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
8 Yuki TAKAHASHI (JiR Team Scot 250)
9 Lukas PESEK (Auto Kelly - CP)
10 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Mapfre Aspar Team)
20 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT SAG)
 
125cc
1 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar Team)
2 Nicolas TEROL (Jack & Jones WRB)
3 Andrea IANNONE (I.C. Team)
4 Bradley SMITH (Polaris World)
5 Mike DI MEGLIO (Ajo Motorsport)
6 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
7 Pol ESPARGARO (Belson Derbi)
8 Simone CORSI (Jack & Jones WRB)
9 Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar Team)
10 Joan OLIVE (Belson Derbi)
 
   

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