2006 MotoGP Championship - Round 13 - Sepang, Malaysia - September 8/9/10 - Coverage by MCNEWS.COM.AU
Yamaha Day 2 Report
|Camel Yamaha Team rider Valentino
Rossi will start from pole position for the second consecutive race
tomorrow after a tropical downpour forced the cancellation of this
afternoon's MotoGP qualifying session at Sepang. With several
sections of circuit still several inches underwater even after the
rain had ceased, the riders were forced through an agonising wait
before Race Direction decided to base the grid line-up on the best
times of each rider from the three previous free practice sessions.
A stunning pole record lap from the Italian this morning was
therefore enough to put him at the front of the pack for the
thirteenth round of the championship, which takes place one hour
later than usual tomorrow, at 3pm local time.
Whilst the weather played into the hands of Rossi it was a different story for his team-mate Colin Edwards, who had been hoping for more dry track time to improve his pace aboard the YZR-M1 after struggling to find an adequate set-up yesterday. Edwards made some progress this morning and was hoping for further improvement in the afternoon but he will now have to focus on tomorrow's warm-up session before starting the race from eleventh place. Rossi will be joined on the front row of the grid by series leader Nicky Hayden (Honda) and Loris Capirossi (Ducati).
Valentino Rossi (1st - 2'00.605; 23
laps) "I don't know if it is harder to go and ride in those
conditions or stand around waiting for two hours in your leathers!
Seriously though the safety was the most important issue today -
there was a lot of water on the track and the conditions were very
bad. At two or three points it was like a river running across the
surface and the water was very deep. As a member of the MotoGP
Safety Commission I spoke with Race Direction and I also went down
pit-lane to chat with the other riders and we all agreed that the
best thing was to not ride, not just because of the water but also
the limited vision. You couldn't even see turn one at one point! I
think that shows everybody is sensible and the situation has changed
from ten years ago - the riders now have more power over these
situations and that is a good thing. This morning the bike was
really good and I was able to ride it at 100% and use the tyres
properly. We went back more towards the setting we found in
pre-season here and straight away I was able to set some fast times.
We even had time to try a qualifying tyre and I suppose I was lucky
we did that after what happened in the afternoon. We have a few
options for the race tyre but we'll wait and see what the weather is
like tomorrow before deciding - hopefully it will be dry."
Davide Brivio - Camel Yamaha Team
Director "What a strange day! It was a good morning practice for
Valentino - he made a big improvement with the bike and tested a
qualifying tyre, which helped us in the strange situation this
afternoon. He made a great lap time but his general pace shows that
the steps made with the bike are in the right direction. We are
happy about that and now we feel confident about tomorrow, it is
good to be on pole again. Unfortunately Colin wasn't helped by the
weather because we feel he could have improved his grid position but
he didn't get the chance to do that so it's a shame - it was a good
and bad day for us from that perspective. The weather might be a
problem tomorrow too if the storms come back so now we are all just
hoping for nice weather when we open the curtains tomorrow."