After impressing during free practice yesterday and this morning it was understandable that Alvaro Bautista felt some disappointment at qualifying on the third row of the grid in eighth place this afternoon. Track conditions certainly did not help the Spaniard, with light rainfall making for a damp but drying surface throughout the session, and any hopes of late improvements were dashed with a crash in the crucial final few minutes although he remains confident that he has a good setting for the race tomorrow. Michele Pirro provided the team with some cheer, meanwhile, lapping as the second fastest CRT bike after consistently threatening home favourite Randy De Puniet — another small step forward that gives the rider and his crew optimism for the future.
Alvaro Bautista ( 8th 1’ 34” 922 )
“It was a shame about the crash because we worked well again this morning and my pace was good. Unfortunately the session this afternoon was affected by the weather. At the start the track was wet and then when we were able to go out on slicks I was trying to get comfortable but the conditions were less than perfect. Eventually I crashed in turn nine and it ruined qualifying for us because we had another couple of laps in us and the potential to go half a second quicker. These things happen in racing but tomorrow we will aim to make up for it because we have a good setting for the dry and wet.
Michele Pirro (14th 1’ 36” 646)
“Qualifying took place in tricky conditions but this morning we had found a good balance for the bike and perhaps could have done even better this afternoon if it wasn;t for the conditions and some ongoing back pain that I am suffering. Now we are just hoping for dry conditions tomorrow because it is always difficult to ride in the wet. My thoughts today are also with the family of the sixteen-year-old girl who has been killed today in Brindisi, Italy, which is very sad news indeed.”
“The crash was not something we wanted after such a positive couple of days and it was a shame because Alvaro had found a good feeling with the bike but the conditions today didn’t help. Maybe without the crash he could have found another half second and moved up a row but that’s not important now – we need to focus on the race tomorrow. He has a good set-up for wet or dry conditions so it will be important to get a good start. Michele had a good session and is the second highest CRT on the grid, showing that the hard work we are doing as a team is paying off.”