Sunday, March 09, 2008

2008 MotoGP Qatar - Doha/Losail 08/03/2008 Qualifying 1

2 Rookies take top slots for MotoGP Qatar Race after showing great qualifying rides. 
Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 1st Time: 1'53.927 Laps: 22
"Only in my dreams did I imagine being on pole at my very first MotoGP race; I can't believe it! This is something great for all of Yamaha; there are three Yamaha riders on the front row and this shows how hard they have been working. Tonight my M1 was working very well and with the Michelin qualifying tyres it was excellent, but also our race pace is very good. Tomorrow will of course be very difficult; it's my first MotoGP race so there is a lot to think about, but I am excited and of course we will try to do our best and see what happens! The team and Michelin have done a great job over the winter so this is a thank you to them. I will try to get a good start and I will have to concentrate very hard on the first lap when the tyres are cold, and then we'll see what happens. Tomorrow is another day however and for the moment I just want to think about this and celebrate a special night for me and for Yamaha."

James Toseland - Position: 2nd Time: 1'54.182 Laps: 21
"I didn't think I'd be in this position tonight. But why not do it again tomorrow? The team has been brilliant to teach me how to ride a MotoGP bike so fast in such a short space of time. It has been awesome. I had seven years of a great life and a great career in World Superbikes and to become champion twice was amazing. Fortunately I made the gamble to come to MotoGP from that comfort zone and I wanted this success. But I know it can't come without a great team behind you. The Tech 3 team has had a coupe of difficult years, but definitely not because of the team principal and mechanics. They are a great team and to have Colin also on the front row shows what quality we have. I just want to thank Herve Poncharal and all the boys, and also Yamaha. This is my first time working with this manufacturer and they have showed what effort they are putting into MotoGP. Michelin had a difficult year last season but they have worked really hard through the winter to get this success. I had three qualifying tyres and used one quite early. I didn't know whether the humidity would get to a stage where there was a bit of moisture on he track like we had in the test last week. I wanted to make sure we got a decent lap in. On my fastest lap unfortunately I caught a couple of riders in a difficult part of the track in the last split and did a 54.1. I knew on a perfect lap there was a 1.53 in there but with one minute to go I could still see my number 52 at the top of the scoreboard. Credit to Jorge though for actually doing that 1.53. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and I will give it out best shot."

Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Total Time
1 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha ESP 1'53.927
2 James Toseland Yamaha GBR 1'54.182
3 Colin Edwards Yamaha USA 1'54.499
4 Casey Stoner Ducati AUS 1'54.733
5 Randy De Puniet Honda FRA 1'54.818
6 Nicky Hayden Honda USA 1'54.880
7 Valentino Rossi Yamaha ITA 1'55.133
8 Daniel Pedrosa Honda ESP 1'55.170
9 Andrea Dovizioso Honda ITA 1'55.185
10 John Hopkins Kawasaki USA 1'55.263
11 Chris Vermeulen Suzuki AUS 1'55.540
12 Alex De Angelis Honda SMR 1'55.692
13 Loris Capirossi Suzuki ITA 1'56.070
14 Toni Elias Ducati ESP 1'56.251
15 Shinya Nakano Honda JPN 1'56.434