Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) lines up P11, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) in twelfth and once again keeping the Austrian manufacturer in Q2 as their impressive form continues. Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) and teammate Scott Redding line up in thirteenth.
I’m very happy with this pole, which is our third this year. It’s a nice feeling because I usually struggle in qualifying, but the track improved a lot with today’s sunny conditions, offering good grip in the morning was able to get the better of teammate Maverick Vinales, with the Spaniard just 0 find the rhythm on my first flying lap and set a good time, and then I pushed harder and improved on my second run. I made a couple of little mistakes but it was enough for the pole, which is fantastic. I’m happy for the team, as this pole is for them. We’ll have to see what the conditions are like for the race as we’re still struggling in the wet, so we’re really hoping for the sun tomorrow.
We’re not at our best at the moment, but I think our race pace is better than our qualifying position. This morning we made a small mistake with the setup and lost the direction a little bit. Then we sorted things out and I felt really good on the bike again in FP4, but in qualifying I crashed on my first run, which completely changed our plans. I had to take my second bike but I didn’t feel perfect on it, so I did a lap that was good but not good enough. Anyway, we’re not happy with today but not completely disappointed either, as our pace isn’t bad. Tomorrow we’ll try and have a good race. It won’t be easy because here, every time you go on track the feeling is different, depending on temperature, if it rains or not, and so on, so we’ll see what it’s like tomorrow and do our best, like always.
In general it was a good day, because already from this morning I felt good with the bike. Into qualifying we were still working, because the level of the top five or six riders was very close, it was very balanced, we're all the same. I tried to push, my lap was good, I rode well. The lap time was OK, I saw P1 at that moment, but after that the others improved. Starting from P4 is a good position, but we have to work on the balance of the bike because I'm not fast enough yet in some places. Like always, the tire decision and the weather conditions will be very important tomorrow. For me it's still open which tire to use on the front and for the rear, we have to decide if we go with the medium or the hard and also the combination between the two, it depends. First of all, I hope for good weather tomorrow, so we can try to race with the slicks.
Today's qualifying was very close, all the riders' times were very close together. We are 0.3s from first and I'm happy. In FP3 I didn't feel so well, but then we made some changes on the bike in FP4 and I felt good again. I think that for tomorrow we still have some room for improvement and that's very important. I feel really good and I think I have a clear idea on which tire I'll use for the race. I'm especially happy because there were many races where throughout the weekend we didn't make good steps forward, but here we made great progress. We have to be very intelligent about tomorrow's race, first of all about deciding on the tires. We have to choose the best option for our bike. In the end I think we have the package, I'm good on the brakes and feel strong there compared to the other riders, so let's see if we can get the job done tomorrow.
A couple of crashes in FP3 limited my laps and I missed out on Q2 by just 0.047 seconds. The first one, there were still some damp patches around and I went over one and lost the front. I came back to the box, took the other bike and had a problem with the front brake. It locked up in a corner and I crashed again. This afternoon we tried to pick up our plan from the morning, maintaining a soft rear tire for the whole session to see if it could be an option for the race. We set a decent pace, with only four tenths difference between my best and worst laps, and after fifteen laps we think it could work well for the race. I feel strong and motivated and if we can find the same feeling and rhythm as we had in FP4 tomorrow then I think we can be close to the top five. We are in good shape for wet or dry conditions.
I am very sad because so far we had a very good weekend, every practice was good, but not qualifying. My first exit was not so good but the first flying lap of my second exit was fast through the first sector and then I had a big crash. I got to the corner just a bit too fast and I lost the front. I think we should have been around thirteenth or fourteenth today but unfortunately I ended up on the ground and it will make things a lot more difficult for tomorrow because I will start from the penultimate position. We have to push really hard from the beginning to regain positions as soon as the lights go out. It will be difficult to score points but I believe we can do it because we have shown the pace all weekend. So let's do it.
|13||PETRUCCI Danilo||9||ITA||Ducati||2'00.351 Q1|
|14||REDDING Scott||45||GBR||Ducati||2'00.451 Q1|
|15||BAUTISTA Alvaro||19||SPA||Ducati||2'00.469 Q1|
|16||SMITH Bradley||38||GBR||KTM||2'00.718 Q1|
|17||BAZ Loris||76||FRA||Ducati||2'01.050 Q1|
|18||LOWES Sam||22||GBR||Aprilia||2'01.207 Q1|
|19||RABAT Tito||53||SPA||Honda||2'01.228 Q1|
|20||BARBERA Hector||8||SPA||Ducati||2'01.413 Q1|
|21||ABRAHAM Karel||17||CZE||Ducati||2'01.570 Q1|
|22||VAN DER MARK Michael||60||NDL||Yamaha||2'02.376 Q1|