Ben Spies’ strong run of form from Assen has continued over into Mugello, as the Yamaha rider has qualified in second place for tomorrows Italian Grand Prix. Spies was unable to challenge pole sitter Casey Stoner due to rain falling after the halfway point of the session. The rain was a small blessing in disguise for the American rider, as he was beginning to come under pressure from Marco Simoncelli.
Spies spoke after the session and said, “Everybody only got about ten laps in this afternoon, we only used on set of tyres so we have plenty for tomorrow. We're pretty confident we know which rubber we want to use after the qualifying session. I wish we could have had the whole hour in the dry but there you go, it was the same for everyone. We think we can make the bike a bit better for the race so we'll work on it and I'm looking forward to challenging for the podium.”
Jorge Lorenzo only managed to complete 7 laps before the rain came, just as he was about to set a quicker time. The Spaniard qualified in 5th, but it could have been higher, as he finished the mornings practice session the quickest rider in the pack.
He later said, “I’ve been riding pretty good this morning. The bike has been working well but at the end in qualifying I couldn’t improve. It is very complicated riding in wet conditions and the pole has been for the rider who took more risks. It’s a shame because I hoped for more! My aim is to try to be in front. For this it’s important to get a good start. All my team is focused to do another good race; they are working so hard for our home Grand Prix. After Silverstone and Assen we wish to come back to the podium!”