Randy de Puniet was immensely frustrated after a crash early in today's qualifying cost him a place on the third row. The Pramac rider damaged the Ducati on his very first run which forced him to take the spare bike, a machine he didn't feel as comfortable on.
“I'm dissatisfied and angry for how things went. I fell on the eighth lap, when I was going quite well, maybe on my way to a very good time. I wasn't able to find the same feeling on the second bike, especially with the front. We made additional changes, but there wasn't enough time left for me to improve my time. I very well could have started from the third row, but unfortunately the early fall hurt my qualifying session a lot.”
De Puniet will start 14th and his Track Engineer Marco Rigamonti expects him to be moving forward when the race gets underway.
“It's a shame, Randy was going well on the bike we started qualifying with, but risked a bit too much in a corner and went off the track. Then with the second bike, he had a hard time finding his confidence because the setup was a little different. We hoped to be able to start from the third row, but we weren't able to drop the last two or three tenths. We're confident for tomorrow, although it will be hard because there will be many riders to battle with.”
Teammate Loris Capirossi will start two places further back in 16th and complained that his wasn't able to push the bike as hard as he wanted to.
“Today went the usual way: the final piece was missing. We're all very close, and then when the time comes to cut away a tenth or so, I'm never able to do it, for different reasons. When I try to lower my time, I try to be more aggressive, but this bike doesn't work with force. Instead, it becomes difficult to ride. It's hard; I've been riding a certain way for 22 years, and changing now isn't easy. We have a pretty good race pace, so tomorrow we'll try to make some changes and see what happens.”