Loris Capirossi feels he has a good chance of a strong result in his final Grand Prix, a poignant one as he sports the number of his late friend Marco Simoncelli. The Italian is running with the no.58 plate previously worn by Simoncelli and was inspired on Friday morning, going fifth fastest.
Capirossi struggled by comparison in the afternoon but his pace on old tyres at the end of the session filled him with confidence that he can do well if the rain continues as expected.
“It was an honour to ride with Marco's number on my bike. Apart from that, it was a bad afternoon. The tyres didn't work, so in the final minutes, we had to use my tyres from this morning. They were a bit worn, but I still managed to improve my second-session time by three seconds. I'm happy with how the morning went, and I'm very optimistic for tomorrow. We can do well.”
Teammate Randy de Puniet was also happy with his day's work. The Frenchman was quickest of all late in the second session before dropping to third, although the combined times see him down in seventh, and hopes to continue where he left off tomorrow.
“I’m satisfied. The track, this morning was quite dry, principally at the end of the session and I finished in seventh place. In the afternoon, instead, with the wet track I did well, finishing with the seventh best lap time. The feeling with the bike is good, I hope it will also tomorrow. There are many chances to close this season with a good result, even if my thought is to Marco and his family.”
Technical Director Fabiano Sterlacchini was delighted with de Puniet's performance and believes the team have a chance to perform better than normal should the rain persist.
“It went well, apart from this afternoon's result, which is a little misleading. We started with a pair of tyres that was particularly old, and that caused some problems. It's why we then decided to return to the setup form the morning, when Loris had done well, but unfortunately he began to lose some feeling. As for Randy, there's not much to say; he had a perfect session. We hope he can repeat that performance tomorrow.”