ROSSI ON COURSE FOR HOME TOWN SHOWDOWN AT MISANO

2008-08-30 09:44
Valentino Rossi put his Fiat Yamaha M1 on the front row for the eighth time this season today, qualifying second behind Casey Stoner for his home Grand Prix at Misano. The 29-year-old, who lives just 15km away in Tavullia, will be flanked by his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo tomorrow, back on the front row of the grid for the first time since race three in Portugal.

Despite admitting that the searing heat was more suited to a day at the local beach Rossi was able to steadily improve his race pace throughout the afternoon's session, although he is still looking for a few more tenths before tomorrow's 28-lap race. In the later stages he clocked better times with each of his four Bridgestone qualifying tyres and his final lap was good enough to leap-frog his team mate for second, although he was unable to catch Stoner. Tomorrow will be the sixth time that Rossi and Stoner have shared the front row this season, with the Italian having come out on top in three out of the previous five occasions.
Position: 2nd Time: 1'33.888 Laps: 29
"This weather is amazing, but I think maybe it's better if you're at the beach than at the track; we're in the wrong place! I definitely prefer this to rain though so after the recent races, when we have never been sure about the weather, this is great. I'm happy about our work because we did a good job with the qualifying tyres this afternoon and we were able to improve with each one, which is important. In the end we couldn't match Casey's time but anyway second on the grid is good for the race. Our race set-up is still not perfect and there are some corners where we need to be faster still, so we have to work to try to improve that tonight. We have a lot of data now from the two days and so we will use this to try to come up with something to try in warm-up tomorrow. I think we can definitely still improve our race setting a little bit more."

Team Manager
"As always the front row is our target so we're happy that we've reached that, it will be very important for tomorrow's battle! We still need to look for some tenths around the lap so we need to do some more work and then use the practice tomorrow morning as best we can; hopefully we can find something which can help us to fight with Casey once again. It's really good to see the other Yamaha's back in the hunt again and it looks like it could be a great race tomorrow."

Qualifying Times
FRONT ROW
1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Ducati Marlboro 1'33.378
2. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'33.888
3. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Fiat Yamaha Team 1'33.964
SECOND ROW
4. Randy De Puniet (FRA) LCR Honda MotoGP 1'34.236
5. Toni Elias (SPA) Alice Team 1'34.322
6. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda 1'34.398
THIRD ROW
7. Chris Vermeulen (AUS) Rizla Suzuki 1'34.461
8. Shinya Nakano (JPN) San Carlo Honda Gresini

Source: Fiat Yamaha Team

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