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Oct 30, 2010

Updated: Qualifying Canceled At Estoril Due To Heavy Rain, Grids For All Classes Set Using Combined Practice Times

Jorge Lorenzo (99) in action at Estoril.
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Estoril, Portugal
October 30, 2010
Combined Practice/Qualifying Times:

MotoGP (all sessions wet conditions, all on Bridgestone tires):

1. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:48.522
2. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), 1:48.657
3. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:48.883
4. Casey STONER, Australia (DUCATI), 1:49.061
5. Ben SPIES, USA (YAMAHA), 1:49.721
6. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (HONDA), 1:49.784
7. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (HONDA), 1:50.007
8. Randy DE PUNIET, France (HONDA), 1:50.043
9. Colin EDWARDS, USA (YAMAHA), 1:50.313
10. Marco SIMONCELLI, Italy (HONDA), 1:50.500
11. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (DUCATI), 1:50.787
12. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:50.824
13. Loris CAPIROSSI, Italy (SUZUKI), 1:51.518
14. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (SUZUKI), 1:52.734
15. Hector BARBERA, Spain (DUCATI), 1:53.131
16. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (HONDA), 1:53.317
17. Carlos CHECA, Spain (DUCATI), 1:53.933


Moto2 (dry conditions, all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):

1. Gabor TALMACSI, Hungary (FTR), 1:50.916
2. Julian SIMON, Spain (SUTER), 1:51.304
3. Toni ELIAS, Spain (MORIWAKI), 1:51.359
4. Kenan SOFUOGLU, Turkey (SUTER), 1:51.949
5. Raffaele DE ROSA, Italy (TECH 3), 1:52.808
6. Alex DE ANGELIS, San Marino (MOTOBI), 1:53.233
7. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (BQR-MOTO2), 1:54.214
8. Dominique AEGERTER, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:54.247
9. Yuki TAKAHASHI, Japan (TECH 3), 1:54.302
10. Stefan BRADL, Germany (SUTER), 1:54.556
11. Alex BALDOLINI, Italy (I.C.P.), 1:54.568
12. Thomas LUTHI, Switzerland (MORIWAKI), 1:54.594
13. Robertino PIETRI, Venezuela (SUTER), 1:54.665
14. Ricard CARDUS, Spain (BIMOTA), 1:55.040
15. Valentin DEBISE, France (ADV), 1:55.169
16. Carmelo MORALES, Spain (SUTER), 1:55.415
17. Claudio CORTI, Italy (SUTER), 1:55.428
18. Simone CORSI, Italy (MOTOBI), 1:55.646
19. Alex DEBON, Spain (FTR), 1:55.765
20. Axel PONS, Spain (PONS KALEX), 1:55.834
21. Anthony WEST, Australia (MZ-RE HONDA), 1:55.863
22. Kenny NOYES, USA (PROMOHARRIS), 1:55.940
23. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (FTR), 1:55.988
24. Hector FAUBEL, Spain (SUTER), 1:56.082
25. Scott REDDING, Great Britain (SUTER), 1:56.174
26. Michael RANSEDER, Austria (SUTER), 1:56.281
27. Jules CLUZEL, France (SUTER), 1:56.445
28. Dani RIVAS, Spain (BQR-MOTO2), 1:56.862
29. Fonsi NIETO, Spain (MORIWAKI), 1:57.050
30. Roberto ROLFO, Italy (SUTER), 1:57.359
31. Ferruccio LAMBORGHINI, Italy (MORIWAKI), 1:57.391
32. Ratthapark WILAIROT, Thailand (BIMOTA), 1:57.499
33. Xavier SIMEON, Belgium (MORIWAKI), 1:57.519
34. Sergio GADEA, Spain (PONS KALEX), 1:57.855
35. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (FTR), 1:57.921
36. Vladimir IVANOV, Ukraine (MORIWAKI), 1:58.814
37. Yannick GUERRA, Spain (MORIWAKI), 1:59.070
38. Mashel AL NAIMI, Qatar (BQR-MOTO2), 2:00.622
39. Mike DI MEGLIO, France (SUTER), 2:00.146
40. Joan OLIVE, Spain (PROMOHARRIS), 2:00.233
41. Hiromichi KUNIKAWA, Japan (BIMOTA), 2:07.182


125cc (all sessions wet conditions):

1. Bradley SMITH, Great Britain (APRILIA), 2:00.148
2. Danny WEBB, Great Britan (APRILIA), 2:02.646
3. Alberto MONCAYO, Spain (APRILIA), 2:03.025
4. Nicolas TEROL, Spain (APRILIA), 2:03.823
5. Sandro CORTESE, Germany (DERBI), 2:03.957
6. Marcel SCHROTTER, Germany (HONDA), 2:04.134
7. Tomoyoshi KOYAMA, Japan (APRILIA), 2:04.718
8. Luis SALOM, Spain (APRILIA), 2:04.949
9. Lorenzo SAVADORI, Italy (APRILIA), 2:04.982
10. Danny KENT, Great Britain (LAMBRETTA), 2:05.098
11. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (DERBI), 2:05.169
12. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (DERBI), 2:05.292
13. Randy KRUMMENACHER, Switzerland (APRILIA), 2:05.451
14. Efren VAZQUEZ, Spain (DERBI), 2:05.552
15. Jakub KORNFEIL, Czech Republic (APRILIA), 2:05.699
16. Esteve RABAT, Spain (APRILIA), 2:05.757
17. Jonas FOLGER, Germany (APRILIA), 2:06.031
18. Johann ZARCO, France (APRILIA), 2:06.553
19. Adrian MARTIN, Spain (APRILIA), 2:06.943
20. Sturla FAGERHAUG, Norway (APRILIA), 2:07.430




More, from a press release issued by Marlboro Ducati:

HAYDEN ON FRONT ROW AFTER QUALIFYING WASHOUT, STONER STARTS FOURTH

Ducati Marlboro Team rider Nicky Hayden will start from second on the grid at tomorrow's Grand Prix of Portugal with his team-mate Casey Stoner fourth following the cancellation of this afternoon's qualifying practice due to adverse weather. After yesterday's downpours torrential rain continued to fall throughout today, with the riders contesting this morning's final free practice in wet conditions before the track became too flooded after lunch.

As such the grid positions were decided by the combined standings of the three free practice sessions that had taken place previously and with none of the top riders having improved this morning the lead positions from yesterday stood firm. Despite struggling with his wet setting and suffering a crash this morning Hayden will start from the front row for the second time in three races whilst Stoner, who also crashed this morning, starts from just behind him on the second row.

NICKY HAYDEN (Ducati Marlboro Team) 2nd 1'48.657
"This morning wasn't so wet but my feeling wasn't great and I had a crash quite early in the session so we have a few things we need to work on. I know it's not great for the fans here and the people watching at home but with that amount of water on track it wasn't worth the risk this afternoon. Of course we accept risks every day in our sport but in these conditions it's just too much. It was a shame it washed out but for me a front row's a front row and now we have to try and take advantage of it. The weather looks like it could be good tomorrow, in which case it could be a pretty wild race. We'll just crack them curtains open, see what we got and try to make a good race."

CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 4th 1'49.061
"What can I say? This weekend has been a bit of a disaster. We've had four sessions and only been able to ride in two, whilst the forecast for tomorrow is sketchy. If anything it looks like it might rain in the morning and then be dry for the race, which would throw up all kind of confusion with set-up from fuel consumption to tyre choice. It's disappointing we didn't get the opportunity to try for a front row start because I think we had a good chance today but that's the way it turned out. All we can do is wait and see what happens tomorrow."




More, from a press release issued by Interwetten Honda:

Short second day for Aoyama

Hiroshi Aoyama and his MotoGP colleagues hat a short second working day today in Estoril / Portugal. After the session was already wet this morning, the rain got heavier in the afternoon and the track was completely under water, which was the reason for the cancellation of all qualifying sessions of all classes. The starting position for tomorrow's race was decided regarding to the combined times of all three practice sessions. Aoyama therefore will start the race from 16th position on the grid tomorrow, after he finished the third free practice this morning in 14th place.

Hiroshi Aoyama, 13 1'33.190:
"Unfortunately the Qualifying was cancelled. We wanted to try some adjustments on the bike and try to improve the lap times. But I think that the decision made was right, as it is quite risky to go out in these conditions. Tomorrow we will have to see what we can improve in the short Warm up time. Normally I prefer a dry race, but this time I think it would be better if we have a wet race as well."




More, from a press release issued by Rizla Suzuki:

Cancelled qualifying leaves Rizla Suzuki frustrated

Publish Date: Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rizla Suzuki racers Loris Capirossi and Álvaro Bautista will start tomorrow's Portuguese Grand Prix from 13th and 14th positions on the grid respectively after today's qualifying session was washed out.

Capirossi (1'51.518, 25 laps) and Bautista (1'52.734, 23 laps) were both able to get an hour of practice this morning - despite the rain that had previously fallen and the pair improved their lap-times from yesterday to leave them in 10th and 12th places on the timesheets. Both riders were looking to improve further in this afternoon's qualifying session, but a huge storm hit the Estoril area around lunch-time and with no sign of the rain abating as the day progressed, the race officials had no option but to cancel all of this afternoon's proceedings. This left both riders frustrated and disappointed, as the grid positions for tomorrow's race had to be decided by the combined times from the two practice sessions that have managed to go ahead so far this weekend. World Champion Jorge Lorenzo will start tomorrow's race from pole position.

Rizla Suzuki will be hoping for better conditions in tomorrow's warm-up session so Capirossi and Bautista can make some improvements to their bikes if it is a wet race, but with the forecast showing drier weather for Sunday, they will need to work hard to get a dry set-up to prepare for the 28-lap race that gets underway at 13.00hrs local time (13.00hrs GMT).

Loris Capirossi:

"I am a little bit upset about the weather because it has made it really strange for the whole weekend. Yesterday morning we didn't do practice because of the rain, then we were able to go out in the afternoon, this morning we rode in the wet and then this afternoon we just couldn't go out because it was so dangerous on the track. Overall I feel quite happy with the bike, but I am not happy at being 13th on the grid. I was 10th yesterday and 10th this morning, but on combined times I have dropped back! I think it looks like the weather tomorrow will be better and I believe we can have a competitive race if it is. The bike worked well here last year, so we are feeling quite positive and hoping for a good result."

Álvaro Bautista:

"I am disappointed, but at least this morning we were able to try a different setting in the bike and it felt much better than yesterday. We had another improvement for this afternoon, but we could not try that. Depending on the weather tomorrow we will continue with the wet weather settings and try to make some improvements for those conditions during the warm-up. If it is dry it will be new for everybody so it will be interesting to see who is faster in the drier conditions and who can adapt the quickest. I will be pushing really hard for a good result, I just hope I can make a good start and fight my way through."




More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

A second day of torrential rain cancels qualifying at Estoril

Round 17: Portugal Grand Prix Qualifying
Estoril, Saturday 30 October 2010

Bridgestone wet compounds available:
Front: Soft
Rear: Soft

A second day of torrential rain and high winds forced this afternoon's qualifying session to be cancelled. In many places the circuit was flooded, causing the cancellation on safety grounds and meaning that the grid for tomorrow's race will be decided based on the fastest laps from the free practice sessions.

Although the circuit was submerged in the afternoon, conditions for the morning's free practice session were not as bad and all riders took to the circuit to complete one hour of wet running, with every rider using Bridgestone's wet tyres. The session was increased in length to one hour after the disruption to yesterday's first practice session.

Before this weekend there had only been four fully wet sessions all year: warm-up at the German Grand Prix and the Czech Grand Prix, FP2 at Aragon and FP1 at the Australian Grand Prix.

The weather this weekend is making up for that though as so far this weekend only two of the scheduled four sessions have been run in their entirety with the Friday morning practice being heavily disrupted by rain and qualifying being cancelled altogether.

This means that Jorge Lorenzo will start from pole position tomorrow, ahead of Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi, with Casey Stoner, Ben Spies and Marco Melandri completing the second row. The top six riders all set their best laptimes yesterday afternoon, at the end of the session when the conditions were drying. Randy de Puniet in eighth and Hector Barbera in fifteenth also set the fastest laps yesterday, whereas the rest of the field recorded their personal bests this morning.

This weekend is a new experience for Bridgestone as it is the first time since becoming Official Tyre Supplier that every session on Friday and Saturday has been wet. Under the regulations, if tomorrow's warm-up session is also wet then each rider will receive an extra set of wet tyres for the race.

Tohru Ubukata Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department

"The weather this weekend has been torrential and the amount of rainfall has resulted in a lot of standing water on the circuit. The rainfall was so heavy that it soon soaked the track and also the runoff areas and so qualifying session was cancelled by the organisers on safety grounds. Even though this morning was wetter and track temperature was lower than during yesterday afternoon's practice, I am happy with our wet tyre performance because many riders continued with just one set and confirmed race distance durability this morning. Now we just have to wait and see what the weather will do for the race tomorrow as this will of course play a big role in deciding the teams' race tyre choice. If it is dry it will be challenge for teams to arrive at the ideal setup with no dry running this weekend."

Top ten from qualifying (Times taken from combined practice session results)
Pos Rider Team Fastest lap (Sess) Gap Compounds Front, Rear

1 Jorge Lorenzo Fiat Yamaha Team 1m48.522s (FP2) Soft, Soft
2 Nicky Hayden Ducati Team 1m48.657s (FP2) +0.135s Soft, Soft
3 Valentino Rossi Fiat Yamaha Team 1m48.883s (FP2) +0.361s Soft, Soft
4 Casey Stoner Ducati Team 1m49.061s (FP2) +0.539s Soft, Soft
5 Ben Spies Monster Yamaha Tech3 1m49.721s (FP2) +1.199s Soft, Soft
6 Marco Melandri San Carlo Honda Gresini 1m49.784s (FP2) +1.262s Soft, Soft
7 Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda Team 1m50.007s (FP3) +1.485s Soft, Soft
8 Randy de Puniet LCR Honda MotoGP 1m50.043s (FP2) +1.521s Soft, Soft
9 Colin Edwards Monster Yamaha Tech3 1m50.313s (FP3) +1.791s Soft, Soft
10 Marco Simoncelli San Carlo Honda Gresini 1m50.500s (FP3) +1.978s Soft, Soft

Weather: Wet. Ambient 16°C; Track 14°C ( Bridgestone measurement)




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing Team:

QUALIFYING CANCELLED ON ESTORIL TRACK. PRAMAC RACING TEAM BIKE'S WILL STARTS TOMORROW RACE IN ELEVENTH AND SEVENTEENTH POSITION.

The heavy rain fell throughout all the day on Estoril's track, has made cancel the qualifying session that should had form the starting grid of the Portuguese Grand Prix. The starting grid will be than established by the combined times of the second practice session of yesterday afternoon and the third free practice session of this morning in which both Pramac Racing Team's riders were able to mark the seventh and sixteenth position respectively with Espargar and Checa. Tomorrow, thanks to the combined times, Aleix will start the race from the eleventh position, while Carlos will attend the Grand Prix in the last position of the starting grid. The Portuguese Grand Prix will start tomorrow at 1 pm local time.


Fabiano Sterlacchini - Technical Director

"What a bad luck we had. Too bad because we were not able to perform today's qualifying session: this morning during the third free practice Carlos has been able to further reduce the gap accused yesterday during the second free practice by more than half of a second and improve his best lap time. Shame because Aleix was able to score the best seventh lap time this morning, and we were having good feelings for this afternoon. The rain has a bit spoiled our tables, but we are still confident for tomorrow and we hope to take advantage of tomorrow morning warm-up."

Aleix Espargar - Pramac Racing Team - 11th fastest time in 1'50 .787

"The bike was much better on the wet track this morning then yesterday and the seventh fastest time that I was able to conquer during this morning free practice is the proof of that. I could try to gain a better starting grid position, instead of the eleventh in which I'll take part to the race. After this morning free practice I spoke a lot with my engineers to identify additional improvements that could afford the bike to be more efficient. Too bad because I was not able to try them on track. "

Carlos Checa - Pramac Racing Team - 17th fastest time in 1'53 .933

"The last position on the starting grid for my return to MotoGP World is not very exciting. I'm still very happy because I had improved my feeling with the bike during this morning and also because I have reduced my best lap time by almost half of a second. For now it's okay. I hope to be able to make many laps during tomorrow warm up in order to further improve my feeling."




More, from a press release issued by Interwetten Honda 125cc Team:

Schrötter starts from 2nd row on the grid in Estoril

Also the second practice day at the "Circuito do Estoril" was a very wet day for the 125cc riders. The third free practice went well for Marcel Schrötter and after the qualifying session was cancelled this afternoon, the 17 year old Bavarian will start tomorrow's race from 6th position from second row on the grid.

Marcel Schrötter, 6 - 2'04.134:
"I was lucky that the qualifying was cancelled, but I also would have liked to ride it. This morning it went well for me in the wet and I finished the session in 6th position. I will start the race from 6th position tomorrow and I am happy about that. I just hope the race will go as well as this as well."

Terrell Thien, Team Manager:
"Marcel showed a good performance this morning in the rain and finished the third free practice in 6th place. Because of the cancellation of the qualifying in the afternoon he will also start the race tomorrow from 6th place on the grid and I am happy about that."




More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

PORTUGUESE GP QUALIFYUNG CANCELLED: DE PUNIET TAKES THE 8th SPOT ON THE GRID

Estoril, 29 October: heavy rains and wind disrupted the Portuguese Grand Prix qualifying practice at Estoril track with all premier class riders choosing to sit out the session for safety reasons and also because of the limited returns of riding in such conditions so Race Direction decided to cancel the 3-class qualifying practices. After yesterdays' storm in the morning and the bright sunshine emerged at the end of the afternoon session, torrential rain welcomed the MotoGP riders this morning but they attempted to tackle the 4.128km race track with LCR Honda Team racer Randy de Puniet posting the 15th lap time.

The starting grids for each race have been based on the combined times from the three practice sessions so the Frenchman riding the RC212V will start from the 8th spot on the grid (thanks to his yesterdays fastest lap time) for the 28-lap premier class race that will get underway at 13.00 local time.


De Puniet 8th overall

De Puniet : "What can I say?... It was not safe for us to ride in these conditions so this is the best solution. This morning we saved one set of tyres ahead the qualifying thinking that the conditions could be a bit better but at the end we could not take this advantage. Anyway my yesterday's lap time gave me the chance to start from the third row. We could have done a lot better but we focused on race set up not on the lap time. We are pleased with our race pace in the wet but if the race will be dry we will be all in the same difficult situation".




More, from a press release issued by Fiat Yamaha:

FIAT YAMAHA TO START FROM THE FRONT ROW AFTER ESTORIL QUALIFYING WASHOUT

Severe weather at Estoril today forced the cancellation of the MotoGP qualifying session, with torrential rain flooding the circuit and making any on-track action impossible in the afternoon. As a result the starting grid has been taken from the combined free practice times, leaving Fiat Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo on pole and his team-mate Valentino Rossi in third. It was a proud moment for Lorenzo, whose 42nd pole puts him equal with Jorge Martinez Aspar as the most successful Spanish pole-man of all time.

This morning's practice was run in wet conditions and the slippery track caught several riders out, including Lorenzo who high-sided in the last corner late in the session. Luckily the World Champion was unhurt and he still managed to top the standings once again. Rossi had a good morning's work and finished as runner-up , just over half a second off his team-mate. The top six fastest times were all set yesterday however which left Lorenzo on pole but Rossi in third, with Nicky Hayden splitting up the Yamaha pair for the season's penultimate race.

Tomorrow's race, weather permitting, is due to get underway at 1300 local time, which is 1400 CET.


Jorge Lorenzo
Position: 1st Time: 1'48.522 Laps: 39

"It was a pity about this today because we needed a bit more time in the very wet conditions to try to improve our setting more, but there was no way we could have ridden this afternoon. This morning I felt quite good but at the end I was pushing too hard, I thought the other riders were closer to my time and I just went a step too far and crashed. I was lucky, my airbag inflated and I didn't hurt myself. Now we have to wait and see how the weather is and we especially hope that warm-up is the same conditions as the race, it will be very, very difficult if not. Today I became the Spanish rider with the most poles of all time, joint with Aspar, and this is a great honour for me, I feel very proud."


Valentino Rossi
Position: 3rd Time: 1'48.883 Laps: 46

"It's a real disappointment about today because we had some things we wanted to try, but in the end the rain was just too much and it was too dangerous. It really was impossible to ride this afternoon! In the wet I have a good setting, even if we could have improved a bit this afternoon, but I am happy about the balance of my bike. Now we just have to wait for the conditions tomorrow. We are prepared for the wet; if it's dry it could be interesting! If it's dry from the morning and it's possible to have the warm-up in the dry then it will be okay to have a dry race, but if warm-up is wet and then the race is dry....honestly it's better not like this! We will just have to wait and see and at least we're on the front row."


Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager

"Our seventh pole of the season, but without actually qualifying! Jorge had quite a big crash this morning when he was pushing quite hard and lost the rear, but he is fine and this is all that matters. We wanted to improve our pace in the wet conditions a bit more; when it's drying up we're okay but when it's really wet we're struggling a bit with the rear feeling, so we need to work on this tomorrow morning if possible. Of course we don't know how the weather will be so we will just have to wait and see."


Davide Brivio
Team Manager

"A strange weekend and a difficult one with the weather. So far, in the two sessions we've had, we've been quite good and it seems our wet setting is okay. It's a pity because we had some things to check today to try to improve a bit but it was impossible. We will have to wait for tomorrow. If the race is wet we are prepared, if it's dry it's going to be a big gamble."




More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

MOTOGP QUALIFYING CANCELLED AS RAIN LASHES ESTORIL

The qualifying sessions for the Grand Prix of Portugal were cancelled due to rain today as grim weather continued to disrupt the penultimate race of the 2010 season. With water flowing across large areas of the Estoril circuit, the event organisers had little choice but to call off qualifying for all three Grand Prix classes this afternoon. Grid positions for tomorrow's race have therefore been decided according to each rider's best overall practice lap from the two sessions yesterday and this morning's practice. According to this system the Repsol Honda riders have been slightly unlucky, with Andrea Dovizioso in seventh on the grid and Dani Pedrosa in twelfth.

Both Dovizioso and Pedrosa set their fastest times in this morning's wet session where they finished in third and eighth places respectively after gaining in confidence and making a lot of progress with their machine settings. However, all the riders who have qualified abo ve Dovizioso set their best times towards the end of yesterday afternoon's session when a drying track meant the conditions were at their most favourable from the weekend so far.

Pedrosa has been making steady progress this weekend after returning from injury and he seemed likely to climb up the timesheets the longer he was out on track. However, with yesterday morning's session also effectively ruled out because of rain, it is somewhat unfortunate for the 25-year-old Spaniard that two precious practice sessions have been lost to rain this weekend. However, Pedrosa remains philosophical about tomorrow's race and will aim to make a fast start and get away with the leaders, whatever the weather does.

The forecast is a little better tomorrow and if those predictions are correct, the Grand Prix of Portugal will start at the scheduled time of 13.00 (GMT + 0 hours, due to the clocks going back one hour tonight.)


ANDREA DOVIZIOSO 7th 1m 50.007s +1.485s

"I'm sorry we couldn't have the qualifying session because our target was to get a front row starting position and, since I was third in the wet this morning, that looked achievable for us. This morning we improved a lot in terms of our set-up and electronics, and I was able to maintain a fast and consistent pace thanks to some important changes on the machine. It was really impossible to have qualifying though - there was no way we could ride in those conditions. Tomorrow the weather forecast seems to be for a wet warm-up and a dry race - and if this happens it really means the race will be a lottery because no one has had any practice time in the dry. Also for me this is a track where it takes some time to find a good rhythm, so really I hope for a dry warm-up session and a dry race."


DANI PEDROSA 12th 1m 50.824s + 2.032s

"We were improving step-by-step this morning in terms of my lap times and my position and I think we could have continued that this afternoon, so it's a pity the qualifying session was cancelled - although of course there was no alternative. At the beginning of the morning session I didn't feel particularly confident on the machine but I decided with the team to stay out and keep lapping to get more time on the bike. It was a good decision because we made some good progress in the second half of the session. We wanted to move further forward on the grid this afternoon and I think this should have been possible if the session had gone ahead. Tomorrow we don't know what the weather will do, but what I do know is that from 12th I have to make a great start - wet or dry. I'm not thinking about what Casey and Valentino will do tomorrow - all I can do is give my maxim um and hope to keep any loss as small as possible."


TOSHIYUKI YAMAJI - REPSOL HONDA TEAM MANAGER

"Well this was another day owned by the rain and cancelling the qualifying session was the only choice because the conditions were so bad out on track. This didn't really play into our hands however because, as we saw this morning, both Andrea and Dani were making strong progress which I'm sure would have continued had we been able to run this afternoon. So with these qualifying positions, both riders will need to make a good start from their grid slots, and then of course the key factor everyone is waiting to find out about is what the weather will do - both for warm-up and for the race. The simplest scenario for us would be a dry warm up and race but, as ever, we will wait and see, and we will be prepared for any conditions."




More, from a press release issued by Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2 Team:

Again 12th starting position for Lüthi

The Grand Prix of Portugal Tom Lüthi will have to attack from 12th position on the grid tomorrow as the official qualifying was cancelled for all three classes today in Estoril, because the rain got heavier in the afternoon. The starting position was decided regarding to the combined times of all three free practice sessions from yesterday and today. As Lüthi could not improve his lap time, because of a crash in the morning practice session, he will start the race from 12th position. The Swiss was not able to ride more laps after his crash, as the engine was broken. The 24 year old likes to ride in the wet and he is confident that, if the race is in the rain, to improve his position.

Tom Lüthi, 12 - 1'36.212:
"I will start from 12th tomorrow. I am sure I could have started further in front, as we were strong in the rain today. Then I had a crash with a highsider, which was heavy and the engine broke because of that. There was a hole in the engine and I was not able to ride out again. Then we prepared everything for the qualifying and the session was cancelled. The best lap time is the one from yesterday now, when I did not try the slick tyres and could not improve. This is a pity, but we learnt from that for the next time."

Terrell Thien, Team Manager:
"The result is not the best for Tom. In the wet he would have been faster, I am sure. But now he has to start from 12th position. I am sure it will be okay as Tom is strong in the wet. He will be able to improve tomorrow if it is wet again."




More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Spies and Edwards frustrated at storm-hit Estoril

Monsoon conditions that battered the Estoril track forced this afternoon's MotoGP qualifying session to be abandoned, leaving Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Ben Spies and Colin Edwards fifth and ninth on the grid for the Grand Prix of Portugal.

After a rain-hit morning practice session, conditions started to deteriorate shortly after midday as strong winds and heavy rain lashed the circuit located close to the Atlantic coast. The MotoGP session was delayed by 35 minutes and Race Direction declared track conditions unfit for any action to take place at 2.30pm.

Yesterday morning's first MotoGP practice was also a victim of atrocious conditions but tod ay's qualifying session was the first to be abandoned since a storm hit the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan last season.

As a result of today's severe disruption, grid positions for tomorrow's races were decided on combined practice times, leaving Spies on the second row in fifth after he clocked a best lap of 1.49.721 in yesterday afternoon's practice.

The Texan was frustrated that conditions worsened this afternoon having been confident planned radical changes to the wet set-up of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1 machine would improve his pace.

Edwards will start from ninth, his best time of 1.50.313 from this morning's third practice session counting. Fifth fastest in wet but rideable conditions this morning, Edwards is confident of a strong penultimate race to the 2010 season.

Ben Spies 5th 1.49.721

"There was no way we could have ridden this afternoon. There is nothing we could have done about it but it is frustrating for me having missed the first session too because of the weather when I need to be doing laps to get more accustomed to the track. It's a shame too this afternoon because we were looking to make big strides with the bike. I don't have a lot of time on this bike in the rain so we've basically been running a softer version of my dry setting. But I've been told there's quite a radical change that Yamaha think would really help me and I didn't get chance to try it. That's a bit unfortunate because I was told the bike would feel better and I was already pretty confident in the rain. That said I've still a good starting position in fifth, so learning the track quickly yesterday helped me out a lot. We can't do anything about the weather so we'll wake up tomorrow, see what the skies have for us and go for it wet or dr y. I don't feel like we'll be miles off even if it is dry and I've never ridden in full dry conditions at this track."

Colin Edwards 9th 1.50.313

"It is a little bit annoying to be on the third row of the grid because I was looking good yesterday before the crash and this morning I was fifth quickest. I missed out yesterday when the track conditions were better than at any other stage this weekend because of the crash and I'm sure I could have been much higher up the grid. But there was no way we could have gone out in those conditions. It was impossible so I'm not going to get too upset about it and just look forward to the race. I feel if it is wet tomorrow that I'm going to be really strong because the rain setting is working really good. If it is dry I'm confident and I'm sure I will be able to come through the field and get a good result. I guess the worst case scena rio is if it is a wet warm-up and then a dry race but I feel ready rain or shine."




More, from a press release issued by Marc VDS Racing Team:

MARC VDS LOSE OUT AS QUALIFYING CANCELLED AT ESTORIL

Hector Faubel and Scott Redding will start tomorrow's Moto2 race from the sixth and seventh row of the grid respectively, after qualifying was cancelled due to heavy rain at Estoril this afternoon.

The showers that plagued this morning's final free practice sessions turned into torrential rain ahead of qualifying, flooding parts of the Estoril circuit and causing the opening session for the 125cc class to be delayed. Race direction eventually cancelled qualifying for all classes on safety grounds, once it became apparent that conditions weren't going to improve this afternoon.

Grid positions for tomorrow's 26-lap Moto2 race were therefore decided on combined practice times, which left Faubel and Redding down in 24th and 25th place respectively, after both riders opted not to risk injury by pushing for a fast lap time in the tricky conditions yesterday.

Both Marc VDS riders are now hoping for a wet race tomorrow, as neither have had time in dry conditions to work on the set-up of their Suter MMX Moto2 machines this weekend.

Hector Faubel #55: 24th - 1'56.082
"We've faced difficult conditions throughout this weekend, with the rain playing a bigger part here in Estoril than anywhere else this season. Unfortunately we lost out with the cancellation of qualifying, because we needed more time on the bike to get fully up to speed. It was the right decision, because conditions were too dangerous today, but while some riders gained from the cancellation we certainly didn't! Tomorrow will be hard; for me it would be better if it's a wet race, as it's easier to pass when conditions are difficult. Visibility will be an issue if it is wet, but we'll just have to see how we go, push as hard as we can and try and get the best result possible."

Scott Redding #45: 25th - 1'56.174
"Well, I said yesterday that there were no points for being fastest on day one, so that's another lesson learnt the hard way! Starting from 25th on the grid will make things tough in the race; I'll have to bust more moves than Michael Jackson if I'm going to fight my through the field and grab a decent result! But we'll see. I'm not going out there to fight for 15th position, I want to be higher than that and, if it's wet again tomorrow, I think it will be a little easier to work my way through the field in the early stages. Wet or not, it'll be full gas as always once the lights go out."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
"The situation this afternoon shows why it's so important that a rider pushes as hard as possible in every practice session. Hector and Scott held back yesterday in the tricky conditions and today they've paid the price for that. It's a shame, because the cancellation of qualifying this afternoon has handicapped Scott and Andrea Iannone, two riders who are more than capable of winning here at Estoril. The race will be tough for both riders tomorrow, with visibility likely to be a real issue if it's wet, but I'm confident that both can fight their way into the points if they can avoid the inevitable problems at turn one."




More, from a press release issued by JiR Moto2 Team:

The rain has been the main thing hitting the track during the two-days of practice at Estoril this weekend, as the Grand Prix governing body has been forced to cancel the official qualifying session of all the three categories today. The starting grid has therefore been defined using the combined times of the free practice sessions, which results in Alex De Angelis on the second row, jumping from 6th place and Simone Corsi taking the start from the 18th place. Weather forecasts for tomorrow predict more uncertain weather, therefore making the race a real lottery.




More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

Persistent torrential rain at the bwin Grande Prémio de Portugal at Estoril led to the qualifying sessions for the MotoGP, Moto2 and 125cc categories being cancelled on Saturday.

With excessive standing water on the track surface, gusting winds and constant heavy rain, and after attempts to reschedule the qualifying programme, Race Direction was eventually forced to decide at 2.30pm local time to call off the qualifying sessions, meaning that the starting grids for each race will be based on the combined times from the three free practice sessions.

In MotoGP Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) will start from pole position, his seventh of the season, with Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) and Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) completing the front row. The Italian himself started from pole at Motegi in 2009 after the qualification session was cancelled in similar circumstances.

The new MotoGP World Champion Lorenzo agreed that Race Direction had made the correct decision, "The conditions out there were very bad. With the wind and so much water on the track it would have been very hard to ride, so maybe it was better to cancel the practice. For us it's good because we have now taken our seventh pole position of this year, but maybe this was one of the easiest poles we'll ever get! Now we just have to see tomorrow what the weather does."

Casey Stoner (Ducati Team), Ben Spies (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) will comprise the second row, with the top six all taking their positions on the starting grid courtesy of their times from Friday afternoon's practice. Returning from his collarbone injury, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) will start from 12th position with his countryman Carlos Checa, in to replace Mika Kallio at Pramac Racing, set to start 17th in his first GP since 2007.

Moto2

In the Moto2 class Gabor Talmacsi (Fimmco Speed Up) will start from pole for the first time this season, ahead of Julián Simón (Mapfre Aspar), Toni Elías (Gresini Racing) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP), meaning the Turkish rider will start his first Grand Prix from the front row. Andrea Iannone (Fimmco Speed Up), who is battling Simón for runner-up spot in the Championship, will start from down in 35th place.

125cc

In the 125cc class Bradley Smith (Bancaja Aspar) will head up the grid for the third time this year, with fellow Brit Danny Webb (Andalucia Cajasol), rookie Alberto Moncayo (Andalucia Cajasol) and one of the three riders still able to win the 2010 title Nico Terol (Bancaja Aspar) on the front row. Championship leader Marc Márquez (Red Bull Ajo Motorsport) who could claim the title this weekend and the third rider still in the fight for the 125cc crown Pol Espargaró (Tuenti Racing) will start from 11th and 12th respectively. All three title rivals have crashed out in the rain at least once this weekend making Sunday's race even more riveting should it be under wet conditions.




More, from a press release issued by Tech 3:

Estoril storms help de Rosa claim season best grid position

Tech 3 Racing Moto2 rider Raffaele de Rosa will start from a season best fifth position on the grid for the Grand Prix of Portugal after another day of severe weather disruption at Estoril.

Torrential rain and gusting winds saw this afternoon's qualifying session cancelled with large patches of standing water making it impossible for the large Moto2 field to contemplate taking to the track.

Grid positions for tomorrow's 26-lap race were decided on combined standings from the three weather-hit practice sessions.

Most of the Moto2 field posted their quickest times on a rapidly drying track yesterday afternoon and de Rosa'a best lap of 1.52.808 got him close to the front row in fifth. He comfortably beat his previous best qualifying result of seventh in the season's opening round in Qatar and he's confident he can challenge for a maiden top ten finish.

Yuki Takahashi's ninth place on the grid was also as a result of his time set in the second practice session. The Japanese rider clocked a best of 1.54.302 in the best conditions witnessed over a wretched weekend for the weather.

Raffaele de Rosa 5th 1.52.808

"Today was a little bit strange because it is not very often that the weather is so bad that it makes it impossible to ride. I am really happy that I pushed so hard in tricky conditions yesterday because although I didn't know it at the time it would give my best grid position of the season. This morning when the conditions were really treacherous with so much rain we improved the setting of the bike a lot and we had more rear grip and better feeling from the front. I had a crash but that can happen in wet conditions but apart from that, I am confident of achieving a strong result."

Yuki Takahashi 9th 1.54.302

"I can't really complain with ninth on the grid because the last few races I've been a long way down the grid. If the race is wet tomorrow then I'm convinced I can be fighting for the top five because I've had a good feeling in the rain throughout. But if the race is dry then it becomes a lottery for everybody and nobody has really got any information. At the moment it looks like it will be wet and I've got a good set-up, so hopefully I'll be able have a good r ace for a strong finish to the season."




More, from a press release issued by Honda:

Portuguese Grand Prix, Estoril
MotoGP and Moto2 qualifying
Saturday, October 30 2010

Weather: heavy rain and strong winds
Track temperature: 16 degrees
Ambient Temperature: 16 degrees



STORMY ATLANTIC WEATHER KNOCKS OUT ESTORIL QUALIFYING

Relentless heavy rainfall at Estoril this afternoon forced the cancellation of all three qualifying sessions for tomorrow's Portuguese Grand Prix. Grid positions have thus been decided from the three practice sessions from yesterday and this morning, all of which were run on a wet track.

Conditions have been pretty miserable since practice got underway yesterday morning, with strong winds and squalls blowing in from the nearby Atlantic Ocean. The track was awash when the first MotoGP practice session got underway at 10am yesterday, so much so that only two MotoGP riders went out, completing a total of just seven laps between them. Conditions improved during yesterday afternoon's session, but the rain got worse again this morning and by lunch time the storms lashing Estoril grew in their intensity until race direction decided it was too dangerous for riders to venture out for qualifying. Yesterday there were 37 crashes across all three classes MotoGP, Moto2 and 125 and there were a further 45 tumbles this morning as riders fought vainly to find meaningful grip on the treacherous tarmac. The only rider to suffer injury was Moto2 rider Axel Pons (Tenerife 40 Pons, Pons Kalex), who fractured his right collarbone.

The last occasions on which grid positions were decided from free practice was at Motegi last year and at Sepang in 2006 when torrential rain forced the cancellation of qualifying.

The loss of qualifying hasn't been kind to Repsol Honda duo Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) who will start tomorrow's race from the third and fourth rows of the grid. Both men had been planning to be further up the order in this afternoon's qualifying, but the chance never came. Both seventh-fastest Dovizioso and 12th-fastest Pedrosa recorded their best laps at the end of this morning's session, still using rain tyres.

Dovizioso had been confident of improving his position in qualifying after making useful forward steps this morning, especially with his RCV's electronics set-up, which allowed him to run a fast, consistent pace. Pedrosa's goal this weekend is to score as good a finish as possible to protect his second place in the championship.
The Spaniard, who broke his left collarbone at last month's Japanese GP and made an abortive attempt to race at the Australian GP two weeks ago, has mixed feelings about the rainy conditions. The upside is that riding in lower-grip conditions is physically less demanding than riding in the dry; the downside is that it is much easier to crash on a slippery wet track.

Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) has had a difficult 2010, struggling to get comfortable with his RCV in dry conditions, so he revelled in the rain, claiming his first second-row start of the season. The Italian's previous best grid slot this year was eighth at Silverstone in June. Melandri rode his fastest lap in yesterday afternoon's session, two tenths faster than Dovizioso's best Saturday morning time. Team-mate Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) rounded out the top ten, setting his best time this morning.

Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V) was eighth to complete an all-Honda third row, just three hundredths behind Dovizioso. Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP RC212V) qualified 16th with his best lap in the closing moments of this morning's outing.

Gabor Talmacsi (Fimmco Speed Up, Speed Up) claimed his first Moto2 pole position with his best lap time from Friday afternoon's session. The Moto2 FP2 outing was the least wet session of all, just about dry enough for a handful of riders to risk using slick tyres. Talmacsi was one those few and the gamble paid off for the former 125 World Champion, who is currently without a contract for 2011.

The 29-year-old Hungarian will share the front row of the grid with Julian Simon (Mapfre Aspar Team, Suter), recently crowned Moto2 World Champion Toni Elias (Gresini Racing Moto2, Moriwaki) and Moto2 first-timer Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP, Suter)
Twice World Supersport champion Sofuoglu is looking forward to his debut Moto2 race tomorrow, having made it onto the front row of the grid in his very first attempt at the Honda-powered series. The 26-year-old Turkish rider, who recently made sure of his second Supersport crown, is riding for the French Technomag-CIP team which so tragically lost Shoya Tomizawa at last month's San Marino Grand Prix. Sofuoglu has plenty of experience with 600s, having won the 2007 and 2010 Supersport titles for the Ten Kate team, riding a CBR600RR. He tested with his new team at Albacete, Spain, on Monday.

German teenager Marcel Schrötter (Interwetten Honda 125 Team) achieved by far his best
qualifying performance thanks to his speed in this morning's third practice session which put him sixth fastest for a second-row start. Pole position went to Briton Bradley Smith (Aprilia).


HONDA MotoGP RIDER QUOTES

Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda RC212V): 7th, 1m 50.007s "I'm sorry we couldn't have the qualifying session because our target was to get a front-row starting position and, since I was third in the wet this morning that looked achievable for us. This morning we improved a lot in terms of our set-up and electronics, and I was able to maintain a fast and consistent pace thanks to some important changes on the machine. It was really impossible to have qualifying though there was no way we could ride in those conditions. Tomorrow the weather forecast seems to be for a wet warm-up and a dry race and if this happens it really means the race will be a lottery because no one has had any practice time in the dry. Also for me this is a track where it takes some time to find a good rhythm, so really I hope for a dry warm-up session and a dry race."

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V): 12th, 1m 50.824s "We were improving step-by-step this morning in terms of my lap times and my position and I think we could have continued that this afternoon, so it's a pity the qualifying session was cancelled although of course there was no alternative. At the beginning of the morning session I didn't feel particularly confident on the machine but I decided with the team to stay out and keep lapping to get more time on the bike. It was a good decision because we made some good progress in the second half of the session. We wanted to move further forward on the grid this afternoon and I think this should have been possible if the session had gone ahead. Tomorrow we don't know what the weather will do, but what I do know is that from 12th I have to make a great start wet or dry. I'm not thinking about what Casey and Valentino will do tomorrow all I can do is give my maximum and hope to keep any loss as small as possible."

Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V): 8th, 1m 50.043s "What can I say? It was not safe for us to ride in these conditions so this is the best solution. This morning we saved one set of tyres ahead the qualifying thinking that the conditions could be a bit better but at the end we could not take advantage of this. Anyway my yesterday's lap time gives me the chance to start from the third row. We could have done a lot better but we focused on race set-up, not on the lap time. We are pleased with our race pace in the wet but if the race is dry we will all be in the same difficult situation."

Hiroshi Aoyama (Interwetten Honda MotoGP RC212V): 16th, 1m 53.317s "Unfortunately qualifying was cancelled. We wanted to try some adjustments on the bike and try to improve the lap times. But I think that the decision made was right, as it is quite risky to go out in these conditions. Tomorrow we will have to see what we can improve in warm-up. Normally I prefer a dry race, but this time I think it would be better if we have a wet race."


MOTO2 RIDER QUOTES

Gabor Talmacsi (Fimmco Speed Up, Speed Up): pole position, 1m 50.916s "I changed to slick during FP2 even though the track wasn't very dry. That made it a bit riskybut the grip level was okay so I was able to push quite hard and that got allowed me to be fastest. At the last few races I have had difficulties in practice which made me start far back on the grid which makes the race very difficult. Tomorrow, rain or dry is okay for me, because our rain set-up is good. But I'm on pole, so I'm happy and I'll try to be fast whatever the conditions."

Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP, Suter): 4th, 1m 51.949s "I'm quite happy, though it would have been good to have a dry session, especially because I've only had one testing in the dry on this bike [at Albacete, last Monday) and because I've never ridden here before either. The Dunlop rain front tyre seems really good and we've been working to find a little more rear grip by adjusting the suspension set-up."


HONDA 125 RIDER QUOTES

Marcel Schrötter (Interwetten Honda 125 Team), 6th, 2m 04.134s "I was lucky that the qualifying was cancelled, but I also would have liked to ride it. This morning it went well for me in the wet and I finished the session in sixth position. I will start the race from sixth and I am happy about that. I just hope the race will go as well as this as well."




More, from a press release issued by Jack & Jones by Antonio Banderas:

Wet And Wild Practice At Estoril For Kenny Noyes

Torrential rain and strong winds lashed Portugal's Atlantic coast, home to the Estoril circuit, throwing practice and qualifying for Moto2 into disarray. Friday morning's FP1 session was a washout and qualifying on Saturday afternoon had eventually to be abandoned. Though Kenny Noyes has proved to be very quick to learn the many new tracks he has raced at this year, losing so much time to the elements hampered the Jack&Jones By Antonio Banderas rider's progress at Estoril.

Bad luck also worked against the American: a minor gearbox problem on Friday and a small crash on Saturday morning lost Kenny even more time. The Saturday crash proved costly, as so many riders went down early in the session that it took over thirty minutes to get his Promoharris Moto2 machine back to the garage for repairs, by which time the session was all but over.

Despite the problems, Kenny is satisfied with his debut at Estoril. The circuit has plenty of hard braking zones where Kenny can make up time, and the American is confident that if he can get with a good group, he can get into the points. The decision not to fit slick tires to his Jack&Jones By Antonio Banderas Moto2 bike during FP2 left Kenny to start from the sixth row of the grid, as the cancellation of qualifying left him no chance to improve his position.


Kenny Noyes
22nd, fastest lap 1'55.940

Kenny said: "I got real unlucky with my crash this morning. I had to wait over half an hour for my bike to be taken back to the garage! There were about 25 bikes that went down in the first few laps, and there was no room on the crash truck for mine."

"The weather was amazing, real scary. There was standing water and the wind was gusting, it was real tough out there. I think canceling qualifying was the only option they had."

"Overall, I'm pretty happy. This track has some heavy braking where I can make up some time, and we're in better shape than 22nd on the grid would say. Looking back, we should have used slicks on Friday afternoon, but we didn't know that would be for our grid position. The guys ahead of me set their times on slicks, and I could have been much closer to the front if we had run them. If we'd know FP2 would be the qualifying time, we might have taken that gamble!"