Alex Barros, who both in the morning free session and afternoon qualifying showed he had similar pace to the top five, set the eighth fastest time, whilst Chris Vermeulen, who is quickly adapting to the RC211V and learning how to use the qualifying tyres, took a promising overall eleventh quickest.
Sito Pons – Camel Honda
“This track gave no advantage to any rider in terms of experience, and it’s a great circuit, but it is also technical and challenging, yesterday the differences in performance were much bigger than normal because everyone had taken their own measures to combat the new track with different results. Our riders were amongst those who made giant strides forward compared to yesterday, and both have sealed decent position on tomorrow’s grid. Alex has a good pace on race tyres looking at the rest, not like the top two, but he’s certainly in line for a good race tomorrow. Chris has advanced a row on the grid compared to his first race and in terms of lap-times has closed the gap to first place by half a second on a much longer track: he’s doing a magnificent job and if he can get away well tomorrow, he will honestly get the chance to complete his objectives and finish in the top ten.
Alex Barros – Camel Honda – 1’53.719 – 8th position
“The bike improved a lot today, I felt much more comfortable than yesterday. We have changed everything a little bit, the gearing, the suspension, the electronic power management system, a complete 360 of all the settings basically, which is quite normal on a new track. We still have some small problems but I’m quite satisfied with my race
pace. With the qualifying tyres I improved a little, but the third row is an average result.”
Chris Vermeulen – Camel Honda – 1’54.217 – 11th position
“I’m still 1.8 seconds behind pole position but it’s less than last time and it feels great to be getting the bike more under my control and more familiar in my hands. Of course, my objective today was to get into the top ten, and I missed out by one spot because I made a slight error with the second qualifying tyre, going wide in one corner, but in any case it’s fantastic to manage to out-qualify riders like Biaggi,
Hopkins, Jacque. Tomorrow’s race will undoubtedly be difficult, this is a really tough track and there are some really hard braking areas, but my aim is to be in the top ten as ever and if possible ahead of another Honda. I want to thank the team because we are working great together, it’s a brilliant experience and it makes the job much easier than it could otherwise have been.”