Valentino Rossi became the first rider since the introduction of the single-tire supplier rule to dip under an existing pole position record in the Czech Republic on Saturday, taking his third consecutive pole position despite sliding off into the gravel trap with just a few minutes remaining.
Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo qualified second in Brno, continuing his 100% front-row qualifying record for the season.
Valentino Rossi – pole
“Pole position is great, but the most important thing is that I’m okay after the crash. I have a bit of pain in my right thumb but that’s all, so I think I’ve been quite lucky. I’ll get it checked out at the Clinica Mobile later but I don’t think it’s anything bad. This weekend only one of the front tires is working well for us, which means we only have four for the weekend, so we’re putting quite a lot of stress on just a few tires. I arrived to brake very deep and just lost the front, it was unlucky. Anyway, we did a great job in the session and being on pole again is important. We have a good race pace and I think it’s possible to be competitive tomorrow.”
Jorge Lorenzo – 2nd
“This morning we tried the softer Bridgestone tire but I didn’t feel so good on it. This afternoon we gave it another chance but again it didn’t seem to work so well, so we decided to just concentrate on the harder tire. I had a very strong pace and like yesterday I felt very comfortable on the bike, but I couldn’t quite get the pole position today. Being on the front row is always important though and we’ve reached this target; we know that we’re very fast. Everyone is excited and motivated as usual and we’re confident that we have the race set-up to allow us to challenge tomorrow.”