Loris Capirossi probably suffered more than anyone else when the news broke that Rossi was out of the Italian GP – for the past 2 years, Rossi has allowed Capirossi to tuck in behind him and get a tow round the Mugello circuit giving Capirossi some pretty good qualifying positions. Today Capirossi had to do it on his own, and he finished in 12th position.
Alvaro Bautista also suffered in the qualifying session and finished in last place – Bautista is still struggling with his shoulder injury which caused him to be about 4.4 seconds off the pace of his team-mate.
“It’s been tough today, because a setting we found this morning didn’t work at all in the warmer temperatures this afternoon and we had a little problem with one of the bikes and we couldn’t use it. Overall we tried very hard today, but it just didn’t happen, so we will need to do something in warm-up tomorrow to make things better. I am upset with my position on the grid, but I think I can do much better than that in the race tomorrow and I will be going full-out to show it!”
“In this race I am fighting more with the pain than with other riders! I am still in a lot of pain and I can’t ride like I want to. I am not able to change direction quickly because I need more strength to do it quicker and I just don’t have that in my left side. I need to use all my body to change direction and this is very difficult and tiring. It is good that I can still ride though, I am three of four seconds off the pace but it is important to me to find some confidence and feeling in the bike. For the race I will do my best and try to finish. I need to get to the end of the race and get the full distance in and if that happens I might even manage to score some points.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“After a promising start to the weekend yesterday, the qualifying result for Loris was massively disappointing today. We have a lot of work to do to get the bike in a better position to handle the hotter track temperatures that we had this afternoon, but this is Mugello, the rider is Loris and one thing we can guarantee is 23 laps of full effort from him tomorrow afternoon.
“Álvaro is very disappointed that his condition isn’t as good as he expected before the weekend. His strength hasn’t returned enough for him to push any harder and if he can see the chequered flag at the end of the Grand Prix tomorrow it will be a brave and somewhat painful effort!”
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