A front row start was the objective for Toni Elias today and the Spaniard met his target with a determined display in this afternoon´s qualifying practice. Toni stepped up his pace aggressively in the final twenty minutes of the session to seal third on the grid after establishing a good race pace that should see him racing amongst a packed and competitive front pack tomorrow. A late crash has failed to dampen his enthusiasm for a race that promises to be one of the most combative of the season.
Toni Elias ( 3rd – 1´ 25″ 664):
“I´m happy because after the test at Aragon we made a few changes to the bike that up to today hadn´t had the desired effect – it had improved things a little but not much. Then in the final twenty minutes today I could feel a radical difference and I was able to make a major step forward. I was able to get into the 1´25s and that gives me confidence for tomorrow. Obviously it was important to qualify on the front row with such a tight and dangerous first corner. We´ll try to get away well and hang on to Iannone. It was a shame about the crash, which was a daft mistake and I´ve made a few of them this weekend, so hopefully I don´t make any in the race!”
Vladimir Ivanov (28th 1´ 26″ 775):
“I didn´t make the progress I hoped for today. I was 28th fastest yesterday and didn´t improve on it. Now we have to concentrate on the race and see if I can make some positions up. It won´t be easy at this track but we´ll try.”
“Despite all the misadventure of this weekend so far we´ve worked hard and ended up with a result that seemed impossible until twenty minutes from the end of qualifying. A front row start was really important because there are so many riders on track and it´s difficult to pass here. Toni has good pace and could maybe have improved again on the final lap if it wasn´t for a stupid mistake but I am happy and confident.”
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