A cool and cloudy morning once again gave way to classic Californian sunshine at Laguna Seca this afternoon, where hard compound tyres were the general order of the day when it came to race set-up. The action on track was just as hot, with the top six riders finishing in the 1.21s but Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa establishing themselves as the men to beat in tomorrow’s race. The Spaniards are both past winners at Laguna Seca as is Casey Stoner, who made a late charge to separate them on the front row.
Héctor Barberá is enjoying his 150th Grand Prix immensely so far, having qualified eighth today with a time that was only a second off Lorenzo’s pole position. The MAPFRE Aspar rider has taken to the Laguna Seca circuit like a fish to water, just as he did last year before being denied in the race by a broken chain, and today he dropped his pace into the 1.22s to suggest he has the promise to do well over race distance. The Spaniard qualified eighth on the grid as the second highest Ducati, immediately behind Valentino Rossi, and he is determined to sign off for the summer with a top result.
8th Héctor Barberá 1.22.238 (30 laps):
“I am happy because I have improved my lap times a lot and we have worked well all weekend. I really enjoyed myself on the bike again today and we know exactly what we need tomorrow. We have found some really good form over the last couple of races and every day we improve a little more, which is helping me get more out of the Ducati. We are in line with the factory bikes and I think we can have a good battle tomorrow. No doubt Hayden wants a good result here, Valentino too, so my objective is to stick with them as best I can. The main thing is to finish the race because I only managed two laps here last year and I want to bury that memory. It is a case of getting a good start and staying focused to make sure nobody gets away from me over the opening laps.”
Source: Aspar Media
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