Final Qualification Times 500 Class British GP

Colin MacKellar
by Colin MacKellar
Hey it's raining again here in Northern Europe and it's messing up the racing, as it has done at 2 of the last 3 GPs. Now Rossi is back in the middle of the starting grid with a sea of bikes he needs to get by if he is to catch his Italian "mates". Should be good entertainment....

2001 British GPTRACK: DoningtonDATE: 7 July 2001WEATHER: Cloudy, drying track Final Qualification times for Practice 500cc Times------------------Pos No. Rider Nat Bike Time--- --- ----- --- ---- ----1 3 Biaggi Ita Yam 1'31.9642 65 Capirossi Ita Hon 1'32.0773 4 Barros Bra Hon 1'32.3844 56 Nakano Jpn Yam 1'32.5155 17 v.d. Goorbergh Hol Proton 1'32.5936 1 Roberts USA Suz 1'32.8667 15 Gibernau Spa Suz 1'32.9888 19 Jacque Fra Yam 1'33.0599 7 Checa Spa Yam 1'33.06610 10 Cardoso Spa Yam 1'33.20411 46 Rossi Ita Hon 1'33.26612 41 Haga Jpn Yam 1'33.48713 1 Criville Spa Hon 1'33.49514 8 Walker Gbr Hon 1'33.50115 6 Abe Jpn Yam 1'33.61916 11 Ukawa Jpn Hon 1'33.654 The Italians on top without Rossi Then mid-season racing has been seriously disrupted by the weather and again it was rain that made the second practice session a lot slower than the first. A heavy rain shower had fallen at the end of the morning with light drizzle during lunch, followed by rain during the 125 session and although it had stopped by the time the 500s lined up for their hour of madness, the track was quite wet. As the session ticked away, the track dried out and the times dropped, but with 15 minutes to go there were still damp patches. A few riders decided to go for fast times despite the less than perfect surface, including Rossi, who had crashed at the Craner Curves yesterday and was languishing in Unfortunately he ran up against a slower rider coming in to the last slow right at Goddards and could not improve his time. Should make for exciting racing tomorrow, which again could be affected by rain showers.

Rossi (11th.): Today we had some problems. We had a lot of work to do after the crash yesterday. We made good progress this morning, but unfortunately it rained this afternoon and we had to wait for most of the session for the track to dry. We hope tomorrow is dry and we will do our best.

van den Goorbergh (5th): I am really disappointed. Today just wasn't our day. It was wet all session, then in the last five minutes there was a possibility to improve. I tried, but I made too many mistakes, and one other lap was spoiled by another rider. The second row is not bad, but to be knocked off the front row at the last minute by less than a tenth of a second is very irritating. Apart from that, things have been going quite well. I had a few problems this morning, but later I was going well. We have a good set-up, and if I can get a good start and not lose too many places off the line we can get a good result.

Criville (13th): There was very little we could do under these conditions. The tarmac was wet and then it dried up, but this happened too late and we have hardly been able to put 2 fast laps together. This morning my bike worked better than in yesterday's practice, and I could improve my laps times. But it rained in the afternoon during the 125 session and this stopped us from improving our lap times and the grid position when it counted. We continued to work on the set up of the bikes today, trying different heights, positions, geometries and other settings. Tomorrow's race will be like a lottery, especially if it rains, and with my position way back on the grid, it's obvious that the only valid strategy will be to start well and recover.

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