Originally published Saturday, May 30, 2009
Jorge Lorenzo is happy, but I’m not sure anyone else is. To take pole of the Italians at Mugello is something
special, to do it when your team-mate, one Valentino Rossi, can only manage fourth place is very special.</P>
Casey Stoner is second on a track where Ducati have yet to win, but he was on the floor this morning and didn’t show
at the top of the timing screens until late in the session. This is not the usual Stoner MO. The other three
Ducatis, including Nicky Hayden, are grouped at the bottom of the order. Not a nice feeling when you’re racing so
close to the factory.</P>
Loris Capirossi bumped Valentino off the front row late in the session, repeating his feat of last year. Then he
got a big tow off Rossi, this time he followed at a respectful distance. The team are delighted, Loris is delighted,
but they are realistic about their chances in the race. The Suzuki still lacks top end and still has an aversion to
being on the side of the tyre for long periods of time–a definite drawback at Mugello.</P>
As for Honda, who’d have thought Randy de Puniet would be their fastest man? The factory team is suffering.
Dovizioso is getting quicker but doesn’t look happy or comfortable. Dani Pedrosa certainly isn’t comfortable. He
saved a near highside this morning and when he landed back in the saddle felt something go in his hip. The best
guess seems to be a tendon problem and there are genuine doubts over his ability to race.
Rossi has won the last seven races at Mugello, an astonishing feat. Is his run about to come to an end at the hands of his team-mate?