Bradley Ray ignored the wet track and the fact that he had never been to Misano before to dominate free practice and both qualifying sessions for Saturday's Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race on the Adriatic coast. The 15 year old Briton is joined on the front row of the grid for the San Marino Grand Prix by Nicolo Castellini, Lukas Trautmann and Stefano Manzi.
Fresh from his British 125 Championship win at Donington Park Ray quickly adapted to the Misano circuit. “It's a lot of fun, no problem at all. I don't really mind if the race is wet or dry. We don't have any dry track time here but we will just go back to the base setting we found at the Sachsenring, that will be fine. It took us a while this year to get the good base setting but now I'm a lot happier with the bike and enjoying it.”
Italian 13 year old Castellini was almost half a second slower than Ray in the 1st qualifying session and those were the times that set the grid position as the track was wetter and colder for the 2nd session. “I have never been here before but I like the track. It was better in the first qualifying session when there was a bit of a dry line and I was enjoying it, in the second session there was more water and no grip at all. I don't know what the track is like in the dry but it would be better for us to have a dry race.”
Trautmann is less concerned. “Wet or dry, I don't mind, I am flexible, I have to be,” said the 16 year old German with a broad smile. “I had a good feeling from the start here and it all went pretty well. I think we can have a really good race, wet or dry,” he concluded, shrugging off the fact that he slid off in both qualifying sessions.
Heading the 2nd row of the grid, Manzi is happy to have a good chance of featuring in his home race. “The grip was not good in the 2nd qualifying session but in the 1st it was better, I crashed but then restarted and got a good position. It is my best qualifying position of the year but I still want a dry race,” concluded the 13 year old Italian who was 3rd in the previous race at Brno.
Florian Alt, the 16 year old German leads the championship with 3 races remaining, he has a 31 point advantage over 16 year old Dutchman Scott Deroue. Alt was not concerned with his 9th place on the grid. “I wasn't pushing it too hard in the 1st session and then in the 2nd it was clear that no one was going to go faster, I almost had a high-side and decided to finish the session early.”
Deroue was a little more frustrated and sits in 14th place on the grid. “The first session wasn't good, I had a few small, almost high-sides and did not have a good pace. I was much happier in the second qualifying, I was feeling much better but then slid off on the 3rd lap. That was a shame. I went out again but of course could not improve on my time.”
The single race at Misano can be seen live on TV stations around the world and on www.redbull.tv. The race starts at 16.30 CET on Saturday with the show beginning 10 minutes before race time.
Latest news on Simon Danilo.
Simon Danilo crashed on the last lap of Race 1 at Brno on Saturday August 25th. He is in the early stages of recovery from his injuries including spinal damage. After his operation on Saturday evening he remained in hospital in Brno until Friday when he was transferred with a medical flight to a hospital in Lille, France.
Since then he has begun physiotherapy. He has increasing movement in his feet and legs and is able to operate a small cycling machine lying on his back. His broken left femur is hampering progress at this time though it has been pinned and is mending.
Next week he is due to move to a rehabilitation centre where they will be able to help him progress and do more than the 30 minute sessions twice a day that he is doing now.