Olivier Jacque was unable to retain his provisional second after a small mistake on his final flying lap of today's qualifying session at Estoril - but was still top Yamaha with fifth, a vital result for the under pressure Frenchman.

Jacque had actually looked well on his way to a pole position time when he lost half a second in the final stage of the lap.

"We had a good session, though the wind picked up considerably about 20 minutes from the end, which made things at little bit more complicated," began OJ. "Then on my last run I was blocked by another rider on my first fast lap.

"I carried on going, to try and get a second lap out of the tyre, and succeeded in posting two good first split times, but by the 'T3' the tyre had was 'dead' and I was forced to back off," he explained. "Obviously I'm disappointed not to have kept my second place on the grid. On the other hand I have an excellent set-up and tyre choice for the race and am confident that I can put in a good performance."

Team-mate Alex Barros was able to improve his time significantly over yesterday, but unfortunately so did most of the field, and he will start tomorrow's race just twelfth.

"The bike is better than it was yesterday and I managed to improve my place on the grid, but it still isn't great," said the Brazilian. "Part of the reason for that is that we decided not to use the qualifying tyre, but instead concentrate on setting the bike up for the race. Hopefully we will be able to carry on improving the bike during tomorrow's warm-up and in the end put in a reasonable race performance."

"It is a little frustrating to lose our second place on the grid, which I'm sure Olivier could have held on to if his last run had gone smoothly. However it is the first time this year that he has been in a position from which he can get on the podium, and for that I would like to thank Yamaha for all their hard work," summed up team manger Herve Poncharal. "Given how well Alex went here in winter testing it is disappointing to see him on the third row. However in the past he has managed to go considerably better on race day than in qualifying and I'm hoping that that will be the case tomorrow."



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