Sete Gibernau spent all but the final fifteen minutes of today's qualifying session for the Rio GP searching for a race set-up. Despite struggling with straight line speed, for which he's appealed to Honda to help, things looked to be going to plan for the Catalan with a front row start in the bag - but then he crashed while following Loris Capirossi on his final flying lap.

"Today we have again done a good job with the set-up of the bike, but we still have a few things to sort out," began Sete, who will start third tomorrow, but was the slowest Honda down the straight - some 8km/h behind pace setter Makoto Tamada. "I have found a really good rhythm in the corners but I am losing too much time on the straights. I am doing all I can to make up the difference but I need some help from Honda.

"It is a shame because in the crucial part of the session when I was going for a good time I crashed. Luckily I wasn't hurt and I hope to solve our problems in the warm-up. Tomorrow I will start from the front row and hopefully I can be back in the battle for the win," he declared.

While the session ended on something of a downbeat note for the Telefonica Honda squad with Gibernau's accident, rookie Ryuichi Kiyonari did enough to keep the team's spirits up as he shaved a massive 2.4 seconds off his fastest lap from yesterday to qualify a career best 15th.

"I am very happy to have improved my time by 2.4 seconds. I think this is my best qualifying performance and I am feeling really good about tomorrow's race," said the Japanese.

"Kiyonari was splendid," added team manager Fausto Gresini. "He has shown real character on the track and got the most out of his qualifying tyre. I am sure he can have a nice race tomorrow."

 

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