Phillip Island final qualifying wasn't a session the Gauloises Yamaha Team were particularly proud of, with riders Olivier Jacquie and Alex Barros being left side-by-side in 15th and 16th places respectively.

"Unfortunately my bike stopped on my fast lap and I wasn't able to take advantage of my qualifying tyres, meaning my grid position isn't as good as it might have been," explained OJ. "Apart from that we had a good session, posted regular 'low 32' laps and managed to improve our time on race tyres."

Meanwhile, Barros had an even less positive hour, and admitted he'd hoped for much more on a day when he celebrated his 33rd birthday.

"Sixteenth place wasn't really how I wanted to celebrate my birthday, but even if we are still far down the grid we managed to improve the bike a lot. The problem is that, once again, we are effectively a day behind and have no time left to 'polish' the set-up," said the Brazilian.

Nevertheless, with rain forecast for tomorrow afternoon the weekend is far from over, and having taken Yamaha's only podium of the season so far in the wet/dry French Grand Prix, rain could be the team's saviour.

Gauloises race engineers, Guy Coulon and Gilles Bigot, held slightly differing opinions as to how such a weather change would affect their riders' chances.

"If it rains, as forecast, set-up choices are going to be a real gamble and anything could happen," stated Jacque's engineer Coulon, while Bigot was more positive: "If it rains tomorrow I think it will be to our advantage - as long as we give Alex a wet set-up that provides him sufficient feedback to find the bike's limits."

 

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