The sell out Spanish crowd making its way to Valencia for tomorrow's season ending Grand Prix have plenty of reason to pack extra fireworks after two Spaniards qualified in the premier-class top five today.

Those riders, Sete Gibernau and Carlos Checa, have experienced very different seasons so far: Gibernau winning four races on his factory Honda, while Checa is yet to even take a podium on his works Yamaha.

Nevertheless, such form counts for little when Spaniards ride at home, and the two were separated by less than 0.3secs today as they qualified second and fifth respectively, raising home hopes of a double podium tomorrow.

"We have worked very well today, maintained a good rhythm throughout the majority of the session, and lapped in the 1min 33s on race tyres," said Sete, already assured of second in the championship. "We have met our objective of a front row start and this is important for tomorrow's race. Obviously I would have liked to be on pole position but in the end it wasn't to be.

"Tomorrow will be a long race in which tyre wear will be crucially important. I'm sure the fans here will be in great voice as always and I want to give everything back to them and put on a good show," he added.

In almost a repeat of yesterday, Checa also looked set to secure a front row start but was knocked to the second row in the closing minutes by Honda mounted Nicky Hayden.

"The new chassis gave me a much better feeling this morning, and this afternoon it felt a bit better," explained Checa, who ran the new design for the first time today. "We still need a little time to set the chassis up for the race, and so tomorrow morning we will have the chance to test it further in the warm up.

"The main benefit I have felt today from the latest chassis is that I can keep the front on the ground more and control the rear when the bike is on its side. We've made one step in its set-up, and now we need to make another to be ready. I think the race will be a very demanding 30 laps, and it will be very tough on tyres," concluded the Fortuna rider.

The third Spaniard in the MotoGP field, David de Gea, is in a different position to his countrymen, and a point's finish would be a dream for the likeable Harris WCM rider.
"Today I improved but not enough," he said after qualifying 23rd and last. "I thought I would have been in the 1min 35.9secs but there was some chattering with the bike and a 1min 36.6secs was my best. I look forward to the race tomorrow and to a good result for my team."

 

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