Sete Gibernau responded to his Rio disappointment in perfect fashion this afternoon at the Sachsenring - by setting provisional pole position for the German Grand Prix.

Both the Spaniard and title rival Valentino Rossi crashed out in Brazil, but memories of Gibernau's last-corner victory over Rossi one year ago inspired him to a new pole record of 1min 23.247secs, the fastest ever lap of the Sachsenring by a motorcycle.

"After the small but expensive mistake we made in Brazil, the team have once again proved that we are at an extremely high level," commented the Telefonica Honda rider, who is currently tied on points at the top of the standings with Rossi. "Mentally it was important to have a good session today and it gives us a definite chance of fighting at the top again tomorrow.

"We have a good base to work from in terms of race rhythm and that is vital at such a small circuit, where there are a lot of riders within just a couple of tenths," added the Catalan, who finised 0.2secs clear of Nicky Hayden with Rossi third. "The result will depend on the tyres and the rhythm we have in the race. It will be a tough, as it was last year, and we have to be ready."

"Sete has had another good session. He has got a good rhythm for the race, although there is room for improvement, and he has set a good time," added team manager Fausto Gresini. "We decided to put the qualification tyre on quite early and get back to working for the race."