British rider James Toseland has spoken of his relief at claiming fifth place in the final qualifying session of 2008 in Valencia today.
The Tech 3 Yamaha rider had only one Michelin qualifying tyre when he was languishing outside of the top ten having been badly baulked by Ducati rider Marco Melandri on his third tyre.
Toseland managed to deliver a best time of 1.32.518 on his last soft tyre to fire himself up to fourth position. But he was bumped down to fifth with home favourite Dani Pedrosa climbing into second position in the dying moments.
The 28-year-old said: “I’m really happy to be on the second row at the end because I really had to pull a lap out under pressure after Melandri had baulked me at the last corner on my third qualifier.
"I wasn’t too worried because I thought he was going to start a fast lap, but as we came out of the final corner he didn’t really do anything. That was a bit disappointed but I had to deliver on my last qualifier.
"When you know it is the last tyre as well you know you can’t afford to make a mistake, and I did the first split nowhere near as good as I did on the previous tyre when I came across Melandri.
"The hardest part of this track is the first part because of the speed of the first corner and the preciseness of the second corner. Once you have got that section to the fourth corner done the circuit flows a bit more but I wasn’t aggressive enough in the early part. I needed to do a 32 and luckily I managed it.”
Today’s qualifying session was the only dry hour of the weekend so far, and Toseland said he would need a dry warm-up to make crucial last-minute adjustments to his YZR-M1 machine.
He said: “I just hope the warm-up is dry because we need to do some work on the dry set-up, but at least I’ve qualified well and hopefully I can get away with them and see how much grip there is. Any less than the second row and it is very difficult because it so hard to pass.
"I really want to end the season on a high for the team. I’ve had flashes of brilliance and some disappointing results, so hopefully I’ve got one more flash in me tomorrow.”