15.10.2011: GP of Australia, Phillip Island, Saturday
Team Interwetten Paddock star Thomas Luthi is confident he will improve from his ninth place qualifying position in tomorrow's Moto2 race at Phillip Island, Australia. The top nine riders were separated in qualifying by only 0.3 seconds, so the race tomorrow is likely to be very, very competitive.
Luthi improved all weekend long and found a good set-up with the bike and his new rear swingarm. It is now keeping the cornering lines better and it’s also a bit smoother over the bumps, but due to several rain showers, qualifying was a bit of a lottery – with the slipstream of another fast rider out of the last corner he could have been in the first row. Now he is ninth and confident for the race.
Thomas Lüthi – 9th in 1.34,958 min.:
“We worked our way towards the top guys over the course of this weekend and found a good set-up, which makes me happy and confident. But the qualifying session was a wild story in itself. You could see black clouds, so I went out and pushed right away. When it started to rain I held tenth place, then I pulled in and waited. When I saw that the conditions improved again, I found a good slot and set fast times once again. Then another rain shower came down and the story repeated itself. On my last and fastest lap, I could have made it to the front row of the grid if I had had slipstream out of the last corner. But I was by myself and now I am in ninth position which is okay since the gaps between the top riders are almost non-existent!”
Terrell Thien - Teammanager:
“We made a huge step from the morning to the afternoon and improved heaps. The motorcycle is moving less, is smoother over the bumps, keeps cornering lines better and offers more grip. It’s a pity that we missed out on the first two rows of the starting grid because we were fast enough to get there. We needed
Daniel M. Epp – PADDOCK Grand Prix Management:
“We were disappointed at first with ninth place but then we realised that we were just 0.3 seconds away from first place, which means that Tom’s lap time was really strong. I am confident about his chances to run within the first group of riders in the race!”
1. Stefan Bradl / GER / Kalex / 1:34,039 min.
2. Alex deAngelis / RSM / Motobi / + 0,427 sec.
3. Andrea Iannone / ITA / Suter / + 0,529 sec.
9. Thomas Lüthi / SUI / Suter / + 0,384 sec.