22.10.2011: GP of Malaysia, Sepang, Saturday
Team Interwetten Paddock Moto2 star Thomas Luthi set another milestone in his career when he clinched his first ever pole position in the Moto2 category in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Malaysia today. The 25-year-old former 125 cc world champion, who was able to celebrate his success with his first ever Tissot T Race watch, a very special reward for the fastest Moto2 qualifyer, had been on top of the time sheets all day. He clocked the fastest time in the third free practice session on Saturday morning with an advantage of almost half a second over his next competitor. In sizzling tropical heat in the afternoon, Luthi improved further and stayed two tenths of a second ahead of world championship leader Stefan Bradl.
Thomas Lüthi – 1st 2:07.512 min.:
“We improved consistently from session to session and in qualifying, everything went like clockwork again. I was third right from the start and took second place early on in the session. We then made a few more adjustments to the set-up that were all positive. In the end, it was a matter of pulling all stops as a rider in order to get the lap time in. It worked out really well and I am very happy with this pole positiion. It was tough because it was brutally hot out there and I think it won’t be any different tomorrow. The race will be tough on the tyres and a tough physical challenge the riders. I feel okay and I didn’t suffer from the heat too much even though I can’t say that these are my favourite conditions – since I am from Switzerland, I also like the snow!”
Terrell Thien - Teammanager:
“Starting from the first free practice session on Friday, we got closer and closer to the front and we were also lucky with the weather, because it was dry always and we were able to try lots of things on the set-up. All our modifications on the bike went in the right direction and in the end, Tom was the fastest rider on the track. We have a good set-up for the race and we also had a good set-up for a few hot laps in qualifying. Congratulations to Tom and the guys in team because they worked day and night on improvements for the bike. Even the smallest details helped to make us as competitive as we are right now. We hope we can continue this way!”
Alfred Willeke – crew chief:
“We have been able to build on the performance that we’ve had since the Grand Prix of Japan. After the last race in Australia, we didn’t even have to change much on the bike. All the anticipated adjustments for the Sepang track worked very well. From that point on, all we had to do was a little fine-tuning!”
Daniel M. Epp – PADDOCK Grand Prix Management:
“Tom has been very strong in last year’s race and we are very competitive once again. Since the Grand Prix of Japan, things are going in the right direction for us. Even the Australian Grand Prix was a good weekend, apart from the fact that we didn’t get rewarded in the race due to an incident with an other rider. We had back luck there and we now hope that luck will be on our side here in Malaysia!“
1. Thomas Lüthi / SUI / Suter / 2:07.512 min.
2. Stefan Bradl / GER / Kalex / + 0,212 sek.
3. Michele Pirro / ITA / Moriwaki / + 0,492 sek.