Riders back qualifying cancellation

The front row starters for tomorrow's Portuguese Grand Prix have fully backed the decision to cancel qualifying due to poor weather conditions at Estoril

Riders back qualifying cancellation

Rain has blighted the whole weekend so far, with only a handful of riders venturing out during opening practice on Friday, and qualifying called off for all three world championship classes as the weather worsened again this afternoon.

World champion Jorge Lorenzo was given pole as he had topped both practice sessions that took place properly, and said there was no chance of running qualifying given the weather.

"With the wind, with so much water on the track, it would have been very hard conditions so maybe it's better to cancel," he said.

"For us it's good, because now we have the seventh pole position of this year - maybe one of the easiest, but I'm very happy."

Lorenzo's Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi agreed that the track was in an impossible condition.

"I think it's clearly the right decision, because it's impossible to ride the bike with these conditions - you have too much water on the track and it's very difficult to understand where the track goes. Unfortunately we just have to wait until tomorrow," he said.

"It's a pity for sure, because with a normal amount of water it's possible to do another wet practice, and it's interesting to try and make pole position. But I'm quite happy because I'm on the first row, I have good pace and good balance on the bike, so now I'm just waiting for what happens tomorrow and hoping for better conditions."

Ducati's Nicky Hayden will split the two Yamahas on the front row. He apologised to the fans at the circuit, but agreed with the Yamaha duo that there was no question of qualifying going ahead.

"It's nasty out there, especially now," said Hayden. "It's similar to yesterday morning, when we didn't ride.

"The times when we've been on the track, yesterday and this morning, it hasn't been so bad. This morning was definitely a little bit cold, which made it tougher.

"Right now of course us riders want to be out there as bad as the fans, but really it's too nasty. It's windy, it's cold and it's just a good chance to get some people hurt, so they made the right decision to call it off."

He added that he would still be celebrating equalling his best start for Ducati with second, despite the unorthodox method for forming the grid.

"We're on the front row, so we'll take it," said Hayden. "Any time you can get on that front row, you don't apologise and don't ask questions, just go take it."

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