Some riders are better than others at exploiting qualifying tires. Why is that?
I would say that using qualifying tires is a very specific exercise. Some riders don't like to fully exploit their bike/tire package from the very first lap. Usually it's these guys who aren't the best on qualifiers, they prefer to ease up to maximum speed. Valentino is a good example. I'm not saying he's not good on qualifiers because he's good everywhere but when you see what he can do on race tires, you would think he would be unbeatable on qualifiers. But he doesn't like to give 100 per cent until he's comfortable with the bike and track conditions. There are a few guys who seem to gain an advantage with qualifiers, maybe Loris (Capirossi, Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici) and it seems like Casey (Stoner, LCR Honda RC211V-Michelin) has the potential to do this. Whenever Casey goes out, whether it's on qualifiers or race tires, you can be sure he will use the tires' maximum potential right away.