Aragon GP: Repsol Honda qualifying report

Tomorrow, Dani Pedrosa will start from the front row of the starting grid of the Aragon Grand Prix, a Grand Prix that makes its debut in the 2010 MotoGP World Championship calendar. The Spanish Repsol Honda Team rider, who battled for the best...

Tomorrow, Dani Pedrosa will start from the front row of the starting grid of the Aragon Grand Prix, a Grand Prix that makes its debut in the 2010 MotoGP World Championship calendar. The Spanish Repsol Honda Team rider, who battled for the best time with Lorenzo and Stoner throughout the session, finally qualified third, thereby securing a place on the front row. His team-mate, Andrea Dovizioso, was eighth and will start from the third row tomorrow.

After promising practice sessions both yesterday and this morning, this afternoon's qualifying could not have started better. Pedrosa completed 21 laps of the Motorland Aragon track and topped the timesheets for the first time in his sixth lap, after registering a time of 1 minute, 49 seconds and 833 milliseconds. After pitting, he shaved more than 100 milliseconds off his time in the eleventh lap. From then on, with just 15 minutes to go, Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Stoner lowered their respective times swapping the provisional pole among them.

The Australian, the most active in the battle for pole position along with Pedrosa, topped the timesheets with just over five minutes to go. In the last lap, when Pedrosa was improving this time in the second half by two tenths, the Repsol rider made a mistake that prevented him from claiming pole position. In turn 12, Dani braked a little too late and went off track, losing his chance to battle for another pole. Despite this, the Repsol Honda Team rider had a good qualifying that puts him among the favourites in the battle for the win tomorrow.

His team-mate, Italian Andrea Dovizioso, finished the qualifying in eighth position -- with a time of 1 minute, 50 seconds and 46 milliseconds --, just behind his compatriot Valentino Rossi, with whom he will share the third row of the starting grid. The Italian Repsol Honda Team rider registered his best time in his 19th lap, of a total of 21. However, Andrea says that he feels very comfortable at this circuit, even though his times do not reflect it at the moment and is optimistic about tomorrow's race.

Dani PEDROSA >> 1'49.343 sec, 21 laps, 107 km.

"I'm happy to be on the front row as this was our main target for this afternoon's session. I just made a little mistake and ran wide on my last fast lap when I was going well and was 0.2s ahead, so I think pole position could have been possible, but the front row is the important thing. So now we must just stay focused and get a good start because the first corner is quite near to the start line which means it will be important to get a clean run into there.

It's a new track where we haven't raced before so the main question is how the tyres will work over a full race distance. Our performance over the last few races has been great and I want to try as hard as possible for the victory here. Everyone has come into this weekend with a blank sheet of paper so maybe it could be one of the most open races of the season".

Andrea DOVIZIOSO >> 1'50.046 sec, 21 laps, 107 km.

"Our race pace is reasonable, but to be honest I'm not very happy with the session, and starting from the third row is not where we wanted to be. It's difficult because we're lacking some speed and we haven't narrowed it down to one particular problem. So we need to look at the data and try to analyse what changes we can make for the warm-up tomorrow.

We need to improve our speed in the centre of the corners and also the fluidity of the handling. For the race our pace is not so bad but starting from the third row is a handicap - especially because the first corner is very slow and so you cannot easily recover positions there. Still, we've proved previously that we can have good a race from this position and that's what we'll try to do again".

-source: repsol

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Andrea Dovizioso , Dani Pedrosa
Teams Repsol Honda Team