Hayden Fourth Repsol Honda riders Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa today qualified fourth and ninth fastest for tomorrow's British Grand Prix, round eight of this year's MotoGP World Championship. Following yesterday's two dry sessions, rain ...
Repsol Honda riders Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa today qualified fourth and ninth fastest for tomorrow's British Grand Prix, round eight of this year's MotoGP World Championship.
Following yesterday's two dry sessions, rain dominated today. This morning's practice outing was run in heavy rain while this afternoon's qualifying session was run on a wet but drying track. Pedrosa and Hayden were second and third fastest in the morning but found the damp conditions more challenging. Hayden, using the pneumatic-valve RC212V engine for the first time at a race, was once again impressive, ending the day just a quarter of a second off the front row. The American is very much looking forward to racing the pneumatic-valve engine for the first time. Pedrosa could only manage a third-row start, though the Spaniard is confident he can ride a good race in the dry. Latest weather forecasts predict some overnight rain but a dry race day.
Nicky Hayden, 4th fastest, 1m 39.270s
"I had hoped to be on the front row. Fourth here isn't so bad and we will be okay so long as we can get some stuff sorted out for the race. If it's wet tomorrow we're lucky it rained because we're using a completely different engine and today was the first time I rode it in the rain. It took some adjusting to, just a few laps to get comfortable on it. The engine is a little bit aggressive but I was able to control it okay. We certainly need more time to understand it some more but all in all it's not too bad. We knew this weekend we were going to be a little bit in the dark because we don't know what this bike is going to do on tyres over race distance and we could've done with some more time on fuel consumption. This morning things felt good in the wet, but when things dried out this afternoon we were struggling to go fast, that's where we've got to work with Michelin to improve. The track's slippery, but it's cold too and that can make as much different as the surface. The race will be fun nonetheless, see what happens when that light goes out..."
Dani Pedrosa, 9th fastest, 1m 40.350s
"The race won't be easy tomorrow because I've got to start from the third row of the grid. This is a tight, one-line racetrack where overtaking can be quite difficult. But the main unknown is the weather. If it's dry we already have some fairly clear ideas about machine set-up and tyre choice from yesterday's two dry sessions. Today the bike felt fine in the wet but some of the riders were going very fast with an impressive rhythm. So we will wait and see what the morning warm-up session brings. If I could choose, I would much prefer a dry race. As far as my physical condition goes, my back and hand are still hurting from yesterday's crash, though I do feel a bit better today."
Kazuhiko Yamano - Team Manager
"This morning the rain was quite heavy and we had a good result -- Dani second fastest and Nicky third fastest. But this afternoon the track conditions were more difficult, especially towards the end of the session when the rain had stopped. At least we have had practice in all conditions, so we are ready whatever the weather on race day. Today was very positive with Nicky and the pneumatic-valve engine, he has been competitive in all four sessions and we have gained lots of data. It will be tough for Dani starting from the third row but we are confident he can get a good start and he seems happy with his machine in all conditions."