French GP: Michelin qualifying report

Michelin maintained its 100 per cent 2008 pole position record at Le Mans today, Michelin man Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) scoring a stunning pole ahead of second-fastest Colin Edwards (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin). There are...

Michelin maintained its 100 per cent 2008 pole position record at Le Mans today, Michelin man Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) scoring a stunning pole ahead of second-fastest Colin Edwards (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin).

There are four Michelin men in the top six, Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) and Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) qualifying on the second row. And six of Michelin's MotoGP seven riders are inside the top ten, with Le Mans first-timer James Toseland (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) seventh, just 0.110 seconds off row two, and fellow MotoGP rookie Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Team Scot Honda RC212V-Michelin) tenth, only 1.042 seconds off pole.

Pedrosa's first pole of the year is Michelin's fifth pole from five races, the Spaniard improving his qualifying pace step by step until he was able to better Edwards' super-quick lap on his fourth and final qualifying run. Edwards, who started from pole in China two weeks ago, was just 0.167s seconds down at the end of the hour. Lorenzo, still hurting from his b ig crash during Chinese GP practice, once again showed his mettle in taking fifth fastest time, despite two tumbles in practice.

Conditions have been very changeable at Le Mans, with rain falling before this morning's session and again after this afternoon's outing. And there's a possibility of more showers tomorrow.

"We're happy with today's result - once again the lap times on qualifying tyres were extremely fast," said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "It is always good to see the progress made with both our tyres and the bikes. Colin did a great job and it was amazing to see Dani go even faster. The weather conditions have been okay, we've had very nearly four hours of dry-track time so we've been able to do a lot of work with race tyres. The track temperature has changed quite a bit over the two days but despite that we've not seen any big difference in the performance of our tyres, which is a good thing.

"I think most of our riders have a fairly clear idea of what tyre s they're going to use for the race because they've done a lot of laps and even the laps they've done on used tyres have been fast. Most of them are choosing race tyres in the medium range. It should be a nice race if the weather stays dry."

Pedrosa, who leads the World Championship with one win and three further podiums from the first four races, was delighted to get pole here. "It's my first pole position of the season and that's especially good at this track because it's very important to have a good grid position here," he said. "Today we made some small chassis adjustments, fine-tuning the machine. This afternoon I wasn't able to get the maximum out of my first two Michelin qualifying tyres, so we made some more changes to the chassis settings and that allowed me to make a big step forward with my third qualifier. I didn't expect to get pole with my fourth qualifying tyre but I did, so we're very happy."

-credit: michelin

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Colin Edwards , James Toseland , Andrea Dovizioso , Jorge Lorenzo , Dani Pedrosa