Japanese GP: Repsol Honda Friday practice report

Low Temps On Everyone's Mind Low temperatures were on everybody" mind during the first free practice session at Motegi as the riders prepare for the Japanese GP, a race that will be held this weekend at the Circuit of Motegi. There was little...

Low Temps On Everyone's Mind

Low temperatures were on everybody" mind during the first free practice session at Motegi as the riders prepare for the Japanese GP, a race that will be held this weekend at the Circuit of Motegi. There was little grip for the bikes and this combined with the cold weather and cold tarmac meant that the two Repsol Honda Team riders were not tempted to take any risks on the first day of practice.

With rain almost 100% guaranteed this weekend and the uncertainties surrounding what will happen before the race on Sunday, the 45 minutes that the riders and teams have to set up their bikes in the first free session of MotoGP were nowhere near enough -- all the riders are complaining about this new rule -- but even so nothing untoward happened out on the track, although the times were slower than in previous years.

Dani Pedrosa, who has gone to the Japanese GP in a much better condition after the injury and operation on his left leg, did not have a good start to the weekend. The lack of a good set up on his motorbike prevented him from reaching the level needed to be competitive in this first free practice, and he finished in a disappointing eleventh position.

Things did not go much better for his teammate, the Italian Andrea Dovizioso, who in spite of his determination to finish higher on the leaderboard, in the end had to make do with seventh place, almost a second and a half off the best time, and a little more than 3 tenths of a second faster than Dani Pedrosa. Tomorrow the weather forecast prediicts heavy rain, so the uncertainty of what may happen on the Sunday, a wet race or in the dry, means that the race will be very complicated, above all because of the lack of time available to set up the bikes.

Quotes

Dani PEDROSA: 1'50.391 secs, 19 laps, 91 km.

"It's exciting to be back at Motegi for Honda's home race, though we didn't get as far forward today as we would have liked.

We went in the wrong direction with our set-up for this practice, which meant that we couldn't get as far forward on the timesheets as we should be. It looks like it's going to be raining tomorrow so perhaps we won't so much more set-up time if the race is dry, but still, we'll continue to work on the settings and see how things pan out tomorrow."

Andrea DOVIZIOSO: 1'50.030 secs, 16 laps, 77 km.

"Well it's great to be in Japan at Honda's home track and already I can feel the enthusiasm and support from the Japanese fans. Today we had a bit if a tricky session though.

The cold temperatures meant that the machine was quite difficult to control so we need to improve the settings to better suit these conditions. I was wheelying quite a lot too, so that's something we need to address. I really hope that tomorrow we'll have two dry sessions to work with - though it's not looking too likely. We'll see."

-credit: repsol

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Dani Pedrosa
Teams Repsol Honda Team