Malaysian GP: Bridgestone qualifying report

Pedrosa takes first Bridgestone pole in Malaysia Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa has stormed to pole position in this afternoon's turbulent qualifying hour, taking his first pole on Bridgestone tyres in today's wet-dry session. Pedrosa set his...

Pedrosa takes first Bridgestone pole in Malaysia

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa has stormed to pole position in this afternoon's turbulent qualifying hour, taking his first pole on Bridgestone tyres in today's wet-dry session. Pedrosa set his time in the dying moments of the session, topping the timesheets by an impressive 0.4s from Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi who claimed his tenth front row start of 2008.

Pedrosa and Rossi were the only two men to dip under the 2m02s mark with lap times continuing to tumble as the long 5.543km Sepang track dried out throughout the session. Jorge Lorenzo took the final front row spot with third place for Fiat Yamaha. Such was the frantic nature of the qualifying hour that a total of 12 different riders held provisional pole at some point in the session with a total of 37 different changes of provisional pole position time during the sixty minutes.

Pedrosa's result is the 11th pole position for a Bridgestone rider this year adding to the 8 scored by Casey Stoner and the 2 achieved by Valentino Rossi. He also becomes the tenth different rider to claim pole position using Bridgestone tyres since the tyre manufacturer joined MotoGP back in 2002.

An additional three Bridgestone riders were able to set top ten pace in the tricky conditions this afternoon with Ducati's Casey Stoner in seventh position, Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi in eighth place, and Kawasaki rider John Hopkins in tenth position.

Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development

How have this afternoon's weather conditions affected tyre choice and performance?

"At the start of the qualifying session, there was still a lot of water on the track following the heavy lunchtime rainstorm, so all riders started out using wet weather tyres. As the track started to dry out more and more, we could see a very good performance from our tyres with our riders dominating the timesheets. Just after halfway through the session the track was sufficiently dry to switch to slick tyres and the lap times started to drop, which created a constantly changing classification. In the end, riders were able to put qualifiers on, even if the conditions were still not ideal. Dani did a great job to take pole, beating his pole time from last year by three-tenths-of-a-second and taking his first pole position on our tyres."

Did Bridgestone gather any useful race tyre data from this morning's dry session?

"It was quite a busy morning to make up for the time we lost yesterday but we were able to look at the harder range of slick tyres that we feel will be more suitable for the race distance. Although we were not able to carry out any long runs, we could see a good initial performance from the tyres with a few riders lapping in the low 2m02s that we would expect to be the required race pace for tomorrow if it is dry. I was also pleased with the grip and durability of our wet weather tyres in the drying conditions in qualifying. Based on the weather so far this weekend, we can certainly not rule out the possibility of a wet or drying race tomorrow. It looks set to be quite an unpredictable race whatever the weather."

Weather: Wet-Dry - Air 29C, Track 38C (Bridgestone measurement)

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Loris Capirossi , Valentino Rossi , John Hopkins , Jorge Lorenzo , Casey Stoner , Dani Pedrosa