Repsol Honda press release
The Repsol Honda Team clearly dominated the first day of free practice in the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Dani Pedrosa leading the way.
Recently crowned World Champion, Casey Stoner ended the day in second place with Andrea Dovizioso, third. Honda bikes occupied the top five places with Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama, in fourth and fifth positions in the combined free practice times.
This morning Dani set a very high pace with soft tyres then confirmed his speed in the afternoon by improving his lap time with hard rear tyre. At the end of the afternoon session, with a new soft rear he recorded an impressive lap of 2'01.250, almost one second faster than the circuit record (Stoner, 2'02.108, 2007).
Casey, managed to improved his times in the afternoon also with the hard compound after doing 21 laps with the softer one and Andrea was also consistently in the top three throughout the whole day, but was more comfortable in the morning with less temperature on track.
DANI PEDROSA - 1st 2'01.250
"Today we went pretty fast and consistent even though the track wasn't very clean. We did a good job in both practice sessions, but I would like to improve a little more on the chassis side to feel more comfortable with the front and choose the right tyre for the race distance. At the moment we are doing good steps but we need to keep on working with the same style and try to preform well tomorrow in qualifying. We had a bad qualifying in Australia and we want to be stronger here and do it better".
CASEY STONER - 2nd 2'02.070
"Everything went pretty well today, we're not too far off the pace with race tyres, we did over race distance and were pretty happy with the lap times we were doing on the soft tyre. We then went to the hard tyre and found it a little better and more consistent, we'll have to see what the conditions are like tomorrow but so far we're pretty pleased and the bike feels ok. We have some areas to improve on, we need to get the bike turning a little better into the corners, better braking stability and a little more rear grip in the traction area, if we can improve these then we'll move a step closer".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO - 3rd 2'02.590
"This morning we started with a good base and we worked on the set up to improve the feeling with the front. The small changes we made worked well, but I’m struggling quite a lot in the middle of the corner with the bike leaning at the maximum angle, because on this track there is not so much grip, we need to continue working on the set up of the engine brake. Today we tested the rear hard tyre in both session, but it seems possible to race also with the soft so tomorrow we will test also the soft rear to understand how it works and to decide the tyre for the race. Today it was very hot, on Sunday the race will be at 4pm so it could be cooler, this is another element to consider. All in all, I’m positive, I really like this track and this is only the first day".