Repsol Honda press release
Pedrosa first, Stoner third on Czech GP grid
The Cardion ab Grand Prix Ceské republiky race on Sunday will commence with Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa in pole position, his first of the 2011 season.
It's my first pole of the year and also after a long time, so I'm very happy for that.
Casey Stoner will join Pedrosa on the front row of the grid in third position and Andrea Dovizioso from third row in seventh position, after a very interesting qualifying session that was decided in the final 10 minutes.
After the third free practice held in wet conditions, the track was quite dirty and slippery for qualifying. However, the riders were able to continue improving the set up of their RC212V's and work on the pace before looking for the best position on the grid.
Pedrosa achieved his first pole of the season after showing impressive pace during the entire weekend, while Stoner made steps forward to solving the issues he had Friday in setting up his bike. Andrea Dovizioso slightly improved his lap time from Friday, but he will be hoping to make a bigger step in the race to fight for another podium.
"It's my first pole of the year and also after a long time, so I'm very happy for that. The weekend has been pretty good for us so far, the bike is working well and I'm feeling good physically as well. We made only a few small changes on the bike and this allowed me to concentrate more on my riding, so let's hope we are able to keep the pace tomorrow and fight for a good result. This is the most important thing and we need to keep our feet on the ground because the rivals are close. I think we can still improve the bike a little, especially on the chassis side to have better grip, even though I guess that the rain this morning affected the conditions on track which made it more slippery."
"We hoped after yesterday that we could improve the feeling in the bike this morning but unfortunately it was a wet session, so we couldn't use it as we would have liked to. Also, the session didn't start too well with a fast crash in turn three which lost us some time and obviously dented my confidence a little. Then this afternoon we started to get a little more feedback from the bike, but all in all we didn't really make a big step forward or improve it significantly from yesterday's first session. We seem to be getting more and more chatter as the weekend progresses and the more I push the more it increases and the slower I get, so it's a little frustrating. I felt qualifying could have been better, we almost lapped with the same time on old and new tyres but in general we have a lot of work to do. We're obviously happy with front row, but we're not really where we want to be with t he bike and there is still a lot of work to do. We're looking forward to tomorrow and I'm sure we can find some improvements in time for the race."
“After having struggled yesterday with the engine brake set up, today we went back to the old specification that we used up until the Italian Grand Prix. The rain fall from last night and this morning affected the track surface and this afternoon there was less grip and the references changed compared to yesterday. We will continue working, in particular on the front, because under braking we are on the limit. I also have to ride with more fluidity. We will keep on working also in the warm up to improve for the race. The pace is not so bad and it’s not impossible to fight for the podium. The race will be hard, with many battles so it will be important to make a good start.”