Qatari GP: Repsol Honda Friday notes

Tough First Night Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden had a tough first night at Losail tonight, ending MotoGP's first-ever floodlit practice sessions tenth and 13th fastest. The pair both chose to use the opening two sessions ...

Tough First Night

Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden had a tough first night at Losail tonight, ending MotoGP's first-ever floodlit practice sessions tenth and 13th fastest. The pair both chose to use the opening two sessions for Sunday's season-opening Qatar GP to make back-to-back tests with the 2007 RC212V and the 2008 RC212V.

Both Pedrosa and Hayden rode their fastest laps on their 2008 bikes. The 2007 RC212Vs are of the same spec that the riders raced at Valencia last November, when Pedrosa took the 'triple crown' of pole position, race victory and lap record.

Pedrosa was lucky to walk away from a high-speed fall at Turn 14 during the second session, which started at 10.55pm, after making contact with Valentino Rossi (Yamaha). The Spaniard is still recovering from the broken right hand he sustained at Sepang in January.

Qatar GP practice continues tomorrow night, with racing on Sunday night, all illuminated by Losail's awesome 5.4 million watt lighting rig.

Dani Pedrosa -- tenth fastest, 1m 56.478s

"The two bikes feel different, but it's still too early to decide which we're going to race. The accident happened when I was riding behind Rossi. I was catching him and he did something unexpected, so I couldn't avoid him. The accident forced me to stop the session earlier than I'd planned, so I will need to have a long talk with my mechanics tomorrow before we go out again. My right hand and arm are certainly tired after all the riding today but the only problem is that the hand is now very painful again."

Nicky Hayden - 13th fastest, 1m 57.045s

"That wasn't spectacular by any means, but we knew it wasn't going to be easy coming in here because we had a tough test here last week. Tonight we were checking a completely different set-up, so we'll definitely have to sit down tonight and make a decision on which bike to use and take the big step forward tomorrow. So far the 07 bike is better in braking and it's more stable in changes of direction, but the lap times were very close. I'd say tonight's track conditions were better than the tests, I expected the track to be dirtier but it was okay. Tyres aren't an issue, the tyres are working good. My last lap I was hoping to improve, I was pushing hard and ran off the track at a pretty fast place. I took a ride through the gravel but stayed on the bike, so it was okay."

Kazuhiko Yamano, Repsol Honda team manager

"Today wasn't so easy for us but I think we are learning a lot. Dani used a new chassis in his 08 bike tonight and it gives him a better front feeling. He was unlucky to have a fall tonight and it seems his right hand is very painful again. Nicky also tried both this year's machine and last year's machine and he also seems to be finding a direction for Sunday. We look forward to doing better tomorrow."

-credit: repsol

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Valentino Rossi , Dani Pedrosa