Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner had a positive start in Jerez, with both riders sharing the top positions on the time sheets on the first day of practice for the Grand Prix of Spain.
They were the only riders capable to set 1'39 which was also under the Circuit Record of 1'39.731 set by Pedrosa in 2010. The Australian was the fastest rider in the morning session with 1'39.551, followed by Pedrosa with a marginal gap of 0.028, then the Spaniard took the top spot in the afternoon with a lap time of 1'40.101 this time followed by Stoner in second with 1'40.289. The strong wind preventing improved times in the second session.
The Repsol Honda pair were dealing with their own issues in a good way: Dani concentrated on riding fast even with his injured shoulder, and Casey focused to improve his feeling in a circuit that has proved tricky for him in the past. Andrea Dovisioso, who had a crash in the morning practice in a very fast corner, escaped without physical consequences, he was sixth on the combined free practice times, with a best lap of 1'40.429.
This weekend in Jerez the three Repsol Honda RC212V bikes are displaying the 'Honda Safety' logo on the fairings, an action that will be extended in the other three Grand Prix held in Spain this season. The logo, designed by Honda Montesa SA reflects graphically Honda's support in this area.
DANI PEDROSA - 1st - 1'40.101
"I think we are doing a good job. The bike was working OK, it was moving a little but maybe because the grip was not so good today; other riders were also struggling with it and we saw some crashes in all the categories. Also the strong wind played a part in the afternoon, it was more difficult to control the bike especially on fast corners and we couldn't improve the lap times. Let's see if the track conditions improve tomorrow and if we can do better. Regarding my physical condition, I'm struggling in the same way I did in the Qatar race because the situation has not changed, but I cannot do anything to feel better, so I'm just focused on riding as best as I can. I'm doing short runs because it's better for me and working on the bike to prepare for the race. We hope to improve tomorrow and do a good qualifying practice".
CASEY STONER - 2nd - 1'40.289
"The first session went well and I had a good feeling with the bike, we tried to repeat this in the afternoon session but the conditions weren't perfect - it was quite windy. It seems to be a little smoother to ride here than in the past, but it's a shame the weather wasn't better so we could spend some time working on the settings. In general both bikes we tried seemed to work pretty well and we'll pick up from there tomorrow to concentrate on the set-up. The grip level doesn't seem to be so good here, I think everyone is struggling with this so that's another element we need to work on tomorrow in time for qualifying".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO - 12th - 1'41.407
"It was a difficult day. This morning I crashed on the very last lap because I lost the front, without any warning at Turn 11. The crash in itself was not too bad but then the wind in the afternoon made things worse. I think the second practice suffered due to these things put together and as a result I lost the feeling with the front. I couldn’t ride as I am able to do and it’s not a nice feeling but it’s useless to complain, we have to continue working. I hope tomorrow there will be less wind so that we can focus on the set up of my RC212V".
-source: repsol honda