Tomorrow, the three Repsol Honda riders will start the Grand Prix of Portugal from the first and second rows of the grid. Dani Pedrosa made an impressive lap time, achieving a front row start for the third consecutive time this season. This morning in wet conditions he focused on the set up of his RC212V and completed just 11 laps in order to save some energy for his shoulder so that he could push more in Qualifying.
It was a very close session as it always is in this circuit and our main target this afternoon was to be on the front row, so I'm happy about this.
Casey Stoner, 4th at just 0.060 from his team mate and Andrea Dovizioso, 6th, will both start from the second row. Neither rider was able to use their soft tyre at their best, but both remain confident for the race. Casey continued working on the set up to find a better balance under braking and mid corner speed, improving in the second part of the session. Andrea improved stability in the front and was able to push more in the afternoon.
Track conditions were tricky today: after last night's rain, the track was semi dry this morning with some wet spots. It was completely dry during Qualifying but slightly dirty and with lack of grip. Weather forecast for tomorrow is still uncertain and there is some possibility of rain. With 8 riders within 1 second, tomorrow will be tough but the Repsol Honda riders are ready for the 28 lap race, that will start at 13:00 local time.
DANI PEDROSA - 3rd 1'37.324
"I'm very satisfied with this front row today. It was a very close session as it always is in this circuit and our main target this afternoon was to be on the front row, so I'm happy about this. For tomorrow, we will try to set up our bike a bit better for the race distance. I know that physically it will be tough for me because after the recent surgery my shoulder has improved a little but it is still very stiff and the muscles hurt. Anyway, I hope to be able to stay with Lorenzo because for sure he will be consistant and that will be one of the key points in the race. The weather is nothing that we can change, so we will need to also be ready to do our best in any condition".
CASEY STONER - 4th 1'37.384
"Today hasn't really been that great for us either, this morning's session was pretty much a waste of time we were just working on our wet setting that we weren't really happy with in Jerez. We improved that situation a little and we can hopefully expect a better feeling next time in wet conditions. This afternoon we continued on from yesterday, trying to find a better balance under braking and mid-turn corner speed but it wasn't until towards the middle, end of session that we started to make some improvements with the bike. Every time I went out the balance didn't feel correct so we tried to go in another direction, finally we found the right route and we improved a little bit more each run after that, but unfortunately I wasn't able to use the qualifying tyre like I wanted to. When I went out there with the only new tyre that we had for the session, I made a few mistakes in the early laps so didn't really use the best of the tyre. I think the race potential is there now and hopefully we can have a good race tomorrow".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO - 6th 1'38.073
"It was important to start from a good position so I’m happy to start from the second row tomorrow. We worked on the setting and stability in the front improved so I could push more this afternoon, compared with yesterday. I rode quite consistently but I wasn’t able to gain some more tenths and lap under 1’38". We have two points we would like to work on tomorrow so I hope that the track conditions are fine during the warm up. Today’s result gives us more confidence for the race after a difficult session yesterday".