Near Pole For Pedrosa Dani Pedrosa today came within 0.051s of claiming pole position for tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix in an exciting qualifying clash at Jerez. Riding in front of his home crowd, the Repsol Honda star was quickest in this ...
Near Pole For Pedrosa
Dani Pedrosa today came within 0.051s of claiming pole position for tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix in an exciting qualifying clash at Jerez. Riding in front of his home crowd, the Repsol Honda star was quickest in this morning's 45-minute session, and headed the timesheets for much of the afternoon, before being pipped for pole by only five one-hundredths of a second by fellow Spaniard, Jorge Lorenzo.
In both sessions today Pedrosa was inside the Jerez lap record he set in last year's race and, with a few final adjustments to the race settings on his factory RC212V, the 23-year-old from Barcelona will be confident he can battle for a repeat of the victory he scored here last year.
Andrea Dovizioso will line up for tomorrow's 27-lap race in 8th place on the grid after setting a lap time just over a second behind his team-mate. The Italian was able to improve his pace from yesterday by 0.6s in the morning practice, and believes he could have secured a spot on the front two rows this afternoon, but for the strong wind blowing across the 4.423km (2.748-mile) circuit which made for unpredictable riding conditions. Dovizioso remains confident of his chances in the race though, and will work with his team on final adjustments in tomorrow's 20-minute warm-up.
With more sun forecast, a huge crowd is guaranteed to greet the MotoGP grid as they line up at 14.00 for the race start tomorrow.
Dani Pedrosa - 2nd - 1m 38.984s
'I'm happy because we've improved a lot from yesterday and we're starting from the front row. This is always important - but especially at my home race. It was very windy this afternoon which made it quite difficult to ride with a consistent line and keep the rhythm on the bike, but still, my pace was good and I'll go into the race with a lot of confidence. We still have some work to do to improve our set-up for the race but I'm happy with how we've progressed so far this weekend. Tomorrow is the important day though. There will be a lot of fans out there supporting me and the team and I really hope I can get a good result for them. If I get a start like I did at Motegi then that will help!"
Andrea Dovizioso - 8th - 1m 39.966s
'It has been a tricky session for everybody because it was really windy and this meant we couldn't confirm some set-up improvements that we were testing. This morning we made some adjustments that gave us some positive feedback, and we wanted to keep working on them, but we couldn't test properly this afternoon because of the strong wind. Still, we improved our race pace which is very important, it's just a pity that we will start from the third row. I think I could have been on the second row but during my fast lap I had a moment and lost the front in T4. Tomorrow morning we will work on further improving the feeling of mid-corner stability at the front. For the race I'll have to make a good start because we cannot afford to lose contact with the guys in front."
Kazuhiko Yamano - Repsol Honda Team Manager
'It was a promising day for Dani, and second on the grid is a good place to be. His understanding of the machine is growing all the time. This is the first front row of the season for the team and indicates we're going in the right direction. The machine is not perfect though and there are some small improvements we want to make before the race so that Dani can fight for the win. Andrea made some gains testing new parts this morning, though there are still some areas he'd like improved. We know he's excellent in race conditions though so I'm hoping to get both riders on the podium tomorrow. The team did a really good job today and that's what we'll be targeting."