The Repsol Honda Team put on a strong performance in Qualifying today for the Grand Prix of Catalunya, the fifth round of the MotoGP™ World Championship with Casey Stoner on pole position and Dani Pedrosa in fifth place.
Stoner, who has won every Spanish race in the last 12 months, secured his second pole of the season and 40th of his career (36 in MotoGP) on his last exit with a time of 1'41.295 and will be aiming to repeat his win here from 2011.
Pedrosa, fastest in morning practice, is confident he can do one of his trademark starts. With Stoner on the top of the time sheets and only two minutes remaining, Dani was also fighting for pole but after completing the third sector 0.080 tenths from his team mate, he ran off track in turn 10 and missed the front row of the grid by just a tenth of a second.
"We used the qualifying as an extended practice session as we don't always have enough time to do everything during the 45 minute sessions. This morning we did a lot of work with the hard tyre, so in the afternoon in these hot conditions, we worked more with the softer one to get a clearer understanding if we can run with it for race distance. We were in and out a lot during the session trying a few different things, hoping to reduce the chatter which is still proving to be a problem, as soon as I touch the throttle the bike starts to chatter in the rear and it's making things very difficult. Towards the end of the session we managed to improve it slightly but I think we need to make another step before the race. Tomorrow, for sure tyre degradation is going to play a role so we're going to have to wait and see but I'm happy to start from pole."
"It was a difficult qualifying session because I spent a major part of the hour testing the used soft tyres and I was down in the classification. But I was not worried because I knew that I had two new soft tyres for the end of the practice. When we put the first one on, I immediately improved my lap times and I jumped to second place then on my final flying lap I braked too late, I had a big shake on the bike and I ran wide. From this side it's a pity because I missed my chance at pole position or, at least, the front row of the grid. Anyway, I'm happy with the work we did yesterday and today's preparation for the race and for me this is always the most important thing. Let's see if together with my team we can improve the bike slightly for tomorrow and be ready to give 100% in a hard race."