Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa will start the final race of the 2009 season on the front row of the grid after an impressive qualifying performance at Valencia today. The 24-year-old Spaniard finished just 0.263s from pole position and has given ...
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa will start the final race of the 2009 season on the front row of the grid after an impressive qualifying performance at Valencia today. The 24-year-old Spaniard finished just 0.263s from pole position and has given himself an excellent chance of getting away at the front of tomorrow's 30-lap race. In the last eight races, the local hero has been off the front row only once. Valencia is a circuit which Pedrosa loves, as his record here proves and, spurred on by his home fans, he will be determined to get the better of pole position man Casey Stoner and the rest of his MotoGP rivals in tomorrow's season finale.
On the other side of the Repsol Honda garage, the day started in promising fashion for Andrea Dovizioso as he clocked the sixth fastest time in the morning session. However, this afternoon's qualifying period - held in very windy conditions - was a frustrating affair for the Italian and he will begin the race from the head of the fourth row after qualifying in tenth place. Nonetheless, Dovizioso finished fourth on his MotoGP debut here last year and knows he can perform well at this circuit. With this in mind, he and his crew will analyse the data gathered from today's two sessions and try to further improve his machine set-up in the 20-minute warm-up period tomorrow. The race begins at 14.00 local time (GMT + 1 hour).
"I'm very pleased to be on the front row here, and the qualifying session went quite well for us. We're still not at 100 per cent in set-up terms - especially in T3 where we're losing some time. So if we can get that sorted out then I think our pace can be quite strong tomorrow, and we could maybe have challenged for pole position this afternoon. The front row is the important thing though, and now I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's race. I think everyone's motivation for this race is very high and it should be a good battle - and a difficult one. I hope I'm there at the front fighting for the win because this would be a great way to finish the season for me and for the Repsol Honda Team. The other riders are strong though, so it won't be easy. I'm excited about tomorrow and I hope to find that little bit extra on race day. For sure there will be many fans here as always and the atmosphere will be very special."
"So, we really need another good start tomorrow. We proved that was possible at the last race where I qualified quite far back but came through quickly. However, I'm frustrated with how today went because we were much closer in the morning but couldn't convert that into a competitive qualifying performance. In race trim we have one second to improve to be on the pace of the leaders, and that is a big margin and means we have plenty of work to do tonight. We made some improvements in both sessions, but we still needed to find some set-up solutions which will allow me to get the maximum from the soft option Bridgestones. I need to be quick off the line tomorrow because starting from the fourth row makes everything more difficult. It's the last race of the season though, and we'll be giving it everything."
Kazuhiko Yamano, Team Manager
"Dani's on the front row for the tenth time this season and he did a very good job in qualifying today. There are some areas where we must try to improve the setting - particularly in T3 - and if we can achieve this, he should be very strong in tomorrow's race. For Andrea things were going in the right direction but he hasn't managed to extract the maximum from the package during the 'attack' phase at the end of qualifying, and so he's on the fourth row. It's not ideal for him, but we've seen that he can take a step up in the race and that's what he'll be looking for tomorrow. It's the last race of the year and the whole Repsol Honda Team is determined to go out on a high."