Aragon GP: Repsol Honda Friday report

The first day of practice for the Aragon Grand Prix was conditioned by the bad weather which, just as predicted in the forecasts, made an appearance at the Aragon track at midday. Fortunately, the riders in the three categories were able to enjoy...

The first day of practice for the Aragon Grand Prix was conditioned by the bad weather which, just as predicted in the forecasts, made an appearance at the Aragon track at midday. Fortunately, the riders in the three categories were able to enjoy a first free practice in the dry. In these conditions, Dani Pedrosa was the fastest rider, showing great form. His teammate, Andrea Dovizioso, finished eighth in the first free practice.

winner of the last two MotoGP grands prix. Pedrosa showed himself to be very competitive from the start of the session, finishing the first free practice at the top of the leaderboard with a 4 tenths advantage over the second placed rider, North American Nicky Hayden. His teammate in the Repsol Honda Team, Andrea Dovizioso finished this first outing at Motorland in eighth place.

The rain arrived at midday, intermittent to begin with and growing heavier as the afternoon went on. In these conditions, Pedrosa continued to lead for the best part of the session, alternating at the top of the leaderboard with his fellow countryman and main rival in the fight for the title, Jorge Lorenzo. When there was a little over ten minutes left before the end of the session in the rain, Pedrosa went out of the boxes with the intention of again improving on his times but, an electrical fault on his bike forced him to immediately return.

The changes which his team had to make to the second bike prevented him from going out onto the track until almost the end of the session, completing only two more laps. Finally, a thirteenth position for Pedrosa which, due to the special circumstances, does not worry the Repsol Honda Team rider.

And, on the other side of the box, his team-mate made progressive improvement at a track on which he has said he feels very comfortable. Dovizioso finished the second session in the rain in sixth position, improving his feeling every time he went out onto the track.

Tomorrow, the forecasts predict an important improvement in the weather and the qualifying sessions are likely to be held on dry asphalt.

Dani PEDROSA >> 1'50.506 sec, 34 laps, 173 km.

"In general this has been a good first day of practice for us at a brand new circuit for MotoGP. This morning we started well and got into a rhythm quickly, which was important because it makes a big difference going from the one hour practice sessions we're familiar with to 45 minutes. It's necessary to stay out on track for longer runs and not spend too long in the garage, and this morning we did a good job to maximise our time.

This afternoon in the wet we also started pretty well when it was raining properly, but then we had a small electrical problem with one bike and the other machine wasn't ready to go out, so we lost some time in the garage and I wasn't on track when the surface was improving at the end. The track is quite technical; it has some difficult turns and you really have to find a good line and also to set up the gearbox properly to be able to make a good lap time. The grip from the track surface feels good and the Bridgestone tyres are also working well so far. I hope we can continue in this positive way tomorrow".

Andrea DOVIZIOSO >> 1'51.845 sec, 35 laps, 178 km.

"Overall the work we did today was positive, although I'm not totally happy with the final lap times we achieved. We started well enough this morning but then we weren't able to get the maximum from our package, which means we can improve tomorrow. In the morning we began with a good base and actually I'm confident because of this. However, after the good start, we couldn't improve the lap time this morning because on the second exit we didn't use new tyres as most riders did.

So I think there's more to come from us in the dry because tyre wear is quite critical here. In the afternoon we struggled a bit in the wet compared to other tracks where we've gone well in conditions like this. We needed to change the set-up during the session - and with only 45 minutes available this eats into the available time. The new Aragon track is really nice and it's good fun to ride. The key characteristic is the downhill braking areas and it has some similarities to the Istanbul circuit with interesting corners and undulations. So I'm looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow".

-source: repsol honda

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Andrea Dovizioso , Dani Pedrosa
Teams Repsol Honda Team