Australian GP: Repsol Honda Friday practice report

Dani Pedrosa - Sixth Overall Wherever MotoGP goes this year, the rain usually follows, and Australia is proving to be no exception. Changeable springtime weather dominated proceedings at Phillip Island today, Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa ...

Dani Pedrosa - Sixth Overall

Wherever MotoGP goes this year, the rain usually follows, and Australia is proving to be no exception. Changeable springtime weather dominated proceedings at Phillip Island today, Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa ending the first two practice sessions sixth overall. This morning's opening session was run in bright, sunny conditions, while strong winds and heavy rain affected this afternoon's outing.

Pedrosa made a steady start to his Australian GP weekend, placing sixth this morning and eighth this afternoon. Like the rest of the MotoGP grid, the Spaniard is hoping for better weather tomorrow, to allow him to continue fine-tuning the balance of his RC212V for Sunday's race. Pedrosa is currently third in the 2008 World Championship with three races remaining.

Dani Pedrosa. FP1 (dry): 6th fastest, 1m 31.161s. FP2 (wet): 8th fastest, 1m 41.638s

"I am feeling quite confident so far because we've had a useful first day of practice and the bike seems to be working fine. Of course, we do need to keep working hard and improve our race pace, especially in the dry, because [Casey] Stoner was really fast in the dry this morning. In particular we need to work on the balance of the bike, which is very important here. This afternoon in the wet, I started out quite cautiously, then started to push a bit harder towards the end of the session. My times improved lap by lap and I needed two or three more laps to finish in a better position. Anyway to be the first day, I'm quite happy. I hope that the weather is kind to us tomorrow, so that we can continue working in machine set-up on a dry racetrack."

Kazuhiko Yamano - Team Manager

"The weather conditions have been so changeable here today on the Island, so Dani and everyone got the chance to ride in both dry and wet conditions. Dani's start to the weekend hasn't been so bad. Now we need to work some more to improve his machine set-up and increase his race pace in the dry."

Nicky Hayden - 'Nice To Be Fastest In The Wet'

Repsol Honda RC212V rider Nicky Hayden dominated this afternoon's soaking-wet second practice session at Phillip Island, lapping the high-speed seaside track three quarters of a second faster than his closest rival.

The American has been using his Michelin rain tyres to stunning effect recently, topping last weekend's rain-hit opening session at Motegi and finishing second in the hurricane-hit Indianapolis GP two weeks earlier. The 2008 MotoGP season is proving to be the wettest in memory, with rain falling at the vast majority of events so far.

In this morning's opening session, run in dry conditions, Hayden was 11th quickest, working hard to find more traction around this high-speed track.

Nicky Hayden. FP1 (dry): 11th fastest, 1m 31.284s. FP2 (wet): fastest, 1m 38.820s

"This morning it wasn't great to be in eleventh, but this afternoon it was nice to be fastest in the wet and consistently really quick at the end, things were feeling really good. My best rain lap time was only seven seconds slower than my best this morning, and it was real wet, so that's down to some good Michelin rain tyres. But honestly I could have done with some more dry track time to sort out some problems we had this morning. I was struggling with traction, and without traction here you're not going anywhere. We have got some things to try with the bike set-up, which we couldn't try so much in the wet, but hopefully we can use tomorrow. I need to be going faster in the dry, we've definitely got some work to do, so we'll keep pushing and see what the weather does tomorrow. I love this track, I love racing at speed, it's a great thrill, I just need to find some edge grip. If we can find that I can be fast in the dry too."

Kazuhiko Yamano - Team Manager

"Nicky and his team did a good job today. They started working on settings this morning in the dry. The bike set-up and Michelin rain tyres worked well in the rain this afternoon, so Nicky could finish with the fastest time. Of course, our target is to be in the best possible shape for the race, so tomorrow we will continue working on the bike, hopefully with some good weather."

-credit: repsol

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Dani Pedrosa , Phillip Island