The Repsol Hondas of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso will start tomorrow's British Grand Prix from third and fourth on the grid after two eventful practice and qualifying sessions for the factory Honda squad today. Pedrosa was fastest overall by...
The Repsol Hondas of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso will start tomorrow's British Grand Prix from third and fourth on the grid after two eventful practice and qualifying sessions for the factory Honda squad today. Pedrosa was fastest overall by 0.3s in the morning practice period as lap times tumbled at the Silverstone circuit, which is hosting the Road Racing World Championship for the first time since 1986.
The 24-year-old Spaniard was also quick in the afternoon and looked in with a chance of taking his second pole position in succession, but he fell as his RC212V hit bumps on his final quick lap and he suffered bruising to both knees during the fall. Pedrosa was taken for a check-up at the circuit's medical centre where x-rays revealed no further damage. His qualifying lap time of 2m 03.586s - exactly four seconds faster than his lap time from yesterday - was good enough to secure the final place on the front row of the grid, a position which Pedrosa hopes to convert into a second victory of the season to follow up on his win in Mugello two weeks ago. Pedrosa has not been off the front row of the grid since the opening race of 2010 at Qatar.
Dovizioso was also fast today and produced clearly his best qualifying performance of the season so far. He will start tomorrow's 20-lap race from the front of the second row with the aim of getting away with the frontrunners. Dovizioso also took a tumble today - falling as he braked into Vale corner - but the Italian was unhurt and was immediately up to speed again on his RC212V. With a few adjustments to the settings on his machine, Dovizioso - who won last year's British Grand Prix - hopes gain the crucial tenths of a second per lap that will allow him to challenge for the win tomorrow.
Jorge Lorenzo took his first pole position of the season today, and was followed by Randy de Puniet on the LCR Honda who took second on the grid. Tomorrow's race begins at 13.00hrs (GMT + 1 hour).
DANI PEDROSA -- 3rd -- 2m 03.586s +0.278s
"Today we were quite fast in both sessions and we have a good machine setting, so I think we have the potential for a strong race. We still need to decide which of the Bridgestone tyre options we'll use because tomorrow it looks like it may be warmer than today. I crashed when I was on my last qualifying lap as I braked going into a left hander. I hit some bumps and then the front started to move a lot and then had a little slide. Maybe the bike went over me and at that moment it hurt, but afterwards the pain went away so I'm ok for tomorrow. The lap times were getting faster in each session and I think I'm still learning the track - every time you go out you learn more about the line, the braking points and the corners where the bumps are - and that's normal on a new track. We're on the front row which is always important for a good getaway, so tomorrow I hope we can have another good performance."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO -- 4th -- 2m 03.995s +0.687s
"I'm happy with qualifying in fourth place and starting from the front of the second row. I wanted to be a little bit closer in terms of lap times and we still need to improve the pace for tomorrow so that we can fight for first place, but I'm satisfied with the result today. This morning I crashed, fortunately without hurting myself, and I was able to get straight back on my second bike and be back on the pace immediately. Because of this crash we couldn't do so much comparison work between the two chassis we had available, and so during qualifying I only used the new one, which seems to work well. The track layout is really fascinating - I like it a lot - but the main issue remains the bumps. We're quietly confident for tomorrow and I'm definitely looking for another podium finish - at least."
TOSHIYUKI YAMAJI - REPSOL HONDA TEAM MANAGER
"We are actually looking in good shape for the race here at Silverstone tomorrow and I think Dani and Andrea have a chance to fight for the win tomorrow. Considering that both riders fell at quite high speed today, this is fortunate for us and I'm happy that neither rider was hurt badly. The conditions today were cold and this, combined with the bumpy surface, means that finding the optimum machine set-up is a challenge, and we still have some areas to work on this evening. But I think we can use the warm-up to good effect and the Repsol Honda Team is determined to get a result to match the last race in Italy."