Catalunyan GP: Michelin qualifying report

MICHELIN MEN PACK FRONT TWO ROWS Six of the fastest seven riders in this afternoon's Catalan Grand Prix qualifying session were Michelin men. Local star Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) was quickest of the company's fast half dozen,...

MICHELIN MEN PACK FRONT TWO ROWS

Six of the fastest seven riders in this afternoon's Catalan Grand Prix qualifying session were Michelin men. Local star Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) was quickest of the company's fast half dozen, his best lap just 0.083 seconds off pole position. American Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) completed the front row in third place, a mere 0.168 seconds slower than his team-mate.

The second row is an all-Michelin affair with Randy de Puniet (Honda LCR RC212V-Michelin), Colin Edwards (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) and James Toseland (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin). Texan Tornado Edwards spoke for all the Michelin men when he said: "more traction is more satisfaction". Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Team Scot Honda RC212V-Michelin) was the sixth rider using Michelin tyres, the Italian rookie seventh fastest to lead the third row.

"We are satisfied with qualifying, it went quite well for our riders," said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "It is very important to be at the front end of the grid at this track so you can get into the first chicane in front. Our riders also have a good pace on race tyres, with two good days of practice they've all been able to do a lot of laps, so I think everyone is pretty close to making their tyre choice for tomorrow. Our riders will be choosing in the medium to medium-hard range of their tyre allocations. It's important to have good edge grip and consistency here for all the long corners.

"The track was quite slippery yesterday and it was slippery again this morning but finally this afternoon it picked up some grip, so we think it will be fine for the race. As usual this year we will have to keep a close eye on the weather because it looks like things could change tomorrow."

Pedrosa's qualifying performance was especially convincing considering that he had a problem with one of his bikes which put him on his number-two machine for his qualifying runs. "Starting from the 20front row is an excellent result from a complicated session," said the Spaniard. "We are happy enough with our race set-up, but we have to wait and see what the weather will do."

Michelin's other Spanish hope Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) won't race tomorrow. He was one of six fallers yesterday and suffered concussion in his tumble, thus ruling himself out of tomorrow's race, the seventh of this year's 16 MotoGP races.

-credit: michelin

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Colin Edwards , Randy de Puniet , Andrea Dovizioso , Jorge Lorenzo , Dani Pedrosa