Pedrosa, Hayden Fight Hard Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden fought hard in a tough qualifying session at Shanghai this afternoon, ending up fifth and tenth quickest. Pedrosa, who had been just five hundredths of a second off...
Pedrosa, Hayden Fight Hard
Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden fought hard in a tough qualifying session at Shanghai this afternoon, ending up fifth and tenth quickest.
Pedrosa, who had been just five hundredths of a second off the fastest time during the three free practice sessions, will start tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix from the second row of the grid. The Spaniard was trying as hard as ever, saving one major slide during the early stages of qualifying as he battled for a front-row start.
There were several fallers this afternoon, Hayden one of them. The American slid off with 18 minutes to go while on a red-hot qualifying lap that would have put him much closer to the front of the grid. The tumble also lost Hayden some momentum because it took him a crucial five minutes to get back to his pit and collect his number-two machine. He ended the session just a fraction off a third-row start. Latest race-day weather forecasts predict rain for the Shanghai area.
Dani Pedrosa, 5th fastest, 1m 58.855s
"We improved from the morning to the afternoon session. We were lapping at a good pace on race tyres but unfortunately we couldn't improve as much as we usually do with qualifying tyres, it seemed like we lacked a bit of grip. I don't know why, but a lot of riders crashed during this afternoon's qualifying session. All things considered, starting from the second row tomorrow is not so bad. If it's dry for the race we need to improve our rhythm a bit. I hope we will be able to have a dry race because according to the latest weather forecasts it may rain tomorrow. In that case we will only have 20 minutes to prepare our settings for the wet."
Nicky Hayden, 10th fastest, 1m 59.507s
"Qualifying didn't go to plan, really. It was okay in the beginning, we were quite up front on race tyres. With my first qualifier I went to first place for a second, then with my second qualifier I just had an easy front push in turn 11 and down I went. I had a pretty good lap going but just didn't get it down. The track is so long and so big it took me forever to get back to the pits, a little bit walking, a little bit scooter. Then I just got out on the other bike and did one run and didn't get the chance to improve my time. It was a pity because things were looking quite good on race tyres -- this morning I did over race distance and was quite happy. This afternoon the track felt a bit greasy, there were a lot of guys crashing. I've put myself in a nice hole starting tenth, I haven't qualified off the front two rows in the dry since Barcelona last year. I'm going to need an awesome start, try to pick a few guys off and move forward."
Kazuhiko Yamano - Team Manager
"Both riders have a good race pace and their qualifying results do not reflect their race potential. Nicky was unlucky, he crashed and couldn't improve his time on qualifiers. Dani will start from the second row. We are confident about both riders because they have a good pace on race tyres. They have finalised their bike specifications, they are very determined and are highly motivated."