Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa took his third pole position of the 2010 season in emphatic style today in a gripping and action packed qualifying session at Brno. With just two minutes to go, the 24-year-old Spaniard banged in a lap that was an...
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa took his third pole position of the 2010 season in emphatic style today in a gripping and action packed qualifying session at Brno. With just two minutes to go, the 24-year-old Spaniard banged in a lap that was an impressive 0.338s clear of his nearest rival in a session that, up until that point, had been extremely close at the top. His factory Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was also at the sharp end of the qualifying contest and came within 0.3s of his second front-row start in succession, the Italian eventually settling for the second row and sixth quickest time today, with a gap of 0.609s to Pedrosa.
Pedrosa was fastest in both of today's MotoGP track sessions and has been on impressive form since arriving at the Brno circuit. Working on race set-up this afternoon, he spent most of the second half of the session in top spot despite the best efforts of his rivals to dislodge him. Twice in the last 20 minutes Ben Spies snuck ahead by fractions of a second, only to be demoted once again almost immediately by Pedrosa. In the final moments, attempts first by Jorge Lorenzo and then Valentino Rossi ended in the gravel trap before Pedrosa put pole clearly out of their reach.
This was Pedrosa's 16th MotoGP pole position, and his 34th in all Grand Prix classes. For some time now, the Spaniard's total of GP pole positions has kept pace with his total number of Grand Prix victories, and with 33 GP wins to his name, Pedrosa will be hoping to level those statistics once again with another victory in tomorrow's 22-lap race. Dovizioso and his crew will use tomorrow's 20-minute warm-up session to target some handling improvements at the rear of his RC212V, after which the Italian will look to make a strong start and get away with the leading bunch.
After overnight thunderstorms at Brno last night, thick fog engulfed the MotoGP paddock this morning and the practice sessions were delayed by 25 minutes until visibility reached an acceptable level. With the weather forecast still in doubt for tomorrow, all eyes will be on the skies as the 14.00 start time for second half of the 2010 World Championship approaches.
DANI PEDROSA -- Pole Position -- 1m 56.508s
"It was a great qualifying session and to be back on pole position is fantastic after such a long time - the last time was in Italy at the beginning of June. We've done a very good job so far this weekend and we have established a good pace for the race, but we still need to keep a clear mind, stay focused, and try to be ready for any conditions because the weather forecast for tomorrow is very uncertain. Anyway, the team did a very good job today and I hope if it's dry we can have a strong race and go for the victory. I won't really be approaching the race tomorrow with a particular strategy. In this championship you have to find your own limit because there are a lot of riders going fast and you can only concentrate on your own performance and do the best you can. So I really hope to do a great job tomorrow and at least to be back on the podium."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO -- 6th -- 1m 57.117s +0.609s
"We had a good pace today, and compared to last year here we have found more speed, whereas for some of our rivals this is not the case. This proves that our machine package has improved a lot from last year. Our lap time was quite good this afternoon but we still have to work to improve our pace because Dani is quite a lot quicker and in the race he is usually very strong. In particular we need to work on the rear end because the machine is pumping and moving a bit too much. I think we are all at the limit with the front end as the accidents of Valentino, Jorge and Nicky show. I tried the hard option Bridgestone tyres today which we didn't have the chance to test yesterday. It was important to do this in order to be ready for all weather possibilities tomorrow, but I think we have to use the soft option tyres for the race."
TOSHIYUKI YAMAJI - REPSOL HONDA TEAM MANAGER
"This was a powerful display by Dani and his crew today and it's great to see a Repsol Honda back on pole position. Dani has been strong all weekend and he did well to steer clear of trouble this afternoon and put his RC212V on pole while some of his rivals hit trouble. We will pay close attention to the weather conditions tomorrow of course, but I think Dani has a good chance to fight for victory in the race. Andrea made progress too today and the second row start means he also has the opportunity to get away at the front tomorrow. With a few adjustments to machine settings he can fight for the podium too."