Double Front Row The Repsol Honda Team put on a strong qualifying performance at Brno on Saturday with Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa securing second and third places on the grid for tomorrow's Grand Prix of the Czech Republic. Hayden looked...
Double Front Row
The Repsol Honda Team put on a strong qualifying performance at Brno on Saturday with Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa securing second and third places on the grid for tomorrow's Grand Prix of the Czech Republic. Hayden looked quick right from the start of the afternoon session, the World Champion heading the times on race tyres at the beginning of hour and able to lap repeatedly in the 1m 58s bracket. With the sticky qualifying Michelins in place Hayden confirmed his pace by setting the second fastest time, just 0.280s behind today's pole setter, Casey Stoner.
With the ground temperature up from yesterday Pedrosa was also able to find an improvement in speed on race tyres in the afternoon. The 21-year-old Spaniard lapped the 5.403km (3.357-mile) circuit in a competitive 1m 58.732s on race rubber before claiming the final place on the front row with his second qualifying lap, just 0.015s behind his team-mate. Pedrosa will be aiming to extend his impressive record at Brno in Sunday's 22-lap race. On his previous five visits to the Czech Republic the Barcelona rider has finished on the podium, including two wins -- in the 125cc class in 2003 and on the 250 in 2005.
Round 12 of the 2007 MotoGP season begins at 14.00hrs local time tomorrow following a 25-minute warm up in the morning.
Nicky Hayden 2nd 1m 57.164s
"This weekend, even though we haven't put in the one quick lap in every session, we've quietly been reasonably close to the pace and perhaps a bit better than it looked on paper. This afternoon the warmer temperature helped us, the tyres worked better and straight away we were able to get down into those 1m 58s laps where we need to be. I quite enjoyed my qualifying laps. My first run went pretty well and on my second one I hung it out a little bit further and was able to go a couple of tenths faster -- it was fun. For the afternoon session we changed the bike geometry around which seemed to help us. We'll see what happens in the race tomorrow, but nonetheless that's my first front row of the season so I'll try to get a good start and turn it into a good result."
Dani Pedrosa 3rd 1m 57.179s
"In qualifying we improved our position quite a lot and the Michelin qualifying tyres worked very well. I'm happy to be on the front row of course and this gives us a good chance to get away at the front in the race. The warmer conditions also helped our performance as expected this afternoon, though we must continue to work on our race settings tonight and tomorrow morning. We still need to make the final decisions on which race tyres to choose, based on what we learned today. A good start is going to be essential tomorrow and I hope that we can find a package that will let us fight with the front group and challenge for the win. It's going to be a tough race and I'm looking forward to it."
Makoto Tanaka - Team Manager
"Nicky and Dani did a very good job today to put both Repsol Hondas on the front row for the first time this year, so a big thanks to both of them. Nicky especially showed that his motivation is still very high even though his season has been quite difficult. This afternoon was hotter than yesterday and the ground temperature was up from 32 degrees to 39 degrees which I think may have favoured the Michelin tyres. We will check all the data we gathered from the machines today and the feedback from our riders to make the final set-up decisions in warm-up tomorrow morning. I think the situation could be like Sachsenring where the morning was cool and the afternoon much hotter. We'll be working hard towards another good result."
-credit: repsol honda