Tyre compounds used: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Soft, Medium. After a morning of interspersed rain at the Le Mans Circuit, the hour-long qualifying session was run on a dry track under a rare blue sky. Dani Pedrosa took advantage of the...
Tyre compounds used:
Front: Soft, Medium.
Rear: Soft, Medium.
After a morning of interspersed rain at the Le Mans Circuit, the hour-long qualifying session was run on a dry track under a rare blue sky. Dani Pedrosa took advantage of the conditions on Bridgestone's medium front and soft rear compound slicks to grab his and Repsol Honda's first pole of the season on his final lap.
The Spaniard finished just 0.005 seconds ahead of fellow countryman Jorge Lorenzo for Fiat Yamaha, who in turn snatched second position on his last lap from Ducati Team's Casey Stoner by just 0.075 seconds making it the closest front row of 2009.
The top four riders all lapped faster than the best race lap at this circuit, set at 1m34.215s by Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi last year.
There was disappointment for Sete Gibernau and the Grupo Francisco Hernando team however, as the Spaniard fell during the morning's free practice session and fractured the same collarbone that affected him during pre-season testing. He will miss the remainder of the French Grand Prix, leaving 17 bikes to start tomorrow's 28 lap race.
Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager Motorcycle Sport Unit
"We saw some very close competition today, the closest of the season at the front under a return to a one hour long qualifying session. Once again we marked all the soft compound Bridgestone slicks with a white line around the sidewall, and I am happy with the way this is working. I think it will provide much more information about riders' tyre choices to the fans and all those watching during the race tomorrow. On behalf of Bridgestone Motorsport I would like to extend my sympathy to Sete and his team, and wish him a fast and successful recovery from his injury."
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
"We had two dry sessions today so had the chance to compare both tyre specs we brought here, and both compounds worked well in not perfect conditions. The times were getting faster lap by lap towards the end of the qualifying session as the track temperature increased and the circuit conditions continued to change after the rain. I think if it rains again overnight the conditions will be different again tomorrow, which will make compound decisions very difficult for the teams."