Pedrosa Fastest Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa dominated the first day of practice for the Grand Prix of Japan today, topping the timesheets in both one-hour sessions aboard his Honda RC212V. On a day when the 21- year-old Spaniard renewed ...
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa dominated the first day of practice for the Grand Prix of Japan today, topping the timesheets in both one-hour sessions aboard his Honda RC212V. On a day when the 21- year-old Spaniard renewed his contract with HRC to ride for the factory Repsol Honda squad for two more years, Pedrosa was peerless at a track he rates as one of his favourites. In the afternoon session he was the only rider to lap below 1m 48s, his time of 1m 47.865s being 0.389s quicker than nearest rival Randy de Puniet in second. With the top ten MotoGP riders covered by less than three-quarters of a second, Nicky Hayden finished 0.687s from the fastest time and was not fully satisfied with ninth position and a time of 1m 48.552s today. The World Champion was a little less comfortable with the feeling of his RC212V than his teammate and will look for improvements ahead of tomorrow afternoon's qualifying session as he attempts to repeat his pole position from the previous race in Portugal. Both today's practice sessions at the 4.801km (2.981-mile) Motegi circuit were demanding on the riders with temperatures reaching 34 degrees in the afternoon. The weather conditions are expected to remain hot for the rest of the weekend, with Sunday's 24-lap Grand Prix of Japan beginning at 14.00hrs local time (CET: 07.00hrs BST: 06.00hrs).
Dani Pedrosa -- 1st 1m 47.865s
"As a first day today went quite well and the pace I could maintain was pretty fast and consistent, so I am happy so far. It was hot in the morning session and then it got even hotter in the afternoon, but still the balance of the bike felt good. I like this track and we must continue to improve the set-up tomorrow because this is only the first day and for sure our rivals will be working hard to overtake us. I am very happy to have signed for Honda again today and I hope we can continue this weekend in the positive way we have started."
Nicky Hayden -- 9th 1m 48.552s
"This morning went relatively smoothly but this afternoon I had a few problems and couldn't find a good rhythm. I made a few mistakes and almost crashed one time and was in the dirt another time. It just wasn't really flowing really well and I'll definitely have to clean that up for tomorrow. It wasn't the greatest of starts and for sure I'd like to be closer to the front right out of the gate. The track temperature is quite warm and it's going to be important to get some good feel and traction. A lot of riders seem pretty close right now so we'll have to make some improvements for tomorrow morning."
Makoto Tanaka - Team Manager
"Dani was in control today and finished at the front in both sessions which is a very good start. He was trying some different options with the machine this afternoon and the pace he could maintain was always high which is promising for the next couple of days. Perhaps our rivals are a little nervous now. Nicky wasn't able to improve as much as he'd have liked from the morning to the afternoon and we still have some work to do to improve his package for tomorrow. We're expecting similar weather conditions tomorrow so we have a good chance to move things on based on what we learned today. With Marco and Honda Gresini close behind in third place it looks like Motegi may be more friendly for Honda this year."
-credit: repsol honda