Japanese GP: Repsol Honda Friday practice report

Storming Session Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa rode a storming session at Motegi this afternoon, ending up second fastest, less than a tenth of a second of 'provisional pole position'. The performance was impressive, considering that the ...

Storming Session

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa rode a storming session at Motegi this afternoon, ending up second fastest, less than a tenth of a second of 'provisional pole position'.

The performance was impressive, considering that the Spaniard is still getting accustomed to his new technical package -- the pneumatic-valve RC212V and Bridgestone tyres -- which he raced for the first time in Indianapolis two weeks ago. This morning's opening practice session was run on a wet racetrack, the circuit drying out in time for the afternoon outing. Conditions are forecast to stay dry for the remainder of the weekend, allowing Pedrosa and his crew to continue working to get the very best out of his new machine and tyres.

Dani Pedrosa, 2nd fastest, 1m 48.194s

"Track conditions were quite difficult this morning, so I struggled a bit. This afternoon everything improved. The track dried out, so we were able to start working towards the race, improving our machine set-up and especially trying the different tyres from our allocation. We found some good grip out there, but we need some more time to find the ideal combination for this track, because I am still finding the limit of the Bridgestone tyres. I am feeling better and better, and we want to keep working hard to get the best set-up because this is such an important race for us."

Kazuhiko Yamano - Team Manager

"Dani and his team did a good job today. He was not so comfortable in the wet this morning but he made excellent progress in the dry, improving his machine settings and working on tyre choice. The target is always the race and I am sure that he will make more improvements tomorrow, so that he is in a very good position for Sunday."

Hayden Makes Good Start

Repsol Honda rider Nicky Hayden made a good start to his Japanese GP weekend at Motegi today. The American topped this morning's wet opening session and placed seventh in the tightly packed dry afternoon outing, just three hundredths of a second off fourth place.

Coming to Motegi from his superb second-place finish at hurricane-lashed Indy, Hayden rode brilliantly in the rain, using the latest Michelin rain tyres to end the session ahead of Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner. Following the dry session Hayden plans to work on machine balance to improve performance around this stop-and-go racetrack.

Nicky Hayden, 7th fastest, 1m 48.800s

"This year, it wouldn't be a GP weekend without a little bit of rain. Things felt awesome this morning. The bike set-up was quite similar to what we had at Indy, so the bike, the tyres, everything was working really good. I was quite fast, but it looks like the weather is going to clear up for the rest of the weekend. This afternoon things weren't quite as great. The track looked a little patchy, so I just did one lap on intermediates when we went to slicks, the track came in quite quick. The bike felt okay in the dry but not great, though with just a few more tenths I would be quite a lot higher up the order. This track I sometimes struggle a bit in the dry. I'm close on all the splits but I've definitely got some work to do. I wasn't completely happy with the set-up, the balance felt wrong, the way it was pitching back and forth into and out of the corners. I'll try to give my guys some good information, so hopefully they can help me out and make it a bit easier tomorrow."

Kazuhiko Yamano - Team Manager

"Nicky had a good first day, both morning and afternoon sessions. He is still feeling a little bit of pain from his broken right heel, but after his excellent result at Indy he is very motivated to score another good result here in Japan. The fastest riders are setting a very quick pace here, so Nicky's target is to improve machine set-up so he can push harder over the next two days."

-credit: repsol

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Valentino Rossi , Casey Stoner , Dani Pedrosa