Rain Gods Play Havoc The rain gods today played havoc with the 2009 MotoGP World Championship for the second race in succession - this time causing the cancellation of qualifying for tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix. With deep standing water...
Rain Gods Play Havoc
The rain gods today played havoc with the 2009 MotoGP World Championship for the second race in succession - this time causing the cancellation of qualifying for tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix. With deep standing water on the Twin Ring Motegi circuit, it was decided that conditions were too dangerous to ride, so grid positions for the race will be determined by each rider's fastest time in the two practice sessions so far. For Repsol Honda aces Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso, this damp intervention was not great news and they will start the 24-lap race from 7th and 11th respectively - the positions they achieved in yesterday's dry afternoon session. This morning the 45 minutes of practice was held on a wet track, so lap times were slower than yesterday. Pedrosa finished in 10th position in this morning's wet session, and Dovizioso in 11th. With dry conditions expected to return tomorrow, both sides of the Repsol Honda garage are cautiously optimistic of making significant improvements to their dry set-ups ahead of Honda's home race.
Andrea Dovizioso - Starting position 7th
"We could really have done with a dry session today because we've got some new parts to test on the machine which could move us forward - but with the rain that obviously wasn't possible. So, we're starting from seventh, which isn't ideal. If we get a dry warm-up then it's possible we can improve the settings for the race - and that's what we'll be working towards. In the wet session this morning, the feeling on the machine wasn't great but really it all depends on what the weather does tomorrow. It's Honda's home race so I'm really hoping to be able to get a good result for the team and the fans."
Dani Pedrosa, Starting position 11th
"Well, this is definitely a pretty strange situation, especially after what happened in Qatar. In the morning's wet session I gradually improved my lap times and was able to get a better feeling with the new rain tyres, so that was a useful learning process. I'm starting the race from eleventh on the grid and most of my rivals are on the front row, so this means I'll have to get a great start and pass a lot of riders to get near the front. Our dry set-up is not perfect so we'll have to get things right in the warm-up tomorrow."
Kazuhiko Yamano - Team Manager
"This has been a strange day - though we got a taste of this sort of thing at the first race in Qatar two weeks ago. Both riders had the potential to make real improvements if it had been dry today so it wasn't an ideal situation for the team. We're going to be very busy in the warm-up tomorrow to get through the set-up work we have planned and if things go well I think we can make some significant progress for the race. There will be a lot of Honda fans here tomorrow supporting Honda at our home race, so I really hope we can get a result to please them."