Andrea Dovizioso made a positive start to the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang today, setting the second fastest time in Free Practice 1 and laying the foundations for another strong weekend. The Repsol Honda rider has arrived at one of his...
Andrea Dovizioso made a positive start to the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang today, setting the second fastest time in Free Practice 1 and laying the foundations for another strong weekend. The Repsol Honda rider has arrived at one of his favourite circuits of the year in confident mood, and immediately slipped into a smooth rhythm as he and his crew set about adjusting the RC212V to the requirements of the Sepang track.
With 35 minutes of the session gone, the 24-year-old Italian went to the top of the timesheets and stayed there until ten minutes to go, when Valentino Rossi recorded a lap just 0.109s quicker than Dovizioso's best. Dovizioso and his crew will be working to further improve the feeling from the front of his RC212V tomorrow, after which they will be going all out to make it two pole positions in succession in the afternoon's qualifying session.
Today's dry session took place in typical Malaysian heat and humidity with temperatures rising to a stifling 38 degrees. To complete the familiar meteorological picture for this region, shortly after the MotoGP practice finished, rain began to fall on the 5.548km circuit as a tropical storm raged nearby. With Sunday's MotoGP race scheduled to start at a later-than-usual 16.00 local time, the teams will certainly have taken note of today's weather patterns.
Dovizioso's team-mate, Dani Pedrosa, is not taking part in the Malaysian Grand Prix as he recovers at home in Spain from the broken collarbone he sustained in Japan one week ago.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO -- 2nd -- 2m 02.833s +0.109s
"I'm happy with this first session at Sepang because we were fast from the very beginning of the practice period. Today the conditions were really extreme in terms of the heat - even more than we're accustomed to here - so physically it was very hard. We started from a good base today however. We will continue work on set-up improvements and adjustments to the electronics to increase the stability at the front end under braking. But I think we have found the limit of the tyres in these conditions, so I will also try to adapt my riding style to make further improvements to the lap time tomorrow. Overall we made a good start today."
TOSHIYUKI YAMAJI - REPSOL HONDA TEAM MANAGER
"This was a positive start for Andrea, and he is looking in good shape for this Grand Prix. After the progress he and his team made in Japan, and the strong result he achieved in the race, we were also expecting him to be strong here. After FP1 it's 'so far so good'. There are more improvements to come from everyone I'm sure, and I think Andrea can move forward tomorrow. Dani is at home recovering of course and it feels a little strange for us without anything happening on his side of the garage. The whole team wishes Dani a speedy recovery."