Repsol Honda press release
Stoner shatters Motegi pole record, Dovizioso 3rd, Pedrosa 4th
Casey Stoner qualified on pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix with a blistering 1'45.267 lap at the Motegi circuit, breaking the record set by Lorenzo in 2008 (1'45.543). It's his first pole position at this track and his tenth of the season, a new record in MotoGP.
All three Repsol Honda riders have been riding very strong at Honda's home track and Casey Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa spent the early part of qualifying still making set up changes to their RC212V machines and working with the race tyres.
Tomorrow will be a tough race, but the team is working hard and we'll do our best.
In the end, it was Casey who came out on top, with Andrea Dovizioso in third position and Dani Pedrosa, fourth. Dovizioso made some positive steps forward and took an important front row spot for tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix. He was fast and consistent with both compounds, but set his best lap time with his last soft tyre. Whereas Pedrosa, who was fastest with the hard tyre was unable to get the soft compound working in the last minutes of the session after having been consistently in the top three all weekend to this point.
Casey Stoner: "Everything has gone very well so far this weekend, we've been fastest in all but one session so it's been fantastic. We tried a few different settings this afternoon and didn't really improve so we'll probably go back to this morning's setting for tomorrow. We'll have to watch the weather as this will affect the set up, there's also a chance of rain so it could get complicated. Jorge has been riding fantastic, as has Dovi and Dani, but there is no doubt that the Honda suits this track, I've been looking forward to riding it here for a while now and I'm not disappointed! Tomorrow will be a tough race, but the team is working hard and we'll do our best."
Andrea Dovizioso: "I'm very happy to be on the front row here in Motegi! This afternoon we improved again from this morning and I feel very confident, especially under braking. We still haven't decided on the tyre for tomorrow as we are good on both compounds but I feel positive for the race and for the fight for the podium tomorrow. I'm really happy with the work of the team and the Honda is working really well at this track, I think tomorrow we will have a great race!"
Dani Pedrosa: "The qualifying practice started quite well for us, we were doing lap times with a consistent pace preparing for the race and everything seemed to be going well. But at the end, when I switched to soft tyres, I couldn't get them working, I had much less grip. I thought it could be a problem with the first tyre and so I came back to the garage to change it but again I had the same issue. I am disappointed not to be on the front row, but the good feeling with the race tyres is good news. We will need to see how the weather is tomorrow, if the temperature drops a lot maybe some riders will use the soft, but considering my feeling, I will probably choose the hard one. The race will be very tough with Stoner, Dovizioso and maybe Lorenzo, but we want to fight until the end."