Portuguese GP: Repsol Honda qualifying report

Repsol Honda men 2nd and 4th at Estoril. Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden were once again in storming form in qualifying, taking second and fourth places on the Estoril grid, just as they did at Jerez two weeks ago. World ...

Repsol Honda men 2nd and 4th at Estoril.

Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden were once again in storming form in qualifying, taking second and fourth places on the Estoril grid, just as they did at Jerez two weeks ago.

World Championship leader and Jerez winner Pedrosa ended this afternoon's session just two tenths of a second off pole and is confident of a strong performance in tomorrow's race. Nicky Hayden was a tantalising seven hundredths of a second off his first front-row start of the year and may have made the front row if he hadn't been baulked on one of his qualifying runs. The biggest question on both riders' minds is the Estoril weather which is proving to be as unpredictable as ever.

Dani Pedrosa, 2nd fastest, 1m 35.948s; "Our target was always to start from the front row and we achieved it. We are happy with today's qualifying result, especially because it's very important to start from the front row at this track and because qualifying isn't our strong point at the moment. Our race pace was good today, but we still want to try and improve the bike a little bit more, working on the chassis settings. Also, we haven't chosen which tyres we will use tomorrow because the weather conditions are so changeable here, so we will have wait a bit more. The big question is what the weather will do tomorrow afternoon. I'm looking forward to the race. It will be very important to make a good start, then we will see what we can do from there. I expect it to be very close at the front tomorrow because there's a lot of riders going fast here, for sure it's going to be tough."

Nicky Hayden, fourth fastest, 1m 36.266s; "We're right there, but just missing that last little bit. Everything went relatively smooth today, though I definitely thought we were capable of being on the front row, bike, tyres, even the rider, but we just didn't get it done. Race pace I don't think we're a long way off but definitely we could do with a bit more. The Michelin tyres are working good, the bike's good, we just need to get it better in the slow changes of direction. My ideal time had me third. On one of my fast laps I had to follow Toseland, when he wasn't on a fast lap, through turn five and into six, which kinda ruined that lap. At the time I was pretty fired up about it. He was man enough to come and apologise, but at the time I didn't want to hear sorry. It happens though, I'm sure I've got in somebody's way, and I can get over it, it's no big thing. It should be a good race, so long as no one's sand bagging too much this week. Be nice to be on the podium, see what the weather does and see if we can get it done."

Kazuhiko Yamano - Team Manager; "Both riders did a good job today, the team and Michelin too, always targeting the race. Their race setting job is almost finished, and both have a good pace on race tyres. Dani has been doing small setting changes and Nicky seems quite happy also. The only question now is the weather. If conditions are okay then I think it will be a good race, there are many riders here with a high potential, so it will be a big challenge but, of course, we are aiming to get the win."

-credit: repsol honda

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Dani Pedrosa