Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso finished in first and second places at Misano today as the first MotoGP practice session for the San Marino Grand Prix took place in warm sunshine. Fresh from his victory in Indianapolis only...
Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso finished in first and second places at Misano today as the first MotoGP practice session for the San Marino Grand Prix took place in warm sunshine. Fresh from his victory in Indianapolis only five days ago, Pedrosa picked up where he left off and topped the timesheets for most of the session this afternoon.
Improving with every exit from the pits, the 24-year-old Spaniard's fastest lap time was an impressive 0.612s quicker than the rest of the field - a hefty margin which sent an ominous sign to his rivals for victory this weekend. Looking fully committed from the outset, Pedrosa was the only rider to go under 1m 35s today and set four laps that were quicker than any of his rivals. Pedrosa's fastest lap of 1m 34.772s was only fractions behind the race lap record from last year of 1m 34.746s, set by Valentino Rossi.
Dovizioso was also on fast form today at the circuit where he made his motorcycle racing debut back in 2000. The 24-year-old Italian was born and lives just 70kms from the Misano track and took inspiration from his home support to get his weekend off to a strong start. Near the top of the timing screens throughout, his best time came on his final lap of the session, Dovizioso stopping the clock at 1m 35.384s to edge ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi in third and fourth.
The track action continues tomorrow with a further practice session in the morning followed by qualifying in the afternoon to decide grid slots for Sunday's 28-lap race.
DANI PEDROSA -- 1st -- 1m 34.772s
"It's been really a good start here in Misano compared to last year and I'm very happy about that. We are coming from a strong result at the last race and it's important to keep the momentum going, which we have done so far. But we need to remain very concentrated and focused because we still have some areas to improve, and I'm sure our rivals will also go quicker tomorrow. Our pace has been quite fast today and Andrea is close to the front as well, so this is a good sign for the team. Here the grid positions are very important again because the first corner is close to the start and it's a tight bend. Because of this we need to make sure we have a good pace tomorrow so that we can qualify well, and also so that we are ready for another long and tough race. I can say this was one of my best Friday practices, but I'm not going to relax at all."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO -- 2nd -- 1m 35.384s +0.612s
"I'm happy with the work done during this session and I'm satisfied to be second. Six tenths from Dani is quite a big gap but I think we have the opportunity to close this. At the end I was able to improve my lap times with the tyres I used for the whole session, so I'm confident we can move forward tomorrow. I think everyone was struggling for grip today and it was easy to lose the front, but we found a set-up solution that was effective to help with this so we'll continue working in that direction tomorrow. Tyre selection for the race will be very important, and both the harder and softer option Bridgestones look like possible choices at the moment. I think there are many riders who can be strong this weekend so we have to work hard tomorrow and do a good job in qualifying."
TOSHIYUKI YAMAJI - REPSOL HONDA TEAM MANAGER
"It's good to see both Repsol Hondas at the top of the times today and we've made a good start to the weekend. Of course the work has only just begun and today's session is just the beginning, so we won't relax in any way. Dani is clearly looking very confident and also consistent after his win in Indianapolis and his target is to continue in the same vein. Andrea and his crew have also done a good job and I think he can have a strong weekend at his home circuit. We'll be working towards replicating this result tomorrow afternoon."
-source: repsol honda