Repsol Honda riders Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa made a strong start to their Spanish GP weekend today, ending the first two practice sessions fourth and fifth fastest. Both riders' best lap times were around lap record pace and less than half...
Repsol Honda riders Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa made a strong start to their Spanish GP weekend today, ending the first two practice sessions fourth and fifth fastest.
Both riders' best lap times were around lap record pace and less than half a second off today's fastest lap. Hayden used a new spec chassis to achieve his best times of the day and prefers the new unit's characteristics. Pedrosa, who struggled with his recently broken right hand during his last visit to Jerez in February, made excellent progress today, focusing on tyres and suspension. Tomorrow both riders will concentrate on longer tyre runs aboard their RC212Vs to prepare for Sunday's race, round two of the 18-event 2008 MotoGP season.
Nicky Hayden, fourth fastest, 1m 40.673s
"We're certainly a lot closer than we were at Qatar, which makes it a lot more fun. We were on top for part of the session, stayed up near the front a lot and we made a pretty big step between morning and afternoon, almost a half second. Overall the bikes seem not so bad and Michelins always work good at Jerez. We had a pretty good set-up from when we here for the tests in February, so tyre-wise, bike-wise, it's not a lot different, though I did try a new chassis that definitely seemed to help, and I made my best lap times with it. We're going to talk about running both bikes with the new chassis tomorrow. Everything's pretty smooth so far, so big thanks to HRC for bringing me an improvement and to the team for everything. But it's still early, there's a lot of guys going fast, so we'll see where we're at come Sunday."
Dani Pedrosa, fifth fastest, 1m 40.813s
"Today we worked firstly on tyres and then on suspension. We started from our Qatar setup, though the real point of comparison was the tests we did here last month, and we've made a great step forward since then. We need to do a lot of work on tyres, not only for the race, but for this machine in general, because it is still quite a new machine for us. We will work very closely with Michelin when we test here after the race. We still need to make some improvements for Sunday, though I am feeling quite confident. My right hand still swells up whenever I ride the bike but it's better than it was in Qatar and it's constantly improving, which is the important thing."
Kazuhiko Yamano - Team Manager
"We seem to be moving in a good direction, this has been a useful day. Nicky likes the new chassis, he has made some good comments about it and he used it more than the other chassis today. Dani is working at fine-tuning his suspension to improve the overall balance of his machine and he seems to be making good progress. Both riders are happy with their tyre selections, Michelin seem to be strong here. Tomorrow we will start doing long runs on tyres. Our target for Sunday is to win."