Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa took a fantastic pole position at the Jerez circuit today to send his home fans into raptures ahead of tomorrow's Grand Prix of Spain. Proving once again that Jerez is an inspirational track for him, Pedrosa dominated...
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa took a fantastic pole position at the Jerez circuit today to send his home fans into raptures ahead of tomorrow's Grand Prix of Spain. Proving once again that Jerez is an inspirational track for him, Pedrosa dominated the final fifteen minutes of the qualifying session and wasn't knocked off top spot during that time, despite the best efforts of his MotoGP rivals.
Pedrosa's lap time of 1m 39.202s was a substantial 0.285s clear of the next rider, Jorge Lorenzo, in a session where the whole MotoGP field was covered by just 1.6s, and the performance gave the Spaniard his third ever Jerez pole - the others being in 2007 in MotoGP and in 2005 on a 250cc Honda. Despite the impressive display, Pedrosa was understated in his reaction to taking his first pole position since the Grand Prix of Indianapolis last year, and he and his Repsol Honda crew will be looking to match his pace-setting speed today with the consistency required to stay at the front over race distance. This is Pedrosa's 14th MotoGP pole position and his 32nd in all classes of Grand Prix racing.
For Pedrosa's Repsol Honda team-mate it was a less satisfying qualifying session and Andrea Dovizioso will begin tomorrow's 27-lap encounter from the third row after finishing in ninth this afternoon. Though Dovizioso was fourth in the morning practice session after making improvements to set-up of his RC212V, he was unable to replicate that performance in the afternoon and in fact his lap time from the morning was 0.1s quicker and would have put him two places further forward on the grid. Despite finishing only 0.8s behind Pedrosa this afternoon, a packed midfield means the 24-year-old starts further back than he would have liked. However, as he Dovizioso proved in the first race of the season at Qatar, he has the capability to run at the front of the race and the Italian and his team will make further set-up adjustments in the warm-up tomorrow before targeting a fast getaway when the lights go out at 14.00.
DANI PEDROSA -- Pole Position -- 1m 39.202s
"It's always nice to get pole position and especially here because it is my home race and the support from the fans is amazing, so I'm very happy for them. I really didn't expect this pole to be honest, but I was pushing very hard so I'm very pleased about it. Actually though, it's not so significant for me because the important thing is the performance in the race and we still need to work very hard on this area. The new frame is delivering some improvements but we're still not all the way there and we must continue to work on the stability because this is very important in order to be competitive over race distance. Our rivals are also showing a lot of potential so we can't relax in any way because this will be a long, tough race. Obviously I will start the race thinking about the win, and I know there will be a lot of fans out there cheering for me so I hope we can give them something special."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO -- 9th -- 1m 40.021s +0.819s
"I actually think we could have made it onto the second row today so I'm a little disappointed with the result this afternoon because it can be very important to start from the first two rows. We showed our full potential in the morning session where we were four tenths behind the fastest rider, so it's a shame we couldn't repeat that in qualifying. For the afternoon we made some adjustments to the electronics and machine set-up and this actually took us back a step, so tomorrow we will return to this morning's set-up and I'm confident that will give us an improvement. Starting from the third row it will be important to make a good getaway and stay glued to the front riders because this is key to having a good race - as we saw in Qatar."
TOSHIYUKI YAMAJI - REPSOL HONDA TEAM MANAGER
"Firstly I'd like to say congratulations to Dani on his performance here. We know he is especially strong at this track but his speed in qualifying even surprised me a little bit and this is as much down to him as it is the improvement we're making to the RC212V. We'll continue to work on the race settings for his machine to give him the best chance of fighting for the win tomorrow. Andrea was fourth in the morning session and this was reflective of his potential here, although unfortunately he couldn't match that this afternoon. Still, with a good start tomorrow I think he can have a strong race too."