Pedrosa Starting Second Repsol Honda ace Dani Pedrosa secured an excellent second place on the grid for tomorrow's Dutch TT in a congested qualifying practice at Assen that saw him finish just 0.085s from pole position. The Spanish rider ...
Pedrosa Starting Second
Repsol Honda ace Dani Pedrosa secured an excellent second place on the grid for tomorrow's Dutch TT in a congested qualifying practice at Assen that saw him finish just 0.085s from pole position. The Spanish rider expertly steered his Honda RC212V through late-session traffic to take a place in the middle of the front row, a position which gives him a good chance of getting away at the front in tomorrow's 26-lap race.
Pedrosa's Repsol Honda team-mate, Andrea Dovizioso, finished the morning session in third place and improved his pace still further in the afternoon, featuring consistently in the top six. In the final few moments of qualifying, however, Dovizioso wasn't able to make maximum use of Bridgestone's softer tyre option and slipped to 8th. Still, with a good start from the third row of the grid, the Italian is confident he can run near the front tomorrow.
While today's two sessions were held in dry conditions - despite cloud cover at Assen - the forecast for tomorrow is for rain at some stage, so the Repsol Honda Team will be ready for whatever the weather brings when the starting lights go out at 14.00.
DANI PEDROSA -- 2nd -- 1m 36.110s
"I'm pleased with my qualifying position today, especially considering that there was quite a lot of traffic on track in the final few minutes. It's always good to be on the front row because then you have the best chance to make a clean getaway, so I'm satisfied with second. I was lucky at the end of the session to have Valentino in front and being behind him helped me a lot to set this lap time. The feeling from the machine is quite good, although we still need to make some adjustments to the set-up to make best use of the Bridgestone tyres for the race, and this is what we'll be working on in the warm-up tomorrow. My physical condition on the bike today was again much better than at the last race in Barcelona and this makes a lot of difference because I am able to concentrate fully on riding. I know that the race will be very physically demanding though, so I can take nothing for granted. Still, with some final set-up improvements, I hope I can make a good start and have a strong race tomorrow."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO -- 8th -- 1m 37.237s
"I have to say I'm quite disappointed about my qualifying result this afternoon because starting from the third row makes the race more complicated. Although my race pace was pretty good throughout the session, I didn't manage to make the best of the soft tyre option, so tomorrow I will really have to focus on making a good start and recovering as many positions as possible during the first two or three laps. Apart from my grid position, I'm confident because I further improved my race pace with the hard Bridgestone tyres by two or three tenths compared to this morning's session. Me and the crew will take a look at the data this evening to make some final decisions on the set-up solutions we tested this afternoon. The weather is looking uncertain again, but we've had some good wet/dry races this season so I'm not worried about the bike change if it happens."
KAZUHIKO YAMANO - REPSOL HONDA TEAM MANAGER
"Dani did a good job to get on the front row today and we can see with this performance the evidence of his improving physical condition. We still have some work to do to achieve the optimum settings for the race, and the weather here could complicate things because we might have some rain tomorrow - we'll see. Andrea was unlucky not to get a higher grid position because he was in the top six for most of the session and I don't think 8th reflects his true potential. Still, with a good start I think both he and Dani can be strong tomorrow and the whole team will be working hard for that."