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Hayden and Pedrosa explain BMW M Award conditions

Hayden and Pedrosa explain BMW M Award conditions

With 2007 MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner having set an unbeatable time in the BMW M Award timed session at the Jerez circuit, two of the favourites for the prize were left empty handed at the conclusion of the 40 minute ‘qualifying' outing.

With 2007 MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner having set an unbeatable time in the BMW M Award timed session at the Jerez circuit, two of the favourites for the prize were left empty handed at the conclusion of the 40 minute ‘qualifying' outing.

In the case of Dani Pedrosa, that hand was a well-rested one. The Spaniard, who has been absent from testing since fracturing a metacarpal in his right extremity at the opening test of the year, was one of two riders to opt out of the chance to win the BMW Z4 M Roadster. After undertaking a bare minimum of laps both yesterday and this morning, Pedrosa did not stray from his garage as his rivals battled it out on the track.

"I didn't go out because it is wet, and in the wet you can crash more easily than in the dry," said the Honda rider, who came second in last year's competition at Jerez but did not fair so well in his rainy 2006 BMW M Award debut in Catalunya.

"It was unnecessary for me to risk crashing and getting injured again, so we decided not to go out and to wait until the next session, to see if I feel better."

Pedrosa's decision to withdraw from the competition was made easier by the rule change for 2008, which removes the stipulation that riders have to participate in 100% of the qualifying sessions to be in the running for the combined season BMW M Award.

Whilst his Repsol Honda team-mate took on the role of spectator for the day, 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden was one of the riders to get comparatively close to Stoner's fastest lap. Whilst never challenging the Australian for the keys to his new ride, ‘Trick Daddy' did have one of the quicker times of the remainder of the grid to finish third.

Hayden played down the importance of the session, but nonetheless would have liked to establish his credentials ahead of the 2008 season.

"The qualifying session doesn't mean a lot to the championship, but still everybody is trying hard and we're all competitors. It's not just because there's a new BMW on the line, we could have been racing for a piece of bubble gum and these guys would have gone out charging and heading into the gravel," joked the ‘Kentucky Kid'.

"It's a nice little warm-up. We didn't quite get the lap we wanted. I saw (Casey) Stoner put down his time, but those conditions are the hardest for me, when it goes from wet to dry and it's time for slicks or intermediates. It was right on that bubble. I thought after yesterday we had a good chance, but anyway the bike felt good in the rain and the team has done a good job."

Hayden was the fastest rider on track on the opening day of the MotoGP Official Test in Jerez, and has a further day with which to develop the Honda RC212V. How much of the workload will be undertaken by Pedrosa, however, remains to be seen…

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008

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