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Pedrosa blaming setup troubles for slow Qatar start

Pedrosa blaming setup troubles for slow Qatar start

Whilst 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner immediately tore things up on ‘day' one of the MotoGP Official Test in Qatar, last year's championship runner-up Dani Pedrosa experienced a less smooth initial outing under the Losail floodlights.

Whilst 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner immediately tore things up on ‘day' one of the MotoGP Official Test in Qatar, last year's championship runner-up Dani Pedrosa experienced a less smooth initial outing under the Losail floodlights.

Languishing at the bottom of the timesheets up until the final hour of the history-making test, the Spaniard's blushes were saved only by a late surge that included a run on Michelin qualifying tyres. Pedrosa cut a second off his previous fastest time with the final of his 72 laps; his inability to finish higher than eighth on the timesheets being put down to problems with the Honda RC212V rather than either the bright lights of Qatar or his preseason hand injury.

"It's been quite a difficult evening. We are struggling with the bike, we haven't found the right set-up," admitted Pedrosa frankly. "Tomorrow we will continue working to prepare a base set-up for the race weekend here, which is next week.

"Compared to the last test session in Jerez, my physical condition has improved, I still feel pain when I'm braking and the hand has swollen a bit, but it's better than it was at Jerez."

As a night riding debutant and expected title challenger for 2008, Pedrosa's opinion on the imposing lighting project realised for the March 9th Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar was one of the more eagerly anticipated of the MotoGP field, arousing further interest with his apparent Thursday night tribulations. The 21 year-old came some way short of enthusiasm for the concept of nocturnal competition but, like Repsol Honda team-mate Nicky Hayden, is reserving judgement until after experiencing a more ‘race-like' experience.

"The track seems to be well lit, but there are a lot of shadows and it's very tiring on the eyes. I rode on my own throughout most of this evening's session, so I don't yet know how the floodlights will be in a race situation."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

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