New to here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Benson comments on strong Repsol Honda race starts

Benson comments on strong Repsol Honda race starts

The Repsol Honda riders will be hoping to continue their strong race starting form in Shanghai especially with Nicky Hayden tenth on the grid.

Although the rain at the Pramac Grand Prix of China should provide more opportunities to overtake than in dry conditions, Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden will still be keen to get away well when the MotoGP contest commences, as they both start from relatively low grid positions.

Although Pedrosa´s fifth is better than his eighth place in Qatar, where he stormed off the grid once the lights went out, Hayden´s fourth row start in China is his lowest since Sachsenring last year where he qualified 14th, so he will also be aiming to make up positions quickly on the wet Shanghai surface.

Hayden, like front row Jerez and Estoril qualifier Pedrosa, has made some excellent race starts thus far in 2008 but his Chief Mechanic Pete Benson believes that trend is more down to rider ability than the reported tweaks to the RC212V clutch or front suspension forks.

`There´s a bit of truth in all those rumours and I know Dani did try a fork lock thing at the end of last year or the beginning of this year,´ said Benson, `but it wasn´t that successful so that has gone. The forks are just the same forks we have been running for the last couple of years really.´

`We have had a couple of clutch updates but from the point of view of starting it hasn´t really had anything to do with that. The starting systems we use are the same as we have always had since the five cylinders.´

On the importance of additional good starts for Hayden and Pedrosa on Sunday given the specifics of the Shanghai track, Benson commented, `For us it is pretty difficult overtaking here because we´ve got a little bit of a speed deficit, especially to Ducati and a little bit to Yamaha.´

Although the wet conditions could put some of that theory out of consideration Benson is happy his rider will be competitive in the Chinese rain, despite Hayden´s 13th place on the wet warm-up timesheet.

He added, `We are pretty happy with our wet set-up everywhere we´ve been this year in the rain with this bike. The biggest gamble is tyres, because if you haven´t had a chance to test the different tyres it´s quite a concern.´

MotoGP, 2008, PRAMAC GRAND PRIX OF CHINA, Repsol Honda Team

Other updates you may be interested in ›