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Hayden on front row for Honda´s home race

Hayden on front row for Honda´s home race

Although Nicky Hayden will be leaving Repsol Honda at the end of the season he is determined to mark his last home race as an HRC rider in Japan with a strong result, having qualified third.

Nicky Hayden achieved his third front-row start of the year in Japan on Saturday, after Catalunya and Laguna Seca, as his Michelin tyres performed well at Motegi - whilst his Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa was not far behind in fifth, on his new Bridegstone rubbers.

Nicky Hayden - third

`Honda´s home race and we´re on the front row which is nice. Now we´ve got to try and get a result. Yesterday the bike didn´t feel good, balance and all. We made some pretty good changes overnight. A lot of the time when you make changes, in theory they should do this or that but a lot of the time it don´t work out like that, but today everything worked like we thought it would, so my guys did some good work. My race pace is decent but not great, we need to improve tomorrow morning if we want to turn it into a result, which is the plan. My first qualifier went good, my second I didn´t really improve, the third one I did improve, then the fourth felt really good. But going into turn three there was a pack of riders, so I just had to shut it down. I went hard enough for the rest of that lap to keep heat in the tyres and then tried to pull the trigger again. Luckily I was able to get two laps out of it, though the last little bit of the second lap the right side started to go. The Michelin qualifiers were really good today, so I just held on to squeeze on to the front row. That´s important here especially because in the past there´s been plenty of carnage at the first turn. We´ll try to improve the bike in morning, try to get away with them, then see what we got.´

Dani Pedrosa - fifth

`I am happier than I was after Indy qualifying because we are improving all the time. Every time I go out with another qualifying tyre I get faster, but during my last lap today I made a mistake at one corner and lost a lot of time. The second row is okay, it´s important to get a good start here because the first corner is so close to the grid. Today we tried a few different race tyres and did some good work, but we still need to make some improvements in a few different places. This is Honda´s home track, I have always been a Honda rider, so it is very important for all of us to get a good result here. I will do my best.´

MotoGP, 2008, A-STYLE GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Dani Pedrosa, Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda Team

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