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Second and third row for Dovizioso and Pedrosa

Second and third row for Dovizioso and Pedrosa

Repsol Honda riders Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa are focused on podium finishes in Sunday’s Qatar race after securing sixth and seventh on the grid.

Andrea Dovizioso and his Honda RC212V have been near the top of the timesheets for the whole weekend and the Italian is confident his race pace should allow him to battle for a finish in the top three. In the earlier free practice he recorded the fourth fastest time to replicate his position from Friday’s sole practice session, and in Saturday’s qualifying he broke the 1’56” barrier for the first time, stopping the clock at 1’55.963 - which was good enough for the final place on the second row of the grid. Ever the realist, Dovizioso realises that fighting for victory will be a tall order under the Losail floodlights, and the final podium spot is his realistic aim. The 24 year-old will be looking to make final adjustments to machine settings in the warm-up and to get away with the leaders in the race.

Dani Pedrosa has been making steady progress in every session this weekend, methodically working his way towards his accustomed place near the sharp end of the grid. This continued on Saturday, with the Spaniard immediately up to speed in both sessions. A qualifying time of 1’55.990 - just 0.027s behind his team-mate - means Pedrosa will start Sunday’s race from the front of the third row.

Andrea Dovizioso – 6th – 1’55.963

“Tomorrow we will start from the second row on the grid, and this is positive because on this track it’s not easy to recover positions - it’s very important to start well. We had a good qualifying session after having some issues during the first free practice today and our pace is not too bad. I could have gone a little quicker in qualifying, but overall I’m reasonably satisfied. There are two or three riders with a similar pace so tomorrow our target is to fight for the podium. Casey and Valentino have an incredible pace, but I’m confident I can compete for third position - provided I make a good start. Now we will analyse the data from today and think about some machine adjustments that we will test in the warm-up. Specifically, I was losing a lot of time in turn three and I also need to improve my starts so that’s where we’ll be focusing. All in all I’m optimistic about tomorrow and I’m looking forward to this race.”

Dani Pedrosa – 7th – 1’55.990

“We improved the set-up again today - a little bit in the morning and then a bigger step in the afternoon - and the lap time is coming down which means our position is better than where we have been recently. In the warm-up we will try to optimise the set-up a little more to help us with the race distance and then it’s down to the race where I’ll be looking for a good start of course. In qualifying I felt more comfortable on the hard option Bridgestone tyre which is why I was pushing hard at the start of the session. I wasn’t able to improve with the soft tyre so it looks like we’ll be going with the hard tyre for the race. It was actually a shame this evening because on my last lap I made a mistake and lost some time, and if I hadn’t done that I could have been fourth on the grid. Stoner and Rossi look very strong for the race, but there should be a big group fighting for the final place on the podium and I hope to be in amongst it.”

Press release courtesy of Repsol Honda

Tags:
MotoGP, 2010, COMMERCIALBANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Andrea Dovizioso, Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

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