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Importance of front row start highlighted by Pedrosa

Importance of front row start highlighted by Pedrosa

The Spanish rider took third position in qualifying for the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France, with Repsol Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso seventh fastest.

Le Mans basked in another day of fine weather today (Saturday), and Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa took advantage of the sunshine to put his RC212V on the front row of the grid after a fiercely competitive qualifying session. The Spaniard - who has taken pole position here for the previous two seasons - did his utmost to make it three poles in a row, and that looked possible as he hit top spot with just two minutes to go. In the dying seconds of the hour however, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo edged ahead, with Pedrosa’s time just 0.165s behind and good enough for third place. Tomorrow Pedrosa will start his 150th Grand Prix with a clear run into the first corner.

Pedrosa’s Repsol Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso had a frustrating qualifying session and was not able to extract the maximum from his machine this afternoon. The Italian finished the morning practice session in a close fifth place and was hoping for further improvements in qualifying. Some fine machine adjustments didn’t have the expected results however, and with his final lap he set a best time of 1’34.204 which translates to seventh on the grid and means he will start the 28-lap race from the front of the third row.

Dani Pedrosa

"At the end of the session we were able to put in a good final lap which has put us on the front row, and this is very important because the lap times are very close here. For the race we need to find some tenths of a second per lap in order to be able to keep a high pace, and at this track you have to be very focused because the race is long and it’s really important to be consistent and not to make any mistakes. Anyway I think we are in a good position. Now we will sit down with the team and work on the improvements to up our race pace. We’ve had good weather so far this weekend and it looks like it will continue tomorrow so we’ve been lucky this time. From the front row I hope to make a good start and give myself the best chance in the race."

Andrea Dovizioso

“I cannot be happy to start from the third row because this has the potential to make the race more complicated. So it will it be important to make a good start and stay with the front group - that’s the plan now. Our race pace is not so bad but we need to improve it a little more. Compared to this morning the feeling with the front was not quite as good and I think this was because of some set-up changes that we made, and also the gap to the front riders was a bit bigger this afternoon. Anyway we have some ideas of what we can improve and I’m ready to give it my best in the race.”

Press release courtesy of Repsol Honda

Tags:
MotoGP, 2010, MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda Team

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