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Second row for Repsol Honda

Second row for Repsol Honda

Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso qualified in fourth and sixth places respectively for the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya.

Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso will start from the second row of the grid in tomorrow’s Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya after a swelteringly hot qualifying session at the Montmeló circuit today. Pedrosa’s best lap was good enough for fourth place and was just 0.080s from giving the Spaniard a front row start at his home race, while Dovizioso’s time was a further two-tenths back and secured sixth place and the final spot on row two.

Pedrosa set a series of fast, consistent laps in the morning session and finishing in second place just 0.050s behind the leading time. He improved his pace further this afternoon, in spite of the soaring temperatures which hit 35ºC ambient and 53ºC at the track surface, but in the increased heat, grip was once again the elusive ingredient and the Spaniard continued to lose a little time in the final section of the lap. Pedrosa and his crew are confident that adjustments in t he warm-up and the correct tyre choice can give him a good chance of battling at the front tomorrow.

Dovizioso spent much of the qualifying session in second position before being nudged backwards in the closing minutes. The 24 year-old Italian established a good race set-up however and he too is confident of his chances in the race. Dovizioso has qualified in sixth position on two previous occasions this season - at the first race of the year in Qatar and at the last race at Assen - and each time he has finished higher in the race. In fact, on average Dovizioso’s race finishing position this season has been three places above his qualifying position - a trend which would see the Italian on the podium for a fifth time this year if it continues tomorrow.

Dani Pedrosa:

“The second row is not perfect but anyway, the position is not a big deal and to be fourth is ok with the lap times so close here. Today we've been trying the tyre options to check which will be the best ones for the race. It will be a tough race tomorrow because of the heat, and also because of the level of our rivals. Also managing the tyre performance so that we can lap consistently at 1’43” will be critical. We need to work a little more on the chassis set-up because this morning I felt better than this afternoon. Anyway, we are better than we were at the last race in Assen in terms of qualifying performance, and we had a strong race there. I'd like to be on the front row and I think it was possible but on my penultimate lap I made a small mistake and this cost me the chance. T4 is still my weak point in the lap - the last hard braking point in particular. We will try to find some thing in the warm-up to fix this. Obviously I want to have a good race in front of all the people who will come to support me and we'll certainly be going for it.”

Andrea Dovizioso:

“I’m satisfied with the race pace and I think we are ready for tomorrow. The second row is not the best position to start but being on the front two rows is the important thing. Also, we were using the hard Bridgestone tyre at the end of the session so this qualifying position doesn’t truly reflect our potential. For the race there are many riders with a similar pace and we will have to see how the tyre performance goes tomorrow in these hot conditions and manage our race well. Today we started the session with the soft tyres to see how they affected the pace and rhythm and I think we will use the hard compound tomorrow because it’s really too hot for the soft ones. We need to adjust the electronic controls because the bike is sliding quite a lot - due to the characteristics of this track and also because of the heat. I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow. I really like this track and the atmosphere is always fantastic here.”

Press release courtesy of Repsol Honda


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