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Stoner and Dovizioso happy, Pedrosa needing improvements

Stoner and Dovizioso happy, Pedrosa needing improvements

Four factory Honda riders will start the Monster Energy Grand Prix de France in the first four positions of the grid, with Repsol Honda riders Casey Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa 1st, 3rd and 4th respectively.

The last time four Honda’s took the first four places on a MotoGP grid was back in 2003. After dominating the timing sheets throughout the free practice sessions and securing a new circuit lap record yesterday, Stoner shaved a further six tenths off that time with a 1'33.153, securing his 29th career pole position and his third of the season.

Team mate Dovizioso scored his first front row of the season, capping a positive weekend so far. Session after session, he improved his feeling with the front and has the race pace to fight for the podium. Pedrosa starts from fourth position after finding it difficult to get maximum grip from his RC212V and this will be the first time this season, the Spaniard has failed to start from the front row.

Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda

”We're very happy with this pole, we focused a lot on our race set up this afternoon, going from one bike to the another, making small adjustments to improve the bike a little. The conditions aren't perfect at the moment, it's quite windy so hard to see if you've improved or not, but my Honda was working really well and I never found myself pushing to the limit too much, which is always good. This is our third pole of the season but we've only converted one of them into a victory, so we hope to have a little more luck this weekend here in Le Mans and fight for the win."

Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda

“I’m very happy to start from the first row, even though this was our target, I didn’t expect it. I was behind Simoncelli for two laps and this helped me because I followed his lines. This afternoon we did some small changes to the set up and my feeling with the front improved. We feel very confident for the race, I think we can fight for the podium. The race will be tough, Stoner is very fast and he may try to run away. I have a good pace and I think I will fight with Simoncelli and Pedrosa. I want to thank my team for all their hard work and hope we can get a good result tomorrow.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda

"We improved quite a lot compared to yesterday, but we still feel a lack of traction in the rear and good grip, to have the tyre working as we would like. At the beginning of this afternoon's session, we managed to find a good rhythm with the soft tyre, but these are not qualifying tyres anymore and in my last round of the session, with only five laps to push, I couldn’t make the most of the tyre. In the warm up, we have to improve the bike a little and for the race it's important to get a good start. Here the first chicane is delicate and we need to avoid any trouble. The first laps will be crucial because the tyres are cold and it's important to stay in front. Besides Stoner, other rivals are closer here, such as Marco Simoncelli and Dovizioso. Jorge Lorenzo has also improved, so we must be prepared to fight, because the race will be demanding and long, but as in Estoril, we will try.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2011, MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team

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