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Repsol Honda Team ready for an intense battle in Catalunya

Repsol Honda Team ready for an intense battle in Catalunya

With the second fastest time in today's qualifying practice, Casey Stoner will start the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya on the front row for the fourth consecutive year. Team mate Andrea Dovizioso, fifth today in qualifying will start from the second row as he did in 2010 and 2009. 

The Repsol Honda Team again fought hard for pole position in a very intense qualifying practice held under the best weather conditions so far this weekend. Stoner dominated the session until the last minute, when Marco Simoncelli, replaced the Australian rider on top of the sheets by just 0.016 seconds. Nevertheless, Casey is confident with his race pace and ability to fight for another good result tomorrow.

Also confident after his performance is team mate Andrea Dovizioso. The Italian rider has improved his lap time by another second from yesterday and narrowly missed the front row by just 0.021 seconds, fighting for the pole position on his very last lap but unfortunately made a mistake on the second sector of the circuit.

Casey has visited the podium in Catalunya for the past 4 years, with one win in 2007 and three consecutive third positions from 2008 to 2010. After his podium in France three weeks ago, Andrea will also be looking for a top three finish.

Casey Stoner
"I'm disappointed with qualifying, we had good pace and should have been able to go a lot faster on new tyres. In my first run of the session the bike wasn't working so well, the tyres weren't warming up as expected with that set up and I had a lot less grip on the soft tyre, which we couldn't understand why. We tried changing inner pressure but it made it worse and we weren't able to do anything with the last tyre which I'm very frustrated with because I almost did the same laptime with the soft and the hard tyre. Front row is obviously where we want to be but I'm annoyed as we spent the whole session working on the tyres and not improving the bike set up. For tomorrow we're confident with our race pace on hard tyres if the weather stays dry, it's just upsetting to have a qualifying session like this".

Andrea Dovizioso
"Montmelo is a special track, you slide a lot and it’s good fun to ride with a MotoGP bike. This morning we worked on the set up and weight balance to improve the grip and this afternoon I had a better feeling. I’m happy with the race pace, we lapped consistently  and together with Stoner, who made an impressive lap time, I think myself, Sic and Lorenzo will all be in the fight. The first row was possible but in my last lap I went wide at Turn 5, so I lost the opportunity. But to start from the second row is also fine as I feel strong and I have the pace to fight in the race. Tomorrow we will have a good race, hard fought and I look forward to it”.

Press release courtesy of Repsol Honda

Tags:
MotoGP, 2011, GRAN PREMI APEROL DE CATALUNYA, Casey Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda Team

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