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Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa will start tomorrow's Malaysian Grand Prix from 2nd place on the front row, his thirteenth front row start of the season, as he pursues Lorenzo in the chase for the 2012 World Championship.
Teammate Casey Stoner will start from fourth, missing out on the front row by just two tenths of a second. In an intense Qualifying session, which fortunately remained dry, the riders traded the top four spots throughout the session, and in the end Pedrosa lost out on pole by just 0.194 seconds to championship rival Lorenzo. With less than half a second separating the top four riders, Stoner was unfortunate to miss out on the front row as he fights to return to full strength in just his second GP after his absence from three races due to injury.
The weather will play an important role in tomorrow's 21 lap race as the race will start at 16h00 local time - a time when rain showers are a common occurrence.
"It was hard because we had a lot of chattering this afternoon and it was very difficult to get a clean lap as in some areas the bike was chattering too much, even in the straight! Nevertheless, we managed to get on the front row again and the second position is good. The pace is high and after missing FP2 yesterday because of the mixed conditions, this morning we've been working hard on the race pace. I just hope that we don't have this chattering for the race. The weather can play an important role too, so we'll have to see what happens tomorrow afternoon.”
"It's been a really disappointing weekend, but especially today. We've had pace all weekend and the first session looked promising but we've had problems with the brakes and some other small issues. Every step we take to try and improve the bike, we make it worse and it's becoming very frustrating. Our potential is much higher than where we are currently at and now we go into the race without any real direction. Physically I'm not sure how I am going to be as we haven't been able to complete many laps this weekend, our pace is there and I just hope that we can make some small improvements in tomorrow's warm up.”
Press release courtesy of Repsol Honda Team.
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