News 14 Aug 2011

Pedrosa continues Brno dominance with MotoGP pole position

Dani Pedrosa scored pole position at Brno on Saturday for Honda.

Dani Pedrosa scored pole position at Brno on Saturday for Honda.

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa took the front position on the grid with a time of 1’56.591 in qualifying on Saturday, a time fast enough to put him on pole but still not a fast as the crushing lap he dealt Friday by a margin of 0.268s.

The premier class took to a dry track after the morning wet practice session, with reigning MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) taking an early provisional pole and Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) leading in second half of qualifying. But Pedrosa retaliated, grabbing back the top spot and keeping it until the end of the outing.

“It’s my first pole of the year and also after a long time, so I’m very happy for that,” Pedrosa said. “The weekend has been pretty good for us so far, the bike is working well and I’m feeling good physically as well. We made only a few small changes on the bike and this allowed me to concentrate more on my riding, so let’s hope we are able to keep the pace tomorrow and fight for a good result.

“This is the most important thing and we need to keep our feet on the ground because the rivals are close. I think we can still improve the bike a little, especially on the chassis side to have better grip, even though I guess that the rain this morning affected the conditions on track which made it more slippery.”

Lorenzo pushed hard, bettering his previous best time by four tenths with a time of 1’56.704, giving him a front row start in the second spot, followed by Stoner with lap of 1’56.860 to put him in the final front row spot.

“We hoped after yesterday that we could improve the feeling in the bike this morning, but unfortunately it was a wet session, so we couldn’t use it as we would have liked to,” Stoner explained. “Also, the session didn’t start too well with a fast crash in turn three, which lost us some time and obviously dented my confidence a little.

“Then this afternoon we started to get a little more feedback from the bike, but all in all we didn’t really make a big step forward or improve it significantly from yesterday’s first session. We seem to be getting more and more chatter as the weekend progresses and the more I push the more it increases and the slower I get, so it’s a little frustrating.

“I felt qualifying could have been better, we almost lapped with the same time on old and new tyres, but in general we have a lot of work to do. We’re obviously happy with front row, but we’re not really where we want to be with the bike and there is still a lot of work to do.

“We’re looking forward to tomorrow and I’m sure we can find some improvements in time for the race.”

Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) who started from the front row least year in his MotoGP rookie season, qualified four with a 1’57.178. The Texan is joined on the second row by Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team), whose time of 1’57.351 placed him in fifth to start. Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) joins the second row after posting a time of 1’57.367, giving him his best qualifying of the season so far.

Andrea Dovizioso will start from the third row, his time of 1’57.442 placing him seventh fastest. American duo Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) take the final two spots on the third row, while Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini), riding for the first time in the MotoGP class at Brno after missing last year’s race through injury, completed the top ten.

Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) crashed out of eighth position with 12 minutes remaining, running back to the pits to mount his second bike, finally concluding the qualifying in eleventh. The British rider’s crash was followed by Cardion ab Motoracing’s Karel Abraham crashing out of qualifying, the 21 year old from Brno will start his home race from last on the grid.

John Hopkins (Rizla Suzuki) did not participate in the qualifying session due to injuries sustained in his FP3 crash pronouncing him unfit for racing.

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