Pedrosa second-fastest in Qatar first practice despite rear tyre issue
At 19h55 local time, the first session of the 2011 season started at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. This seemed a continuation from the test that took place earlier this week, with conditions almost identical.
Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner retained his position at the top of the timing sheets with a time of 1’55.752 and completed a total of 16 laps spending the evening fine tuning set-up for the weekend. His team mate Dani Pedrosa followed closely behind and completed 18 laps in the forty-five minute session. He experienced a rare issue with the rear tyre, a medium compound already used during winter testing with no problem, which his team and Bridgestone need to properly understand.
Earlier in the afternoon, pre-season photos were taken for the world’s media outlets. The Repsol Honda Team also took this opportunity to show their support for Japan in this difficult time, with a Japanese flag on their bikes accompanied by a supporting message of hope, to not give up fighting: “Ganbare Japan!”.
DANI PEDROSA – 2nd – 1’56.362
“I had a problem with the rear tyre that we need to understand. It’s the first issue we’ve had this winter with the tyres, so I hope it’s an exception to the rule. We started the practice very well, we were fast in the first exit and then we stayed with the same tyre, the softer compound, for the whole session. Even if I used the same compound during the winter test without any problem for several laps, today already in the second round I felt it dropped down a lot, and in the third and last one it was even worse. With only 45 minutes practice, the rounds are very short and you don’t have much time to make changes. Maybe the tyre had a problem, maybe it dropped down a lot because with 125cc and Moto2 bikes on track the conditions were very different comparing with the test of few days ago, we don’t know exactly. Anyway, the Grand Prix weekend just started and we will try with another tyre tomorrow to understand more. I hope we can take the best profit of both practices sessions to prepare for the race in a good way”.
Source: Repsol Honda