Pedrosa and Stoner continue to outdo one another in first two practice sessions
The first day of the Spanish Grand Prix showed once again the great level of Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, who led the classification both in the first and second free practice sessions. The two Repsol riders rode below the circuit fastest time, set by Pedrosa last season, and finished with more than half a second advantage over their closest rival, Valentino Rossi.
In the morning session, Stoner and Pedrosa spearheaded the times classification riding at record pace and being the only ones to lap under 1 minute and 40 seconds. They were separated by only 28 thousandths after the Australian did 17 laps with a time of 1 minute, 39 seconds and 551 thousandths while Pedrosa did 19 laps with a time of 1 minute, 39 seconds and 579 thousandths.
When they went back to the track for the second session, they swapped positions and it was the Spaniard who led the classification. With a higher asphalt temperature (42ºC against 28ºC in the morning) and a high wind blowing the whole day in Jerez, the top seven riders were not able to improve their times of the first free practice. Pedrosa was the fastest, with 1 minute, 40 seconds and 101 thousandths, followed closely by Stoner, 188 thousandths behind.
From this race on, the Repsol Honda Team riders Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso will join their team mate Dani Pedrosa in the actions to improve the motorcyclists’ safety. As the Spanish rider did in all Spanish GPs last season, the three Repsol Honda riders will show the “Seguridad Honda” logo in their RC212V’s fairing during the four appointments in Spanish tracks scheduled for this year. The first will be this Spanish Grand Prix to be held in Jerez this weekend.
Tomorrow, Saturday, the third and last free practice session will take place, as well as the all-important qualifying session that will shape the starting grid for Sunday’s race.
Dani Pedrosa 1’39.579 sec, 36 laps, 159 km.
“I think we are doing a good job. The bike was working OK, it was moving a little but maybe because the grip was not so good today; other riders were also struggling with it and we saw some crashes in all the categories. Also the strong wind played a part in the afternoon, it was more difficult to control the bike especially on fast corners and we couldn’t improve the lap times. Let’s see if the track conditions improve tomorrow and if we can do better.
Regarding my physical condition, I’m struggling in the same way I did in the Qatar race because the situation has not changed, but I cannot do anything to feel better, so I’m just focused on riding as best as I can. I’m doing short runs because it’s better for me and working on the bike to prepare for the race. We hope to improve tomorrow and do a good qualifying practice”.
Source: Repsol Media