Pedrosa misses out on front row after struggling with soft tyres
Dani Pedrosa will have a rare start from behind the front row at Motegi tomorrow, finishing the qualifying in fourth today, without the possibility to take advantage of his bike’s potential with the soft tyres in the final minutes.
Casey Stoner took pole, already showing signs of his speed in the third session of free practice held this morning, where the three riders of the Repsol Honda Team were again in the first three position, with the Australian on top of the time sheets, followed by Dovizioso and Pedrosa. Again with the threat of rain, the MotoGP riders started to work from the first minutes of the qualifying, where the World Championship leader showed again his most dominant side.
The Australian of the Repsol Honda Team was the first to get below 1 minute and 47 seconds. Nevertheless, he was soon overtaken by Jorge Lorenzo, first, and Dani Pedrosa, later. Stoner’s counterattack did not take long to arrive and he reduced seven tenths in one shot, stopping close to the 1 minute and 46 seconds barrier and reducing the morning times after only 10 minutes. A barrier that was broken seconds later by Dani Pedrosa, who spearheaded the session until the last few minutes, when the times were reduced again.
Pedrosa, after being very competitive during the weekend, was not able to fight for the best time in the last minutes. With the soft tyre used at the end of the session, his bike skidded a bit behind and that prevented him from being in the first row.
Dani Pedrosa FP3 – 1:46.429, 17 laps, 82 km. QP – 1:45.966, 25 laps, 120 km.
“The qualifying practice started quite well for us, we were doing lap times with a consistent pace preparing for the race and everything seemed to be going well.
But at the end, when I switched to soft tyres, I couldn’t get them working, I had much less grip. I thought it could be a problem with the first tyre and so I came back to the garage to change it but again I had the same issue.
I am disappointed not to be on the front row, but the good feeling with the race tyres is good news. We will need to see how the weather is tomorrow, if the temperature drops a lot maybe some riders will use the soft, but considering my feeling, I will probably choose the hard one.
The race will be very tough with Stoner, Dovizioso and maybe Lorenzo, but we want to fight until the end”.
Source: Repsol Media