Sachsenring : Repsol Honda – Day One
Round 10 of the 2007 MotoGP World Championship began on Friday with Repsol Honda riders Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa completing the first two free practice sessions at the Sachsenring circuit.
With the track resurfaced for 2007
and the new 800cc MotoGP machines tackling the 3.671km (2.280 miles) venue for the first time, today's target was to find a base setting for the factory Honda RC212Vs ahead of tomorrow afternoon's qualifying session and Sunday's 30-lap race.
Dani Pedrosa finished the day in third position after working steadily up to speed during the two one-hour sessions. The 21-year-old Spaniard, who set pole position for this race last year, was able to complete a longer run of laps in the afternoon during which he set a best lap time of 1m 23.366s. This is just 0.01s outside his own lap record at Sachsenring.
Following his memorable return to the podium at the Dutch TT two weeks ago, Hayden had a more frustrating day than his team-mate, suffering some bad luck and losing practice time in both sessions.
The World Champion experienced an electrical problem in the morning and also had a slow speed fall, the combination of which caused him to miss around half the session. In the afternoon the 25-year-old American also experienced a rare machine problem and he wasn't able to improve his time from the morning. Hayden will be aiming to shrug off today's tough start to the weekend and make significant improvements tomorrow.
A further practice session takes place on Saturday morning ahead of the afternoon qualifying session to determine grid positions for the Alice German Grand Prix, which begins at 14.00hrs local time on Sunday. Dani Pedrosa
“We made some good progress today and finished by increasing the pace quite a lot which is positive. The conditions this morning weren't ideal with quite a cool track temperature and some rain towards the end of the session. However, this afternoon I was able to put in a run of around 14 laps and steadily improve the lap time – and I think I could have gone even quicker on my last laps if I hadn't encountered some traffic. Casey Stoner is looking very fast though and seems to have quickly found a good set-up so we must work really hard to move things forward for tomorrow. The new surface here has made it better in some places, but there are some new bumps too.” Nicky Hayden
“Well this was a tough day for sure. This morning I had a few issues with one machine at the beginning of the session, switched bikes and did a few laps but then I had a pretty minor crash into Turn 12. I hurt my hand a bit but basically it's OK. Because of the problems on the first bike I lost about half of that session. Then in the afternoon we were looking to improve things but I had an electrical problem and then an engine let go and made quite a mess of the front straight.
So unfortunately we didn't really learn a whole lot about the chassis, set-up or the tyres today. We'll just have to sort a few things out tonight and get ready to put things straight tomorrow.” Makoto Tamada
“Dani made some good progress today with a few changes on the machine and was able to climb to third at the end. The morning session saw quite cold track conditions which didn't suit us, but the warmer afternoon meant we could improve, something we must continue tomorrow. Unfortunately, through no fault of his own, Nicky couldn't settle into a rhythm today. He had some electrical problems with his machine in the morning and then in the afternoon an engine broke. I'm sorry about this because we were hoping for a strong start for Nicky after his great performance in Assen. So, we must work very hard to rectify things for him tomorrow.”