On day one at Donington Park
Repsol Honda RC212V riders Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa were second and sixth fastest in today's opening two practice sessions at Donington Park. Hayden had a positive day, using HRC's pneumatic-valve engine at a race for the first time. The
2006 MotoGP World Champion worked hard at dialling in the engine, which has a 1000rpm higher rev ceiling than the valve-spring RCV engine, ending the day half a second off reigning champ Casey Stoner.
Pedrosa was also going well in the cool, blustery conditions, running third fastest this afternoon before he highsided at Redgate corner. The tough Spaniard, currently a close second in the 2008 points standings, immediately returned to the pits to continue riding with his other machine. Dry track time looks like it may be in limited supply this weekend, with rain forecast for tomorrow.
Nicky Hayden - 2nd fastest : 1m 28.829s :
« Everything went relatively smooth today, though conditions were a little bit chilly, a little bit dirty. Honestly I've got to thank HRC. I told them that I really wanted to use the pneumatic-valve engine here, so they worked some on the electronics and the guys said I could use it, so long as I was going to be in the top three or four! I was second this afternoon and fifth this morning, so that kinda evens out, do the math. Sure, Stoner's going quick and we've got some work to do to get with him but overall the bike is working good, so thanks to HRC and the team for delivering. The engine is pretty aggressive, but I like to go somewhere when I open the throttle, I like something to happen. It's a little bit quicker, so it's nice to be up near the front of the trap speeds.
I was fourth from the top today, even though this is only a small, fifth-gear straight. I also had a new chassis today which felt better, it's a little bit of an improvement stability-wise. »
Dani Pedrosa - 6th fastest : 1m 29.207s :
« We were trying to concentrate our usual two days of work on set-up and tyre choice into today because the weather forecast says it may rain tomorrow. I felt quite sore when I got on the bike this morning and I feel a bit sorer now! I think maybe we were using a too-hard rear tyre when I crashed. But I didn't do anything serious in the fall, so I got back out on the track as quickly as I could because I wanted to do as much work as possible before the rain comes. We are still struggling a bit here. We have some ideas for tomorrow, so we hope we can get as much dry time as possible. »
Kazuhiko Yamano - Team Manager :
« We were sorry to see Dani crash but we are happy that he is okay. He is working hard on machine set-up and tyre choice, which he will continue with tomorrow morning. Nicky seems quite happy with the pneumatic-valve engine and so far the result is quite good. It is a bit complicated for him though, using the engine for the first time at a race and working to find the best engine setting and so on. Maybe it rains tomorrow, which could be a good thing, because then we can be prepared whether it is wet or dry on Sunday. »