But a fall halts Qatar test for Pedrosa
The Repsol Honda pairing of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso experienced mixed fortunes on the second evening of testing at the Losail International circuit in Qatar.
Dovizioso made encouraging progress on his factory RC212V
and set the fourth fastest lap of the day while he and his team focused on electronic settings.
Though a strong wind blowing sand across the track meant that the MotoGP riders' lap times were not as fast as in the race here in 2008, Dovizioso completed 60 laps and set the fourth fastest time of the day, a 1m 57.879s lap, which was 0.740s off Casey Stoner's best.
“This was an interesting day and I'm happy with how it went”, commented the Italian. “We tried many settings with the electronic systems on the machine to enhance the power delivery. The results were pretty positive and now we'll have a meeting to decide how to move things forward tomorrow. The track conditions were not so bad - not as good as the race here last year, but considering how windy it was today, it was OK. The lap times were not as fast as the race lap times, but it was a good test today and we're moving forward.”
After sitting out Monday's mostly wet session, Pedrosa completed 28 laps and had begun to up his pace on the floodlit track. Unfortunately, at 10.00pm, the 23-year-old Spaniard had a fall entering Turn 10, which brought an early halt to his Qatar test.
Pedrosa hit his left wrist and left knee in the fall and was taken to the circuit medical centre where initial x-rays showed no signs of a break. However, the impact re-opened the existing wound in his left knee, which required three stitches.
“The early part of the session went quite well and I was happy with the progress we were making. The conditions weren't ideal with the sand blowing on the track, but this was an unexpected crash. I was entering Turn 10 and I had a high-side and then the bike came down on top of me. It's a shame because we also lost testing time yesterday, but now I will go home for some more scans and hopefully they won't show anything more serious”, he said.
Pedrosa will now fly to home and undergo further precautionary scans. He will be hopeful of being fit for the final pre-season test at Jerez, Spain which begins on 28 March.