In Qatar qualifying
Qualifying for the Grand Prix of Qatar saw the Repsol Honda riders secure 4th and 14th places on the grid for tomorrow's 22-lap race, with both Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa putting in fighting performances at opposite ends of the timesheets.
yesterday, Dovizioso was immediately quick, initially setting the pace in qualifying and spending much of the 45-minute session within the top three. The Italian was delighted with his final lap time of 1m 55.977s and found a set-up for his RC212V which he believes will allow him to fight hard in the season opener tomorrow night.
“I'm very happy with this fourth position. We worked hard during qualifying, testing the two bikes with two different set-ups. Both solutions gave good feedback, I was confident, and the machine performance improved”, he said. “I'm happy with the rhythm we found for the race with the hard tyres, and also the lap times we achieved with the soft tyre. I'm satisfied also because I had room for even more improvement during my last lap with soft tyre - in fact I made a mistake and I spoiled the improvement I'd made in T1. I think racing suits my style and mentality better than practice so I'm looking forward to tomorrow.”
Pedrosa too put in an impressive performance today, dropping his lap time by nearly four seconds from yesterday, an improvement the 24-year-old Spaniard said he wasn't fully expecting. Though he's still far from full fitness as he recovers from injury, Pedrosa has given himself a fighting chance of taking some points when the MotoGP season kicks off at 23.00 tomorrow evening.
“Well we've made it into the race and that was the aim of coming to Qatar so I'm please with that. I didn't expect to improve my lap time by this much from yesterday so this is good progress. The leg feels a little better and I pushed harder today than yesterday, though this situation is not something that is fixed after one day”, he explained. “My lap time is not really so bad considering my condition and the time I've spent away from the track, but for sure I wanted to be faster than this and a bit further forward on the grid. Still, the race is here we'll get ready to give it the maximum effort tomorrow. Maybe I can improve my lap times by a further second or so.”