Sachsenring : Repsol Honda - Day One
The first practice sessions for the German Grand Prix took place at the Sachsenring circuit today with both Repsol Honda riders spending significant time at the top of the timesheets.
Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa each recorded times
inside the current lap record at the 3.671km (2.280 miles) track, finishing in fourth and second places respectively and setting themselves up for another strong performance this weekend.
Hayden was fast in both sessions, quickly adapting his evolution Honda RC211V to the demands of this undulating and twisty circuit, located near Dresden in the east of Germany.
Leading the championship by 26 points coming into round 10 of the MotoGP world championship, it was important for Hayden to make a strong start here, and the 24-year- old star did just that. He finished the morning session in second place, just 0.019s behind the fastest time, and topped the timesheets for most of the afternoon session before being bumped back into fourth right at the close.
Pedrosa picked up where he left off after his stunning victory in the previous race at Donington Park last weekend. Having spent the morning session adapting to riding a MotoGP bike at this circuit for the first time, the Spanish rookie upped the pace in the afternoon. Holding top spot towards the end of the session it looked like the 20-year- old would finish the day fastest, until he was pipped by Marco Melandri's Honda in the dying minutes. Loris Capirossi on the Ducati set the third fastest time, a mere 0.035s ahead of Hayden.
Tomorrow there will be another practice session in the morning before the one-hour qualifying shoot-out at 2pm.
Sunday's 30-lap race will get under way at the unusually early time of 12.30pm CET.
Nicky Hayden (4th – 1m 23.525s)
"We came out pretty strong today – definitely stronger that we've been on Friday in a lot of races this year – and that's important. We've still got to find some time and it's difficult to do here because a couple of tenths is a lot on a short lap like this. But I feel like we've got ourselves in a good position at the start of the weekend. We have to improve in some areas but right now I'm confident that we can step up overnight. This is one of the most important tracks on the calendar in terms of qualifying, so tomorrow it's going to be really important to get a good, clean, fast lap. And because the track's so tight, getting a good start on Sunday's going to be really important too."
Dani Pedrosa (2nd – 1m 23.486s)
"In the morning session I spent the time warming up at this track because I haven't ridden a MotoGP bike here before. It was cloudy and a bit wet at the start so we only really got half a session, still we made progress and it went ok. Then in the afternoon I tried to improve myself and we also worked on the basic suspension set-up, chassis and tested some Michelin tyres. I had some quite big shakes on the bike but it wasn't a big deal and I think this kind of thing is normal for a MotoGP bike. My finishing position is quite good but there's still a long way to go and tomorrow's qualifying session is critical."
Makoto Tanaka - Team Manager
"Both Repsol Honda riders made good progress with set-up, even though they just missed out on the top of the timesheets. Nicky was fast and consistent right from the start of the day and was setting quick times as soon as he went out on the track. At the end of the session he wanted to go even faster, but it's clear what we have to work on tomorrow so he's in a positive situation. Dani maintained the momentum from Donington and progressed in his usual step-by-step fashion. He was fast and consistent too. We're expecting better weather tomorrow so the times will improve further. Things are going to plan and I think it should be an enjoyable qualifying session for Honda."