Casey & Dani Line Up 1st & 2nd On Jerez Grid

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The starting grid for the second race of the season, the Spanish Grand Prix, is decided and it repeats the pattern already seen two weeks ago in Qatar. Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa dominated again the qualifying session of the World Championship’s premiere class and will start tomorrow from the first and second places, respectively. Andrea Dovizioso will be in sixth position.

In the qualifying session, Jorge Lorenzo was the first to take the lead, followed by Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner. Positions were nearly fixed for the main part of the session but, 15 minutes before the end, when all riders had already mounted the soft tyres, the situation kept changing with each lap.

Pedrosa attacked first and ended 19 thousandths in front of his fellow countryman, but his team mate at the Repsol Honda Team, Casey Stoner, reduced the fastest time by nearly 3 tenths. The Australian set a register of 1 minute, 38 seconds and 757 thousandths, a time he reduced himself in 63 thousandths more and nobody else was able to improve.

Five minutes before the end of the session, Lorenzo snatched the second place from Pedrosa, who was then 81 thousandths behind the rider from Mallorca. Determined to scratch some tenths to get the second place, the Spaniard of the Repsol Honda Team pushed to the max in his second to last lap and was finally able to set the second fastest time, 158 thousandths behind Stoner. The leader of the classification had a scare in his last lap, when he failed to take a corner at the end of the straight.

Andrea Dovizioso was able to improve progressively and will start from the second row. After 50 laps in the Spanish track, the Repsol rider improved his feelings on the bike from the three free practice sessions -two on Friday and one today in the morning. The Italian was able to overcome yesterday’s crash and a momentary loss of confidence in the rear to recover the lost ground in the qualifying session and secure a position in the second row of the starting grid.

Casey’s View…

“The Qualifying result was good but as for using the rest of the session and setting the bike up, we weren’t totally happy with what we achieved and lost some time. We’re struggling a little to get the balance of the bike where I want it, we make some improvements in the front and then some in the rear but never at the same time which is a little frustrating. On my last run of the session I was pushing a little too hard and was a bit late with the brakes, the rear came up and I released the brakes but I had way too much speed going in there, it was nice just to avoid the air fence.
Anyway we’re happy, we’re on pole position again but we still need to finish the race tomorrow and I will fight for a podium position and hopefully the race victory, but I never underestimate the Spanish riders, they find something extra for this race and they are very hard to beat”.