Casey In The Middle Of A Repsol Honda 1-2-3 On Sepang Grid
Dani Pedrosa was the main protagonist of the second consecutive day of practice at the Sepang circuit after dominating the last free practice session that took place this morning and achieve the pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix in the qualifying. The Repsol rider will start from the first position of the grid in a first row monopolized by the Repsol Honda Team riders, where Casey Stoner will be in second place and Andrea Dovizioso third.
After the good start he had yesterday, Pedrosa kept setting the pace in this second-to-last round of the World Championship. In the third free session, the Repsol rider was the only one able to lap under two minutes and two seconds, two tenths ahead of Marco Simoncelli, who was second. Behind the Italian, Andrea Dovizioso, signed the third fastest time and Casey Stoner was fourth.
In the timed session, a crash suffered by Dani Pedrosa in the first minutes of the practice seemed that it might stop the Repsol rider, who saw how the front-end of his bike blocked in the last corner of the circuit, a long left-hand corner before reaching the main straight. In that moment Andrea Dovizioso was leading the times sheets, but by mid session Pedrosa had returned to the track with his second bike and, after improving his times steadily, took the lead of the classification.
In the following lap, the Spaniard broke again the two minutes and two seconds barrier, although fifteen minutes before the end he saw Dovizioso trying to fight for the fastest time with him. Only a few laps later, Stoner joined the battle for the pole position, showing the great level of the Repsol Honda Team riders in Sepang.
The World Champion took the first place, but five minutes from the end, Pedrosa improved his register by another three tenths and stopped the clock in a definitive 2 minutes, 1 second and 462 thousandths, that gave him his second pole position of the season. In the last two minutes, Stoner was able to lap in the same times as Pedrosa, with almost identical register, but finished 29 thousandths behind his team mate, a time that will allow him to start in front of Andrea Dovizioso, who tomorrow will complete the last row.
FP3 – 2:02.169, 14 laps, 78 km.
QP – 2:01.491, 20 laps, 111 km.
“I tried to steal pole but it wasn’t really our day today. We tried a few different things in set up but we haven’t really gone the right direction at all this weekend.
In qualifying we tried to find another path to go but we just haven’t been able to get grip along with turning, we can find one or the other but at best they are both average so we have some improvement to make for tomorrow.
Our race pace isn’t too bad, we’ve looked worse than everyone else because we’ve been running on the harder tyre all weekend but once we put the soft tyres on the bike worked a little better”.
Source: Repsol Media