After a complicated weekend in Qatar, the Repsol Honda Team rider, Dani Pedrosa, is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, although he is aware that there is still a lot of work to do. Pedrosa, who finished the Qatar Grand Prix back in seventh place, gradually improved, step-by-step, throughout the hour long free practice session, finishing in a promising fourth place, 4-tenths off the best time clocked up the Australian Casey Stoner.
Despite this improvement, the setup of Pedrosa’s factory machine is still far from optimum and the Spanish rider continues to work hard along with his technical team to progress with the adjustments that will allow him to get the most out of the potential of his Honda RC212V. To do this, Honda has prepared a new chassis with which to try to improve the stability of the machine, although it is still early, after just one test session, to make any evaluations.
On the other side of the Repsol Honda Team garage, Andrea Dovizioso, third in the Qatar Grand Prix, has not started the first free practice session as well as his team-mate.
The Repsol rider had quite a few problems entering the turns due to the difficulties he is having making his machine turn correctly when releasing the brakes.
However, with all the pre-season tests and the data collected from today’s work, Dovizioso is confident that he can turn the situation around and recover the feelings that led him to be among the fastest in his class at the start of the world championship in Qatar.
Dani Pedrosa (1’40.200, 25 laps, 111 km) says: "Well, it feels great to be riding at Jerez and in front of the Spanish fans and already we can begin to feel the special atmosphere that builds up here. We tried a new chassis today and there is an improvement in some areas which meant we could finish the session not too far from the front. There seemed to be a lack of grip today though and we need to look at the data and work out if the problem is our set-up or just the condition of the track. We haven’t found all the solutions we’re looking for with the new parts on the bike, so we need to work hard in tomorrow’s two sessions and try to qualify well. Every race is important of course, but because this is my home race I really want to do well on Sunday."
Andrea Dovizioso (1’41.277, 23 laps, 102 km) says: "I knew that the characteristics of this track could have increased some of our issues and that’s what happened today. Compared to Sepang and Qatar, Jerez is a slow track and it requires strong braking performance and strong acceleration. We knew that I might struggle a little here but today the practices didn’t go as we expected. From the beginning I it was quite hard to find a good feeling and I struggled to improve my lap times through the session. At the moment there’s a fair gap to the first riders and we need to find some improvements in a few areas. We have already had a meeting with the technicians to analyse the data and decide on a plan for the rest of the weekend so I’m confident about making improvements tomorrow."