MotoGP > MotoGP 2008 Round 03: Portugal GP > Qualifying
MotoGPPortugalApril 12, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 03
Portugal Grand Prix at Estoril Qualifying

Pedrosa Powers to Another Front Row Start

Race Results >>

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) once again proved his mettle with a second consecutive front row start here at Estoril. His rival Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo took pole while Valentino Rossi (both Yamaha) qualified third to complete the front row.



Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)


Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)

The early stage pace-setter was Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V) who launched into a 1m 37.540s lap with Dani Pedrosa holding a provisional second fastest time with Yamaha riders Colin Edwards and James Toseland the next quickest men on the track.

De Puniet had more to give and with 40 minutes left on the clock the Frenchman shaved his time down to 1m 37.358s with Valentino Rossi now hauling himself up the lap ladder to second fastest while Jorge Lorenzo began his march to get into the frame for the top places.

At the halfway point Lorenzo took the top spot with de Puniet and Pedrosa in close pursuit. But Toseland showed the way as the session timed down to take the number one position with 23-minutes left on the clock.

Colin Edwards (Yamaha) then cut a 1m 36.678s lap to make the running as Honda man Pedrosa kept in contention as the second fastest rider out on track. But Lorenzo was ready to take the fight to all-comers and notched a 1m 36.273s time to hold pole again.

Then with ten minutes left to run of this one-hour stint for the front of the grid Lorenzo bettered his own time with 1m 36.127s effort that showed he had more than the measure of this demanding 4.182km circuit.

The big push then began with qualifying rubber fitted and riders gunning for the front row as the clock ticked down with six minutes remaining.
Reigning World Champion Casey Stoner (Ducati) showed strongly before Lorenzo fired in a pulsating lap of 1m 35.715s to blow the rest of the field apart and clinch his third consecutive pole of the season.

Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) diligently worked through his routine to climb to fourth as the stint ended while Dani finished this final session just 0.233 seconds adrift of Lorenzo’s time. Stoner ended up ninth.

Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) continued his rapid mastery of the potent RC212V with a seventh spot on the grid while de Puniet managed eighth for a third row start in tomorrow’s third Grand Prix of this 18-race season.

Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) will launch from the fourth row of the grid as 11th fastest qualifier while his team-mate Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) qualified in 16th position.

Dani Pedrosa, second fastest man out there, said: “Our target was always to start from the front row and we achieved it. Our race pace was good today, but we still want to try and improve the bike a little bit more, working on the chassis settings. Also, we haven’t chosen which tyres we will use tomorrow because the weather conditions are so changeable here, so we will have wait a bit more. The big question is what the weather will do tomorrow afternoon. I’m looking forward to the race. I expect it to be very close at the front tomorrow because there’s a lot of riders going fast here, for sure it’s going to be tough.”

Nicky Hayden, fourth fastest man on track, said: “We’re right there, but just missing that last little bit. Everything went relatively smooth today, though I definitely thought we were capable of being on the front row bike, tyres, even the rider but we just didn’t get it done. Race pace I don’t think we’re a long way off but definitely we could do with a bit more. The Michelin tyres are working well, the bike’s good, we just need to get it better in the slow changes of direction. My ideal time had me third. On one of my fast laps I had to follow Toseland, when he wasn’t on a fast lap, through turn five and into six, which kinda ruined that lap. At the time I was pretty fired up about it. He was man enough to come and apologise, but at the time I didn’t want to hear sorry.”

Dovizioso, seventh fastest, but 1.283 seconds off pole, said: “Compared to yesterday in both the morning and afternoon sessions we improved the pace for the race and this is positive. The confidence I have at this track and the familiarity with the layout helps me in any case better understand my RC212V. Of course this bike demands a totally different riding style compared to a 250. I worked with the team to produce some good results today with the electronic management system so that will help us to be competitive. We have a good handling package in the lower part of the track, but you have to have a much more delicate approach to it, thanks to the high-power output of my Honda bike. We may make some final changes to the setting in warm-up tomorrow and then we will be ready for the race.”

Randy de Puniet, who starts from eighth, said: “It’s been pretty hard today because this morning I crashed and the guys had to work hard to prepare the bike for this afternoon’s session. I want to thank them for their great job. My feeling on race tyres in the morning free session was OK both on the front and the rear and I was confident to improve my pace in the qualifying session. We had a minor technical issue and I was not able to get the same rhythm after that. I spent more track time to fix the problem but I’m not very satisfied. Anyway we will make some adjustments in tomorrow’s warm up session and we will see how the bike reacts.”

Shinya Nakano qualified 11th and said:“Yesterday was good even in the wet and changing conditions.
Today was not so good I am having a lot of problems with traction and getting the bike to turn. We have tried many things today with chassis and suspension but we are still not 100%.
We have a few little adjustments to try in the warm up but the biggest problem is the temperature we need higher track temperatures to get the tyres to work. But my confidence grows with this bike at every race.”

Alex De Angelis, 16th fastest, said:“I felt a lot better today after I had treatment at the Clinica Mobile. My temperature was down to 38 degrees and I could breath more easily, that makes riding much more comfortable. Feeling the way I did yesterday it was not easy and I was very slow. Today I had a lot of problems with rear-end grip -- every time I got on the gas the rear end slid around quite badly and I couldn’t get good drive off the corners. Down the front straight I’m second slowest. Under heavy braking the bike is very stable and I can enter the corners fast enough. Tomorrow I will have an IV drip at the Clinica and I’m sure I’ll be OK.”

250cc

This three-quarter hour stint for the final grid positions belonged squarely to Marco Simoncelli who began the session as the quickest man and ably carved his time down from an opening 1m 41.427s to a 1m 40.257s to head the grid.

The front row comprises Simoncelli with Alvaro Bautista and Mattia Pasini (all Aprilia) second and third fastest and KTM teamster Mika Kallio completing the front row. The determined Yuki Takahashi (JiR Scot Honda RS250RW) heads row two as fifth fastest qualifier, just over eight tenths of a second off the pole time.

Takahashi said: “Yesterday I had a crash when the front-end turned in on me. I was lucky and did not hurt myself and the bike was not badly damaged. This morning I was only 18th in practice but my mechanics did a very good job for me and we finally found a very good setting that allowed me to qualifying on the second row. The riders ahead of me are all very fast and a good start is crucial tomorrow. If I get a good one I can run with them. My target is the podium.”

Ratthapark Wilairot (Stop And Go Racing RS250RW) qualified 17th and said: “I crashed in the morning session in the last minute. The front-end went away at the second chicane and I was down.
We had the same problem in the qualifying session. The engine is good and I’m happy with that but the suspension and chassis we have to work on tonight ready for the warm-up.”

125cc

Louis Rossi (FFM Racing Honda RS125R) broke his right foot in a crash and will not race tomorrow.
He said: “I crashed at the last corner on a patch of water and broke a bone in my right foot. I broke my right leg in a race at Mugello last year and I had a pin inserted and I was worried about damaging that but its OK. It's a pity because I have learned a lot about preparing myself for GP racing.”



Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)


Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)

MotoGP:

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd.
“Our target was always to start from the front row and we achieved it. We are happy with today’s qualifying result, especially because it’s very important to start from the front row at this track and because qualifying isn’t our strong point at the moment. Our race pace was good today, but we still want to try and improve the bike a little bit more, working on the chassis settings. Also, we haven’t chosen which tyres we will use tomorrow because the weather conditions are so changeable here, so we will have wait a bit more. The big question is what the weather will do tomorrow afternoon. I’m looking forward to the race. It will be very important to make a good start, then we will see what we can do from there. I expect it to be very close at the front tomorrow because there’s a lot of riders going fast here, for sure it’s going to be tough.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 4th.
“We’re right there, but just missing that last little bit. Everything went relatively smooth today, though I definitely thought we were capable of being on the front row bike, tyres, even the rider but we just didn’t get it done. Race pace I don’t think we’re a long way off but definitely we could do with a bit more. The Michelin tyres are working good, the bike’s good, we just need to get it better in the slow changes of direction. My ideal time had me third. On one of my fast laps I had to follow Toseland, when he wasn’t on a fast lap, through turn five and into six, which kinda ruined that lap. At the time I was pretty fired up about it. He was man enough to come and apologise, but at the time I didn’t want to hear sorry. It happens though, I’m sure I’ve got in somebody’s way, and I can get over it, it’s no big thing. It should be a good race, so long as no one’s sandbagging too much this week. Be nice to be on the podium, see what the weather does and see if we can get it done.”

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 7th.
“Compared to yesterday in both the morning and afternoon sessions we improved the pace for the race and this is positive. Our pace is consistent but we need to do better and this is something that we will do! I know there is a gap up to the riders ahead, but we will make up this ground and tomorrow in the race as usual I will give my maximum. My goal was the second row and that’s why I’m not so happy about today’s result, so we have to work harder in qualifying. The confidence I have at this track and the familiarity with the layout helps me in any case better understand my RC212V. Of course this bike demands a totally different riding style compared to a 250. I worked with the team to produce some good results today with the electronic management system so that will help us to be competitive. We have a good handling package in the lower part of the track, but you have to have a much more delicate approach to it, thanks to the high-power output of my Honda bike. We may make some final changes to the setting in warm-up tomorrow and then we will be ready for the race.”

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 8th.
“It’s been pretty hard today because this morning I crashed and the guys had to work strongly to prepare the bike for this afternoon session. I want to thank them for their great job. By the way my feeling on race tyres in the morning free session was ok both on the front and the rear and I was confident to improve my pace in the qualifying session. We had a minor technical issue and I was not able to get the same rhythm because the bike was spinning to much. I spent more track time to fix the problem but the I am not very satisfied. Anyway we will make some adjustments in tomorrow’s warm up session and we will see how the bike will react.”

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 11th.
“Yesterday was good even in the wet and changing conditions. Today was not so good I am having a lot of problems with traction and getting the bike to turn. We have tried many things today with chassis and suspension but we are still not 100%. We have a few little adjustments to try in the warm up but the biggest problem is the temperature we need higher track temperatures to get the tyres to work. But I my confidence grows with this bike at every race.”

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 16th.
“I felt a lot better today my temperature was down to 38 degrees and I could breath more easily, that makes riding much more comfortable after I had treatment at the Clinica Mobile. Feeling the way I did yesterday it was not easy and I was very slow. Today I had a lot of problems with rear end grip every time I got on the gas the rear end slides around quite badly and I cannot get good drive off the corners. Down the front straight I am second slowest. Under heavy braking the bike is very stable and I can enter the corners fast enough. Tomorrow I will have a IV drip at the Clinica and I’m sure I will be OK.”

250cc:

Yukio Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 5th.
“Yesterday I had a crash when the front end turned in on me. I was lucky and did not hurt myself and the bike was not badly damaged. This morning I was only 18th in practice but my mechanics did a very good job for me and we finally found a very good setting that allowed me to qualifying on the second row. The riders ahead of me are all very fast and a good start is crucial tomorrow. If I get a good one I can run with them. My target is the podium.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG: 17th.
“I crashed in the morning session in the last minute. The front end went away at the second chicane and I was down. We had the same problem in the qualifying session. The engine is good and I’m happy with that but the suspension and chassis we have to work on tonight ready for the warm up.”

125cc.

Cyrill Carrillo, FFM Honda: 34th.
“I am taking part in the French Championship as part of the Challenge de l’Avenir organised by the French Motorcycle Federation and the gap with Grand Prix racing is very wide. One has to work and apply oneself continuously. Of course I am not satisfied with my position on the grid, but looking only at the time clocked it is not bad since I achieved my best time riding on my own and not benefiting from the other riders slipstream.”

Louis Rossi, FFM Honda: Broke bones in his right foot and will not race.
“I crashed at the last corner on a patch of water and broke a bone in my right foot. I broke my right leg in a race at Mugello last year and I had a pin inserted and I was worried about damaging that but its OK. It’s a pity because I have learned a lot about preparing myself for GP racing. I will go to my Doctor in Paris on Monday and hope I can ride at Shanghai if not I come back at Le Mans.”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 03
Portugal Grand Prix at Estoril

line
MotoGP
1 Jorge LORENZO (Fiat Yamaha Team)
2 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
4 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
5 Colin EDWARDS (Tech 3 Yamaha)
6 James TOSELAND (Tech 3 Yamaha)
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)
8 Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)
9 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
10 John HOPKINS (Kawasaki Racing Team)
11 Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
12 Loris CAPIROSSI (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
13 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
14 Toni ELIAS (Alice Team)
15 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)
16 Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
17 Marco MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
18 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Alice Team)
 
250cc
1 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
2 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Mapfre Aspar Team)
3 Mattia PASINI (Polaris World)
4 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
5 Yuki TAKAHASHI (JiR Team Scot 250)
6 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
7 Alex DEBON (Lotus Aprilia)
8 Thomas LUTHI (Emmi - Caffe Latte )
9 Hector BARBERA (Team Toth Aprilia)
10 Hector FAUBEL (Mapfre Aspar Team)
17 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT SAG)
 
125cc
1 Simone CORSI (Jack & Jones WRB)
2 Stevie BONSEY (Degraaf Grand Prix)
3 Nicolas TEROL (Jack & Jones WRB)
4 Danny WEBB (Degraaf Grand Prix)
5 Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar Team)
6 Joan OLIVE (Belson Derbi)
7 Stefan BRADL (Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racing)
8 Mike DI MEGLIO (Ajo Motorsport)
9 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar Team)
10 Scott REDDING (Blusens Aprilia Junior)
 

< MotoGP
Related Links

· Honda Worldwide | MotoGP - FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
· Portugal


Page Top

Honda Worldwide site

Home | Site Map | Site Index | About this Site

Copyright, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.