MotoGP > MotoGP 2008 Round 04: China GP > Qualifying
MotoGPChinaMay 3, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 04
China Grand Prix at Shanghai

Pedrosa Digs Deep To Qualify On Second Row

Race Results >>

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) was the best Honda qualifier here at Shanghai in what proved to be a troublesome session for the Honda runners. Colin Edwards took pole with Valentino Rossi second fastest (both Yamaha) and Casey Stoner (Ducati) completing the front row.



Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)


Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)

Dani managed the fifth quickest time fractionally behind Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) in fourth. He will be encouraged by his consistency on race rubber although he didn’t manage to work his qualifying tyres to maximum advantage.

Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) fell just four minutes into this hour-long final session and the Italian premier class rookie never got up among the pace-setters after this unscheduled incident.

Stoner made the early running with a 2m 01.215s time before an in-form Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) relieved the reigning World Champion of pole posting a 2m 00.577s lap. But Stoner then responded with a 2m 00.389s time before Dani slotted in a 2m 00.389s effort quickly followed by a 2m 00.163s lap.

Rossi showed his intent with 43 minutes to go running a 1m 59.876s lap to take pole with Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) in the frame as fourth fastest man and Nakano in the hunt holding seventh spot as the halfway mark approached.

With thirty minutes left on the clock the order was Rossi, Stoner, Hayden, with Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) heading the second row closely followed by Toni Elias and Marco Melandri (both Ducati). Dani then cut a 1m 59.693s time to head the standings as the pace hotted up.

Dani had a huge moment as he worked on shaving vital tenths off his time, the Spaniard was launched out of the seat of his RC212V as he put the power down in a bid to get the edge over determined rivals.

With 21 minutes to go Rossi went pole at 1m 59.362s before Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) and then Nicky Hayden bettered it. Seconds later Edwards sped to a 1m 59.088s time and Nicky fell on the entry to the back straight as he hustled his machine out of the tight turn leading onto it.

The Kentucky Kid was forced to run back to the pits when he couldn’t bump start his largely undamaged RC212V. Lorenzo too nearly crashed again after a massive high-side yesterday. The Yamaha man was riding with broken bones in both feet and another ‘off’ might have put his participation in tomorrow’s 21-lap race in severe doubt.

Nakano fell with ten minutes to go and although he managed to get going again, the best he could manage at the end was 13th place for a fifth row start. Dovi meanwhile was languishing in 14th spot as Stoner again upped the pace with a 1m 58.591s time to retake pole and put the pressure on the rest of the field.

The order with five minutes left on the clock was Stoner, Rossi, Lorenzo, Pedrosa then Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V) with Nicky holding seventh. Rossi then slotted in a 1m 58.552s lap to go pole and with just two minutes remaining it looked as if the former champ might have secured the top spot.

But Edwards had other ideas and the Texan grabbed the third pole of his MotoGP career with a 1m 58.139s time although Rossi came closest to it when he carved 1m 58.494 around the 5.281km track to secure second place. But with rain forecast for tomorrow’s race riders are only too aware that two days of dry set-up work may prove of limited worth if the conditions change.

Dani said of his fifth place on the grid, only 0.716 seconds off the pole time: “We improved from the morning to the afternoon session and were lapping at a good pace on race tyres but unfortunately we couldn’t improve as much as we usually do with qualifying tyres, it seemed like we lacked a bit of grip. I don’t know why, but a lot of riders crashed during this afternoon’s qualifying session. All things considered, starting from the second row is not so bad. If it’s dry we will have to improve a little bit more. But I hope we will be able to have a dry race because according to the latest weather forecasts it may rain tomorrow. In that case we will only have 20 minutes to prepare the settings for the wet.”

De Puniet made it to ninth, 1.218 seconds off pole. He said: “After yesterday's technical problems which prevented me going faster, we finally found a good pace especially on race tyres. The situation improved a lot and now I can ride with more confidence. We fixed some things before this morning’s free session such as engine mapping to control the braking stability, power delivery to make the bike smoother, the chassis geometry and the suspension setting. I had a small crash on the last lap on qualifying tyres but the most important thing is my pace on race tyres. At the end I was able to lap consistently fast even though we still have some things to adjust in tomorrow’s warm up session.”

Nicky, tenth on the grid, said: “Qualifying didn’t go to plan, really. It was OK early on, we were quite up front on race tyres. With my first qualifier I went to first place for a moment, then with my second qualifier I had the front push in turn 11 and down I went. I had a pretty good lap going but just didn’t get it down. The track is so long and so big it took me forever to get back to the pits, a little bit walking, a little bit scooter. Then I just got out on the other bike and did one run and didn’t get the chance to improve my time. I’m going to need an awesome start, try to pick a few guys off and move forward.”

Dovi, 11th at the end of the session, said: “I have to work hard tomorrow, but I think my race pace has potential. There are lots of riders who I feel are on similar lap times, so there’s a group of us who can put on a good show. The crash at the start of the session didn’t hurt me at all as it was very low speed. We were at a high angle of lean and the front-end of the bike simply washed away. The start will be very important and my key target is a good rhythm in the race and then to use to the maximum the good job the team has done on race set-up over the last two days.”

Nakano qualified 13th and said: “I’m disappointed with qualifying today because in free practice I was fast and consistent. Unfortunately I crashed on a lap that could have potentially given us a better grid position – I got back on track with the second bike but I didn’t have the same feeling and couldn’t improve my best time. It’s hard to start from the fifth row but my pace isn’t bad so I’m confident. Now my thoughts are on tomorrow’s race – I have to focus on getting a good start in order to stay with the fast group.”

Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) finished the session 16th, 2.177 seconds off the pole time, and said: “Unfortunately we know we still haven’t reached anywhere near our optimum potential on qualifying tyres. At the moment we haven’t got a good feeling with the new qualifiers that Bridgestone brought here to Shanghai – the chattering is similar to before so that’s why I’m starting so far back. It won’t be an easy race because when you start from so far back it is always tricky to make up positions. In any case I will give my best – a little rain might help us out.”

250cc

Pole belonged to Alvaro Bautista here with Hector Barbera(both Aprilia) second quickest, Mika Kallio (KTM) qualified third with Julian Simon (Aprilia) completing the front row. Yuki Takahashi (JiR Scot Honda RS250RW) fell with 25 minutes left of the 45-minute final stint and had to be satisfied with 10th on the grid.

Takahashi, said: “The crash hurt my lower right leg, in the shin and calf area. I’m hoping that by tomorrow the pain will not have increased, but decreased. I still think I can race with the top group tomorrow because the technical condition of my Honda is very good and when I was riding with the other guys I could see that we are competitive. Shanghai is not my favourite circuit, but I feel better at the track than before, so tomorrow I need a good start.”

Ratthapark Wilairot (Stop And Go Racing RS250RW) qualified 18th and said: “Everything went OK in the morning’s free practice, but I got confused in the final part, and I made a pit stop three minutes from the end, so I couldn’t make the most of the last laps. In the afternoon I improved my best time by 0.7 seconds in just four laps, but I couldn’t progress more, and I lost two positions at the end. I hope to make a good start tomorrow, and join at least the second group.”

125cc

Bradley Smith took pole in this class with a 2m 12.364s lap ahead of Nico Terol, Mike Di Meglio and Gabor Talmacsi (all Aprilia). Louis Rossi (FFM Racing Honda RS125R), recovering from a broken ankle managed 34th on the grid, 6.076 seconds off the pole time.

Rossi said: “It’s my first time on this racetrack – quite a complicated one with long straights and endless bends. I’m not suffering too much from my fractured tibia I got during the qualifying in Portugal. I’m not in too much pain, and anyway I must forget about the pain, since riding while injured is part of my job. I’m hanging on and I continue working hard with the team behind me.”

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)


Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)

MotoGP:

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 5th.
“We improved from the morning to the afternoon session. We were lapping at a good pace on race tyres but unfortunately we couldn't improve as much as we usually do with qualifying tyres, it seemed like we lacked a bit of grip. I don't know why, but a lot of riders crashed during this afternoon's qualifying session. All things considered, starting from the second row tomorrow is not so bad. If it's dry we will have to improve a little bit more our rhythm but I hope we will be able to have a dry race because according to the latest weather forecasts it may rain tomorrow. In that case we will only have 20 minutes to prepare the setting for the wet.”

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 9th.
“After yesterday's technical problems which prevented me to go faster, we finally found our good pace especially on race tyres. The situation improved a lot and now I can ride with more confidence. We fixed some things before this morning free session such as engine mapping to control the braking stability, power delivery to make the bike smoother, the chassis geometry and the suspension setting. I suffered a small crash in the last lap on q-tyres but the most important thing is my pace on race tyres. At the end I was able to lap consistently fast even though we still have some things to adjust in tomorrow's warm up session. We need to fix the front feeling in two corners but I feel very satisfied about the job we made and thank all my Team for their efforts.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 10th.
“Qualifying didn't go to plan, really. It was okay in the beginning, we were quite up front on race tyres. With my first qualifier I went to first place for a second, then with my second qualifier I just had an easy front push in turn 11 and down I went. I had a pretty good lap going but just didn't get it down. The track is so long and so big it took me forever to get back to the pits, a little bit walking, a little bit scooter.
Then I just got out on the other bike and did one run and didn't get the chance to improve my time. It was a pity because things were looking quite good on race tyres - this morning I did over race distance and was quite happy. This afternoon the track felt a bit greasy, there were a lot of guys crashing. I've put myself in a nice hole starting tenth, I haven't qualified off the front two rows in the dry since Barcelona last year. I'm going to need an awesome start, try to pick a few guys off and move forward.”

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 11th.
“I do have to work hard tomorrow, but I think that my pace in the race has very high potential. There are lots of riders who I feel are on similar lap times, so there’s a group of us who can put on a good show. The crash at the start of the session didn’t hurt me at all as it was very low speed. We were at a high angle of lean and the front-end of the bike simply washed away. The only thing that the crash affected was a loss of time – which was important to us. The grip of the Tarmac is quite high and this makes the lap-times higher with racing tyres. On the other hand my pace is pretty consistent, which is positive. The start will be very important I’m in an area of the grid, which isn’t the best, but also the first corner isn’t one where you can brake late and take many positions: instead it’s a long corner so it’s difficult to do that. This is why my key target is a good rhythm in the race and to use to the maximum the good job the team has done on race set up over the last two days. We all realise that we have to do better in qualifying in the future.”

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Honda Gresini : 13th.
“I’m disappointed with qualifying today because in free practice I was fast and consistent. Unfortunately I crashed on a lap that could have potentially given us a better grid position but I got back on track with the second bike but I didn’t have the same feeling and couldn’t improve my best time. It is hard to start from the fifth row but my pace isn’t bad so I’m confident. Now my thoughts are on tomorrow’s race I have to focus on getting a good start in order to stay with the fast group.”

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Honda Gresini : 16th.
“Unfortunately we know that we still haven’t reached anywhere near our optimum potential on qualifying tyres. At the moment we haven’t got a good feeling with the new qualifiers that Bridgestone brought here to Shanghai . the chattering is similar to before so that’s why I’m starting so far back. It won’t be an easy race because when you start from so far back it is always tricky to make up positions. In any case I will give my best a little rain might help us out.”

250cc:

Yuki Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 10th.
“I’m sad because of my fall as at the time I was riding with my best tyre for qualifying but I’m satisfied about practice as a whole, because for the race I feel ready and want to get a good result. The crash has hurt my lower right leg, in the shin and calf area. I am hoping that by tomorrow the pain will not have increased, but decreased! I still think I can race with the top group tomorrow because the technical condition of my Honda is very good and when I was riding with the other guys I could see that we are competitive. Shanghai is not my favourite circuit, but I feel better at the track than before so tomorrow I have to do a good start to get the best final result as possible so I can move up in the championship table. The team as usual has worked very hard for me today.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG: 18th.
“Everything went OK in the morning’s free practice, but I got confused in the final part, and I made a pit stop at three minutes to the end, so I couldn’t seize the last laps. In the afternoon, I started very well the official turn, so I improved in 0.7 seconds my best time in just four laps, but I couldn’t progress more then, and I’ve lost two positions in the grid at the end. I hope to make a good start tomorrow, and join at least the second group.”

125cc.

Louis Rossi, FFM Honda: 34th.
“It is the first time I am riding on this racetrack, quite a complicated one with its long straights and endless bends. I don¹t suffer much from my fractured tibia I got during the qualifying sessions for the previous Grand Prix in Portugal. I am not in too much pain, and anyway I must forget about the pain, since riding whilst injured is part of my job as a rider. My main problem is a lack of confidence which in turn causes small problems to accumulate. But I am hanging on and continue working hard with the team behind me.”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 04
China Grand Prix at Shanghai

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

< MotoGP
Related Links

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


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.