MotoGP > MotoGP 2008 Round 10: Germany GP > Qualifying
MotoGPGermanyJuly 12, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 10
Germany Grand Prix at Sachsenring

Pedrosa on Front Row and in The Hunt for Win

Race Results >>

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) worked typically hard in a tough hour of final qualifying to snatch a front row start from second on the grid behind poleman Casey Stoner (Ducati) with Yamaha rider Colin Edwards completing the front row.

Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda)


Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)


Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda)

This is Dani’s seventh front row start of the season so far and the current World Championship points leader had to work hard for it. Stoner, who has been in commanding form here, looked set to boss the hour-long session and it took Dani until the final five minutes to cement his place on the front row.

But when he did it was a convincing lap, just 0.353 seconds shy of his Australian rival’s 1m 21.067s pole time. Title rival Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) could only manage seventh on the grid for a third row start that could hamper his podium ambitions here at this narrow track.

Stoner topped the timesheets at the start of the session with a 1m 23.149s time and with the track surface at a vastly reduced temperature compared to yesterday, riders had to re-establish a rapport with grip levels at this tight and tricky 3.671km circuit.

Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V), who was second fastest yesterday, began well and lay third after ten minutes, but he gradually slipped down the order, unable to find anything more from qualifying tyres to compete at the sharp end of the grid. He ended the session with the tenth fastest time, but only 0.910s off Stoner’s pole.

Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V), who was charging hard throughout this session, was an early provisional pole-sitter in the first fifteen minutes until Edwards relieved the Frenchman of top slot with a 1m 21.794s lap. At the halfway point the front row comprised Edwards, De Puniet and De Angelis.

Specks of rain began to spatter riders with twenty minutes to go and this threat of a downpour prompted many to pit and fit qualifying tyres in case the weather worsened - it held off - but the rush for super-grippy rubber was underway.

Stoner reclaimed pole with a 1m 21.666s lap while Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V), who was riding typically hard, finally had something to show for his endeavours with a 1m 21.876s lap, good enough for provisional fourth.

With ten minutes left of the stint Stoner again shaved his lap down. This time to 1m 21.330s and Dani responded by elevating himself from seventh to second with a 1m 21.692s time knocking Rossi off the front row. The Italian former World Champion would then drop to fifth after his Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo snatched fourth.

There was more to come from Stoner though. The Aussie slashed his time again, a 1m 21.067s lap - almost a second quicker than the existing record lap. The final seconds of the session however would yield further surprises.

Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) who’d been quietly whittling away at his lap times found all he needed from qualifying rubber with seconds to spare and hustled his RCV to second on the grid, before Edwards and then Dani snatched that spot back. He ended up fourth, knocking Lorenzo back into fifth.

All six Honda riders are in the top ten here with Dani at two, Dovi fourth to head the second row, De Puniet sixth, Hayden eighth, Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) ninth and De Angelis tenth after looking like a potential front row contender yesterday.

Dani said: “Today went quite well for us, so I’m happy with my second position on the grid. Starting from the front row is especially important at this track because it’s so tight, especially the first section. All in all, it was a good session. We improved the chassis set-up so the bike is giving me a better feeling. We have met the first target of starting from the front row, so I am quite confident for tomorrow, but we still need to make some more adjustments to further improve our race pace. The forecast still says there’s a chance of rain tomorrow, so we will have to see what happens.”

Dovizioso, fourth on the grid, his best qualifying ride so far in his rookie season, said: “I’m satisfied about our progress in qualifying today. Tomorrow will be different from recent race starts, as we’re near the front and I’ll need to use this advantage to be immediately with the leaders, which is why I think we can have a very good race. Sachsenring doesn’t require incredible levels of power, but instead it’s better to ride with an engine that has a smooth power delivery and that’s just like the one we have. There are many of us that are close together on times, but I do expect a good ‘show’ tomorrow. The podium will be difficult to reach, but nothing is impossible.”

De Puniet, sixth fastest on row two, said: “I’m quite satisfied today because we improved the bike set-up, then my pace in race trim is very competitive and I also gained a good lap time on qualifiers. I shaved 0.6 seconds off my time on race tyres compared with yesterday and this is very important. We could have got on the front row but I found Nakano in front of me during my fast lap and lost three tenths; I was a bit disappointed but this is racing and everybody tries to get the maximum on soft tyres. Tomorrow’s race will be very close and I’ll have to do a very good start to stay with the first group.”

Nicky, eighth fastest, said: “This morning we made a bit of an improvement and I was able to improve my lap time even though the track wasn’t so good, so I was quite excited, I thought we had a good chance in qualifying. At the start of qualifying I was going decent on some pretty used tyres that by the end had race distance on them, so I felt pretty good. But the qualifiers didn’t go as we wanted. We had an issue with a front wheel sensor when I went out on my third qualifier, so we had to come in and change the sensor, which lost us some time and some rhythm. Basically we didn’t get it done. I feel like we’ve got a decent pace, so the race should be OK.”

Nakano in ninth said: “The third row meets our minimum expectations but ninth position is not 100% satisfactory. This morning we struggled with the lower temperatures, but in the afternoon we got our pace back together and I pushed hard on race tyres, so now I feel ready for both kinds of conditions. Obviously we still have room for improvement on the qualifying tyre because even though ninth place is not bad we are only a couple of tenths off the second row and that is my true target.”

His team-mate De Angelis, on row four, said: “Twelfth place equals my best grid position so far, which was at Mugello, but I’m not satisfied. After being so fast in the three free practice sessions I feel I deserve to be higher up the grid. Unfortunately I still don’t seem able to get the best out of the qualifying tyre and we’ll have to keep working hard together with Bridgestone over the next few races to find a solution that best suits my riding style.”

250cc

Marco Simoncelli (Gilera) was comfortably in charge of this 45-minute 250cc qualifying session securing pole with a 1m 23.399s lap with three minutes to go after topping the timesheet from the start. Julian Simon (KTM) qualified second quickest, Hector Barbera (Aprilia) third and Mika Kallio (KTM) completing the front row.

Yuki Takahashi (JiR Scot Honda RS250RW) qualified tenth, 1.25 seconds adrift of the pole time, while Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda PTT SAG RS250RW) was slowed on a fast lap when he tangled with Kallio. The Thai rider eventually qualified 17th.

Takahashi said: “My time is good but I wanted to do better and I am not satisfied. I’ll have to make a good start. We’re all very close, as the lap-times show, and I think we can do a good race. Yesterday, we worked very hard, because I wasn’t happy with the feeling of the front-end of the bike, and even if today it improved, it is not perfect. If it doesn’t rain tomorrow in the warm-up we should try to find a solution. In case of rain everything will change as the race may be run in wet conditions too.”

Wilairot said: “I’ve improved my lap times over last year by 1.5 seconds but it’s not enough because the level is so high this year. It is hard work to qualify on the first three rows. Today in qualifying I was fast running alone but when I went for my fast lap I almost collided with Mika Kallio. The bike is running very well here we changed the front-end settings last night and it was better today. I'm on the fifth row and I will need to get a very good start if I’m to take good points from this race.”

125cc

Reigning World Champion Gabor Talmacsi notched his first pole position of the season here with a lap of 1m 27.552 seconds. Bradley Smith qualified second fastest with Stefan Bradl third quickest. Fourth place on the front row goes to Simone Corsi (all Aprilia).

Louis Rossi (FFM Racing Honda RS125R) qualified 39th on his first visit to this notoriously hard-to-learn track while former Honda rider and World Championship points leader Mike Di Meglio (Derbi) qualified sixth fastest.

Rossi said: “I’m really struggling. I’ve already been here but it feels like I'd never ridden on this racetrack. I’m completely lost. I can’t lean the bike over and have it turn in to accelerate hard out of the corners. It’s a difficult moment.

Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP) Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)


Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP:

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 2nd − 1m 21.420s.
“Today went quite well for us, so I’m happy with my second position on the grid. I didn’t expect to achieve this result because we were using up the qualifying tyres in the last section of the track. Starting from the front row is especially important at this track because it’s so tight, especially the first section. All in all, it was a good session. We improved the chassis set-up so the bike is giving me a better feeling. We have met the first target of starting from the front row, so I am quite confident for tomorrow, but we still need to make some more adjustments to further improve our race pace. Once again the big question is the weather, the forecast still says there’s a chance of rain tomorrow, so we will have to see what happens.”

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 4th − 1m 21.656s.
“I can be very satisfied about our progress made in qualifying conditions today. Using a race front tyre I found a good way to better use the rear qualifying tyre and in the last run I was able to take fourth position. Tomorrow will be different from recent race starts, as we begin the race near to the front and I will need to use at the maximum this sort of advantage to be immediately with the leaders, which is why I do think we can have a very good race. Sachsenring doesn’t require incredible levels of power, but instead it’s better to ride with an engine that has a smooth power delivery and that’s just like the one we have. There are many of us that are close together on times, but I do expect a good ‘show’ tomorrow. The podium will be difficult to reach, but nothing is impossible. My pace is around 1m 22 ‘high’ and other riders able to do 1 22 ‘lows’. The more important target will be consistency, if we want to take maximum results.”

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 6th − 1m 21.821s.
“I am quite satisfied today because we improved the bike set-up, then my pace on race trim is very competitive and I also gained a good lap time on qualifiers. I shaved six tenths on race tyres compared with yesterday and this is very important. This morning the track condition was not good for the bike set-up and we decided to stay in for 30 minutes. After we had two different set-up’s to compare and we chose the best one for the afternoon session. We could get the front row but I found Nakano in front of me during my fast lap and lost three tenths; I was a bit disappointed but this is racing and everybody tries to get the maximum on soft tyres. Tomorrow’s race will be very close and I have to do a very good start to stay with the first group.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 8th − 1m 21.876s.
“This morning we made a bit of an improvement and I was able to improve my lap time even though the track wasn’t so good, so I was quite excited, I thought we had a good chance in qualifying. At the start of qualifying I was going decent on some pretty used tyres that by the end had race distance on them, so I felt pretty good. But the qualifiers didn’t go as we wanted. We had an issue with a front wheel sensor when I went out on my third qualifier, so we had to come in and change the sensor, which lost us some time and some rhythm. Basically we didn’t get it done. On qualifiers my T1 and T2 times were really good but T3 and T4 weren’t so good. It seems like maybe we were a little soft on the front suspension or we’ve improved the rear so much that maybe it’s overworking the front tyre. Looking at tomorrow, I’ve gotten some good starts this year, we’re right in the middle of the third row, so I’m sure there’s going to be plenty of drama, plenty of action. I feel like we’ve got a decent pace, so the race should be okay.”

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 9th − 1m 21.920s.
“The third row meets our minimum expectations but ninth position is not 100% satisfactory. This morning we struggled with the lower temperatures, which really changed track conditions in comparison with yesterday, when it was much warmer. In the afternoon we got our pace back together though and I pushed hard on race tyres, so now I feel ready for both kinds of conditions. Obviously we still have room for improvement on the qualifying tyre because even though ninth place is not bad we are only a couple of tenths off the second row and that is my true target.”

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 10th − 1m 21.977s.
“Twelfth place equals my best grid position so far, which was at Mugello, but I’m not satisfied. After being so fast in the three free practice sessions I feel I deserve to be higher up the grid. Unfortunately I still don’t seem able to get the best out of the qualifying tyre and we’ll have to keep working hard together with Bridgestone over the next few races to find a solution that best suits my riding style.”

250cc:

Yukio Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 10th − 1m 24.652s.
“In these two days of tests we have continually improved things, but not enough. My time is good but I wanted to do better and I am not satisfied. For the race I will have to make a good start, and do my best to get ahead in order to not to lose contact with the leaders. We are all very close, as the lap times show, and I think we can do a good race. Yesterday, we worked very hard, because the feeling with the front-end of the bike I'm not satisfied with, and even if today it is improved, it is not perfect. If it does not rain tomorrow in the warm-up we should try to find a solution to this. In case of rain everything will change as the race may be run in wet conditions too.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG: 17th − 1m 25.926s.
“I have improved my lap times over last year by 1.5 seconds but its not enough because the level is so high this year. It is hard work to qualifying on the first three rows. Today in qualifying I was fast running alone but when I went for my fast lap I almost collided with Mikka Kalio. He had shut off after a fast lap and as we turned into the next corner Mikka came across the front of me and I lost time. The bike is running very well here we changed the front end settings last night and it was better today. I’m on the fifth row and I will need to get a very good start if I am to take good points from this race. ”

125cc.

Louis Rossi, FFM Honda: 39th − 1m 31.308s.
"I’m really struggling! I’ve already been here but it feels like I’d never ridden on this racetrack. I’m completely lost. I can’t lean the bike over and have it turn in to accelerate hard out of the corners. It’s a difficult moment.”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 10
Germany Grand Prix at Sachsenring

line
MotoGP
1 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
2 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Colin EDWARDS (Tech 3 Yamaha)
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)
5 Jorge LORENZO (Fiat Yamaha Team)
6 Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)
7 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
8 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
9 Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
10 Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
11 James TOSELAND (Tech 3 Yamaha)
12 Toni ELIAS (Alice Team)
13 Loris CAPIROSSI (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
14 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
15 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Alice Team)
16 Marco MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
17 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)
 
250cc
1 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
2 Julian SIMON (Repsol KTM 250cc)
3 Hector BARBERA (Team Toth Aprilia)
4 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
5 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Mapfre Aspar Team)
6 Alex DEBON (Lotus Aprilia)
7 Fabrizio LAI (Campetella Racing)
8 Roberto LOCATELLI (Metis Gilera)
9 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
10 Yuki TAKAHASHI (JiR Team Scot 250)
17 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT SAG)
 
125cc
1 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar Team)
2 Bradley SMITH (Polaris World)
3 Stefan BRADL (Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racingi)
4 Simone CORSI (Jack & Jones WRB)
5 Joan OLIVE (Belson Derbi)
6 Mike DI MEGLIO (Ajo Motorsport)
7 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (ISPA KTM Aran)
8 Raffaele DE ROSA (Onde 2000 KTM)
9 Sandro CORTESE (Emmi - Caffe Latte)
10 Esteve RABAT (Repsol KTM 125cc)
 
   

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