MotoGP > MotoGP 2008 Round 13: San Marino GP > Qualifying
WGPSan MarinoAugust 30, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 13
San Marino Grand Prix at Misano Qualifying

De Puniet Pips Pedrosa, Both Start From Row Two

Race Results >>

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) was edged onto row two here today as Casey Stoner (Ducati) notched his seventh pole in a row ahead of Valentino Rossi, second fastest qualifier, and Jorge Lorenzo (both Yamaha) third quickest.

Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP) Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)


Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)


Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

Stoner began the hour-long final qualifying session on top with a time of 1m 34.763s and finished the stint with a best time of 1m 33.378s - just over half a second quicker than Rossi’s best of 1m 33.888. Dani, sixth fastest, is just over one second shy of the pole time as he gets back up to speed while fully recovering from his German Grand Prix injuries.

Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V) looked strong throughout the hour and when the Frenchman grabbed provisional pole with 23 minutes left to run it was a measure of his mastery of this tricky and strength-sapping circuit. He ended up fourth fastest to head row two.

Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V), buoyed by his strong fourth place at Brno two weeks ago, began the session strongly and was holding second spot on the grid at the halfway point with a 1m 34.924s time. He had to settle for eighth and a third row start at the finish.

Another rider on form after the Czech Republic race is former Honda teamster Toni Elias (Ducati) who after a podium at Brno is carrying his form into this race. He qualified fifth fastest splitting current Honda men De Puniet and Dani.

Before the gradual drift to fitting qualifying rubber the order at halfway was Stoner, Lorenzo, Elias, Rossi and Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki), then Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V), Pedrosa and then Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati). These riders would all hold top ten grid slots with the exception of Guintoli and De Angelis who would slide to 12th and 13th.

When the extra-sticky rubber appeared it was Stoner who stamped his authority on proceedings with a 1m 34.400s lap before Lorenzo immediately bettered this by a tenth of a second. Dani responded to this by putting in a 1m 34.712s time to step up to fourth.

But the only riders really getting to grips with the front row places here were Stoner, Rossi and Lorenzo. In the final five minutes they swapped the pole three times before Stoner pulverized the field with his 1m 33.378s marker.

Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) is still not yet up to full fitness after his heel injury sustained at the Los Angeles X Games. He circulated at subdued pace and qualified 16th at the flag, 2.206 seconds adrift of the pole time, having suffered a tumble at the end of yesterday afternoon’s session.

Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) had a less than satisfactory outing this afternoon too. The local man could do no better than 14th fastest time and he will be as disappointed as San Marinese man De Angelis in 13th and local resident Nakano in 8th who was aiming for a top six berth here.

Honda’s best qualifier De Puniet, in fourth, said: “Today was a very good day for us. When I came out on qualifiers my pace was pretty fast but this qualifying session was very tough. I had a very good flying lap which moved us to the 4th position on the grid. This race will be very close and it’s important to start from the first places in order to close the gap to the fastest riders. I feel happy because my machine is the first Honda on the grid behind three factory bikes and this means that my crew did some excellent work together with Michelin. I really want to thank everybody for their efforts.”

Dani, sixth fastest, said: “I’m quite happy because we’ve improved my lap times and tomorrow I’ll start from the second row, in the same grid position as last year here. It will be important to make a good start because the first corner is very close to the grid and also quite tricky. I’ve improved my rhythm and this is really important to me because I am starting to go fast again. We worked a lot on the suspension today, the new fork gives me a positive feeling and it gives smoother performance during braking. I’m feeling very motivated but I still need some time to get back up to full speed.”

Nakano, eighth quickest, said: “Even though qualifying wasn’t perfect, today was definitely a better day than yesterday. After the changes the team made to the rear of the bike it felt much easier to ride through the corners, more stable, and this prevented me from running wide like yesterday. I had fun and it was positive that I managed to improve my performance on a qualifying tyre. Tomorrow we start from eighth and I would have preferred to be on the second row.”

De Angelis (13th) said: “I’m not satisfied with this at all but there are positives as well as negatives. I managed to lap consistently fast on race tyres even though we’re struggling with the qualifiers. Unfortunately we’re still not getting the best out of them and as a consequence we can’t improve at the same rate as the other riders. I’m still confident though because in free practice I did some practice starts and I think I can get away well.”

Dovi on row five, said: “We need to think about the race tomorrow and focus on the best way in which to approach it. The Michelin rubber is proving satisfactory, but to recover so many positions from the start in the first few turns will be very difficult. If we were on the second and not the fifth row then we would have a better chance of a good result. Being positive, we still have warm-up tomorrow to exploit any changes in the bike to make some progress and then in the race we will give the maximum as always.”

Hayden (row six) said: “Things haven’t gone perfectly smooth here, I’m having a few issues with the front. I was pushing the front quite a lot yesterday, then I crashed and today it’s still pushing. When we put in qualifying tyres it just exaggerated the problem, so I’ve been struggling to find a front tyre I like, though the rear seems to be working pretty good here. Obviously I don’t have a very good starting spot and at 28 laps it’s going to be a long race. The heel is OK, not perfect, but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”

250cc

Hector Barbera (Aprilia) grabbed his first pole of this season with a 1m 38.047s lap in the final minutes of this 45 minute session. He edged Marco Simoncelli (Gilera) to second with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) holding onto third and a determined Yuki Takahashi (JiR Scot Honda RS250RW) stealing fourth as the clock ran down.

This is Takahashi’s first front row qualifying performance of the season and the 4.226km of this compact track would seem to suit the characteristics of Yuki’s RS250RW machine. Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda PTT SAG RS250RW) qualified 15th, 1.8 seconds off the pole time.

Front row man Takahashi said: “I’m happy with the outcome of today, although it wasn’t easy. The team has worked very well and tomorrow I’ll make a good race for them. This is my second ‘home’ Grand Prix and as many of my mechanics live nearby, I’ll be going all-out to give them a great result. We developed the bike well, and I was out on track pretty much alone. It will be important to make a good start because it's not easy to overtake on this circuit and there are many riders out there with similar lap times, but I am ready for tomorrow.”

Wilairot said: “First practice today was difficult because when making adjustments to the gearbox ratios we had to make adjustments to the suspension, front and rear, and on both motorcycles. But the new gearbox ratio was not what we needed, and in the afternoon we decided to go back to yesterday’s configuration, and we also had to adjust the suspension again. Finally I got a good lap, 1m 39.8s, and I’m on the fourth row of the grid. For tomorrow I must improve my first two sector times to be in the top ten.”

125cc

Gabor Talmacsi (Aprilia) notched his third of the season so far and his third consecutive pole when he posted a 1m 43.729s lap time to put his stamp firmly on this half hour period. Bradley Smith (Aprilia) qualified second fastest, Pol Espargaro (Derbi) third and rookie Scott Redding (Aprilia) completes the front row.

Louis Rossi (FFM Racing Honda RS125R) qualified in 32nd spot on his first visit to Misano. He is 3.052 seconds shy of the pole time but the spirited Frenchman will once again be looking to claw back places in the race.

He said: “We made some good progress today and I gained 1.4 second over yesterday’s time. I feel better on the Honda than during the previous Grand Prix. I know I’m still sliding too much at the front when I brake. On the other hand I manage to get in better positions for approaching bends, which wasn’t the case during the Czech Grand Prix. I like this track layout, it requires a sharp riding style.”

Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini) Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini)


Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)


Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)

MotoGP:

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 4th - 1m 34.236s.
“Today was a very good day for us. This morning we worked on chassis set-up and suspension set-up to find the right base on these conditions. Then, in the afternoon session, we compared a few rear tyres options he have got finding a good rear tyre for tomorrow’s race. When I came out on qualifiers my pace was pretty fast but this qualifying session was very tough. I had a very good flying lap in the last lap which moved us to the 4th position on the grid. This race will be very close and it’s important to start from the first places in order to close the gap to the fastest riders. I feel happy because my machine is the first Honda on the grid behind three factory bikes and this means that my crew made an excellent work together with Michelin. I really want to thank everybody for their efforts.”

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 6th - 1m 34.398s.
“I am quite happy because we have improved my lap times and tomorrow I will start from the second row, in the same grid position as last year here. It will be important to make a good start because the first corner is very close to the grid and also quite tricky. I’ve improved my rhythm and this is really important to me because I am starting to go fast again. We worked a lot on the suspension today, the new fork gives me a positive feeling and it gives smoother performance during braking. I’m feeling very motivated but I still need some time to get back up to full speed.”

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 8th - 1m 34.494s.
“Even though qualifying wasn’t perfect, today was definitely a better day than yesterday. After the changes the team made to the rear of the bike it felt much easier to ride through the corners, more stable, and this prevented me from running wide like yesterday. I had fun and it was positive that I managed to improve my performance on a qualifying tyre. Tomorrow we start from eighth on the grid and even though that is not bad, I would have preferred to be on the second row. My objective is to get a good result for the team in their home Grand Prix.”

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 13th - 1m 35.153s.
“1’m not satisfied with this qualifying practice at all but there are positives as well as negatives. I managed to lap consistently fast on race tyres even though we’re struggling with the qualifiers. Unfortunately we’re still not getting the best out of them and as a consequence we can’t improve at the same rate as the other riders. I’m still confident though because in free practice I did some practice starts and I think I can get away well. I’ll try to make up as many positions as I can after that but it won’t be easy at this track.”

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 14th - 1m35.381s.
“We need to think about the race tomorrow and focus on the best way in which to approach it. I put in a 1m 35.9s lap time despite the difficulties of the bike set-up. The Michelin rubber is proving satisfactory, but to recover so many positions from the start in the first few turns will be very difficult. If we were on the second and not the fifth row then we would have a better chance of a good result, obviously! Being positive, we still have warm-up tomorrow to exploit any changes in the bike to make some progress and then in the race we will give the maximum as always.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 16th - 1m 35.584s.
“Things haven’t gone perfectly smooth here, I’m having a few issues with the front. I was pushing the front quite a lot yesterday, then I crashed and today it’s still pushing. When we put in qualifying tyres it just exaggerated the problem, so I’ve been struggling to find a front tyre I like, though the rear seems to be working pretty good here. Obviously I don’t have a very good starting spot and at 28 laps it’s going to be a long race. We’re going to try a few more ideas in morning warm-up, try to get a good start and try to salvage some kind of result. The heel is okay, not perfect, but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”

250cc:

Yukio Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 4th - 1m 38.822s.
“I'm happy with the outcome of today, although it certainly was not easy, but the team has worked very well and tomorrow I will make a good race, just for them. This is my second ‘home’ Grand Prix and as many of my mechanics live nearby, I will be going all-out to give them a great result. We developed the bike well, and I was out on track pretty much alone. It will be important to make a good start because it's not easy to overtake on this circuit and there are many riders out there with similar lap times, but I am ready for tomorrow.”

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG: 15th - 1m 39.875s.
“The first practice of today has been difficult because when making the adjustments to the gearbox ratios we had to do the respective adjustments to the suspension, front and rear, and on both motorcycles. But the new gearbox ratio was not what we needed, and in the afternoon we decided to go back to the yesterday’s configuration, and we also had to adjust again suspension. Finally I got a good lap, 1,39.8, and I’ on the fourth row of the grid. For tomorrow I must improve my first two partial times to be in the top 10.”

125cc:

Louis Rossi, FFM Honda: 33rd - 1m 46.781s.
“We made some good progress today and I gained 1.4 second over Yesterday’s time. I feel better on the Honda than during the previous Grand Prix and I sense more the bike’s reactions. I am focusing on the problems and I know that I am still sliding too much in the front as with the back when I brake. On the other hand I manage to get in better positions for approaching bends, which wasn’t the case during the Czech Grand Prix. I like this course layout, pleasant but also demanding. It requires a sharp style of riding.”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 13
San Marino Grand Prix at Misano Qualifying

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

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