MotoGP > MotoGP Round 17: Malaysia GP > Qualifying
MotoGPMalaysiaOctober 18, 2008
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 17
Malaysia Grand Prix at SEPANG Qualifying

Pedrosa Powers to Pole for Sepang Scorcher

Race Results >>

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V) made sure he was always going to be among the front-runners at this hugely significant Grand Prix. The Spanish star sped to a pole time of 2m 01.548s at the end of a spectacular qualifying session that saw provisional pole change hands many times, often twice in one minute! Valentino Rossi qualified second fastest with Jorge Lorenzo, third quickest (both Yamaha).

Nikcy HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team) Nikcy HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)


Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)

With just over 0.6 seconds separating the main men on the front row Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V) heads row two in his swansong season for the Honda factory. Perhaps of more import is the unstinting effort of Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Scot Honda RC212V) who lines up sixth.

Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda RC212V), the gritty Frenchman, proved, once again, that he has what it takes to mix it with the best at one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar. And on a satellite machine too. He qualified ninth.

Perhaps the most accomplished performance belonged to Dovi though. The rampaging Italian reinforced his premier class credentials with a typically tyrant display. The revered rookie ruled the roost and showed the grid his mettle in the most convincing fashion.

Shinya Nakano (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) had topped the leaderboard in the early stages but was slow out of the pit on his last run with qualifying tyres and ended the session in a lowly 15th place.

Alex de Angelis (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC212V) was typically diligent in his efforts to put his machine higher than the 17th grid spot he eventually achieved. The San Marinese man did not make the best of his qualifying tyres but in race trim might well surprise the crowd.

Dani Pedrosa, pole position, said: “It’s fantastic to be on pole here, especially since this is my first pole with Bridgestone tyres, so a big thank you to them and also to my team who have worked so hard for this. Track conditions were changing all the time this afternoon, so it was quite tricky. At the beginning it was wet, then little by little the track dried, so you had to be on the ball to understand when it was best to change tyres. I was able to get in a good lap time in my final run, and I’m very happy to get this pole position. Pole is particularly important here because the lap times are all very close, so a good start will be crucial. We already know what race tyres we are going to use and I feel that we are ready to race. Of course, everything depends on the weather, it usually rains here most days, so we will have to wait and see when tomorrow’s rainstorm arrives. It could be wet, dry or mixed.”

Nicky Hayden, 4th fastest, said: “It was quite a wild day. This morning we improved quite a lot, but so did everybody else. It wasn’t spectacular but we definitely made an improvement, at times we were really competitive. This afternoon was pretty gnarly. We started on full wets and the track kept drying and drying. I haven’t had a pole all year and every year for the last few years I’ve had at least one. The rear Michelin qualifier was amazing, it was ridiculous how much grip it had, even across the wet patches. If we can make a little step in the morning, get the bike turning a little better, I feel like I can be competitive. It’s going to be a long, hard race if I’m going to hang in there.”

Dovi, sixth on the grid said:"I am really happy with the result today with the track in difficult conditions with parts of it still wet, which slowly continued to dry. The second row is good for us and the start will be all-important. I have a good race rhythm of around 2'03 "3 that should allow me to aspire to finish in the top five positions. We started this afternoon with the wet track, using soft tyres. Then we turned to a harder compound. I was good in wet conditions with Michelin rubber that has excellent performance and allows me to be fast. I was able to exploit the good tyres from qualifying, despite not really changing our set-up from wet to dry. Tomorrow in the warm-up we will have to make the last changes to the suspension. We are still looking at a top five finish in the race, even if a podium this season is still a wish! The characteristics of the track and the warm, humid conditions will make for a challenging race."

Frenchman De Puniet made ninth on the grid and said: “It was a strange and demanding qualifying session we came out with wet tyres but after some laps we had to switch to cut tyres because the surface started to dry up quickly. My pace on cut tyres was pretty good and I felt comfortable with the bike overall package. Then I came out on qualifiers but couldn’t improve like I expected. I really do not why because I am usually faster than this on qualifying tyres but do not feel worried about it. My rhythm on race trim makes me confident for tomorrow’s race even if the weather can change every minute.”

Shinya Nakano, 15th, said: “It is a shame we haven’t managed a higher grid position because I’ve been consistently fast here all weekend. Unfortunately I missed my final chance on a qualifying tyre because I was too late out onto the track to make the most of it. In any case I am confident for the race because my pace is so good. All I have to do is repeat that level of performance and I’ll be able to have a good race.”

Alex De Angelis, who qualified 17th: “Qualifying was really difficult today because the track conditions were constantly changing: at the start it was still very wet after the heavy shower and then it started to dry out, but it was never consistent. Unfortunately we only got one lap in on a qualifying tyre – we went out late on the second one and the flag was waved before I got the flying lap in. We were unlucky because the track was visibly much drier so I’m sure I could have finished in the top ten. The forecast for tomorrow is mixed too so there could be a few surprises in the race – hopefully positive ones for us.”

250cc Qualifying

Hiro Aoyama (KTM) starts from pole ahead of championship contenders Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) who managed second quickest time and series leader Marco Simoncelli (Gilera) in third. Aoyama’s team mate Mika Kallio completes the front row.

Yuki Takahashi (JiR Scot Honda RS250RW), a man to represent the Honda factory in the premier class next season, secured eighth spot on then grid. Ratthapark Wilairot (Thai Honda PTT SAG RS250RW) will line up 5th.

The Thai ace, Wilairot. said: “The track was more dirty and slippery today, and it was almost impossible to ride at the same pace. We decided to try some stuff to adjust the bike to these conditions, in case tomorrow the track is like today. I have high hopes to get a great result tomorrow, we have a great grid position and we have to take advantage of that”.

Takahashi said: “This afternoon, in the second qualifying round, things went well. I'm satisfied but it is beyond me why only seven other riders managed to improve the times recorded yesterday. If tomorrow is dry for me we will be in a good condition and we could be fast. It will be important to stay among the first riders at the beginning of the race. The conditions of the track, despite the rain, have not deteriorated and neither have they influenced our practice and qualifying. I have a good race-pace, but the level of the competition is high, but we will do our utmost to achieve a good result. During practice I have improved my confidence with the track and even if it is hot and humid I do not feel any fatigue. The bike is in place and we have to make a few minor adjustments in the warm-up tomorrow. "

125cc

Cyril Carrillo (FFM Racing Honda RS125R) qualified 26th and said: “I lost the rear-end at the second corner in the wet conditions and crashed and I broke the radius of my left hand. Obviously I cannot race tomorrow or at Valencia next week. A great pity for me and the team because I had my best GP qualifying session yesterday.”

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


Nikcy HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


AndreaDovizioso (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)

MotoGP:

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: 1st – 2m 01.548s.
“It is fantastic to be on pole here, especially since this is my first pole with Bridgestone tyres, so a big thank you to them and also to my team who have worked so hard for this. Track conditions were changing all the time this afternoon, so it was quite tricky. At the beginning it was wet, then little by little the track dried, so you had to be on the ball to understand when it was best to change tyres. I was able to get in a good lap time in my final run, and I’m very happy to get this pole position. At the last few races I struggled a bit to get the best out of the qualifiers, but now I think I understand them well. Pole is particularly important here because the lap times are all very close, so a good start will be crucial. We already know what race tyres we are going to use and I feel that we are ready to race. Of course, everything depends on the weather, it usually rains here most days, so we will have to wait and see when tomorrow’s rain storm arrives. It could be wet, dry or mixed.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda: 4th – 2m 02.192s.
“It was quite a wild day. This morning we improved quite a lot, but so did everybody else. It wasn’t spectacular but we definitely made an improvement, at times we were really competitive. This afternoon was pretty gnarly. We started on full wets and the track kept drying and drying. We ended up fourth which isn’t a disaster. At one stage near the end I was 15th, thankfully we didn’t get any big showers then, so I was able to get in a good lap, but I really wanted to be on the front row. I was fastest in T1 and T2 on my last qualifier. But lately I can only get one run out of my qualifying fronts and we didn’t have enough time to change the tyre, because with the big discs we use here it take a while to change. So I did two runs on it and midway round my last lap she was done and I lost some time. I’m a little bit bummed, I haven’t had a pole all year and every year for the last few years I’ve had at least one. The rear Michelin qualifier was amazing, it was ridiculous how much grip it had, even across the wet patches. If we can make a little step in the morning, get the bike turning a little better, I feel like I can be competitive. It’s going to be a long, hard race if I’m going to hang in there.”

Andrea Dovizioso, JiR Scot Honda: 6th – 2m 02.836s
"I am really happy with the result today with the track in difficult conditions with parts of it still wet, which slowly continued to dry. The second row is good for us and the start will be all-important. I have a good race rhythm of around 2'03 "3 that should allow me to aspire to finish in the top five positions. We started this afternoon with the wet track, using soft tyres. Then we turned to a harder compound. I was good in wet conditions with Michelin rubber that has excellent performance and allows me to be fast. I was able to exploit the good tyres from qualifying, despite not really changing our set-up from wet to dry. Tomorrow in the warm-up we will have to make the last changes to the suspension. We are still looking at a top five finish in the race, even if a podium this season is still a wish! The characteristics of the track and the warm, humid conditions will make for a challenging race."

Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda: 2m 03.110s. 9th – 2m 03.110s.
“It was a strange and demanding qualifying session we came out with wet tyres but after some laps we had to switch to cut tyres because the surface started to dry up quickly. My pace on cut tyres was pretty good and I felt comfortable with the bike overall package. Then I came out on qualifiers but couldn’t improve like I expected. I really do not why because I am usually faster than this on q-tyres but do not feel worried about it. My rhythm on race trim makes me confident for tomorrow’s race even if the weather can change every minute.”

Shinya Nakano, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 15th – 2m 4.001s.
“It is a shame we haven’t managed a higher grid position because I’ve been consistently fast here all weekend. Unfortunately I missed my final chance on a qualifying tyre because I was too late out onto the track to make the most of it. In any case I am confident for the race because my pace is so good. All I have to do is repeat that level of performance and I’ll be able to have a good race.”

Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Gresini Honda: 17th - 2m 04.679s.
“Qualifying was really difficult today because the track conditions were constantly changing: at the start it was still very wet after the heavy shower and then it started to dry out, but it was never consistent. Unfortunately we only got one lap in on a qualifying tyre – we went out late on the second one and the flag was waved before I got the flying lap in. We were unlucky because the track was visibly much drier so I’m sure I could have finished in the top ten. The forecast for tomorrow is mixed too so there could be a few surprises in the race – hopefully positive ones for us!”

250cc:

Ratthapark Wilairot, Thai Honda PTT SAG: 5th – 2m 07.410s.
“The qualifying was really good I have an even better feeling with the bike than I did at Phillip Island. I can run with all the fast riders. For my fastest lap I was with Kallio but running alone I was only 0.3 seconds slower so I am really happy. The engine is very good and the chassis settings almost perfect. I have to get a good start much better than the disastrous start I got at Phillip Island. If I do I am very confident that I can run with the top group.”

Yuki Takahashi, JiR Scot Honda: 8th – 2m 07.766s.
“This afternoon, in the second qualifying round, things went well. I am satisfied but it is beyond me why only seven other riders managed to improve the times recorded yesterday. If tomorrow is dry for me we will be in a good condition and we could be fast. It will be important to stay among the first riders at the beginning of the race. The conditions of the track, despite the rain, have not deteriorated and neither have they influenced our practice and qualifying. I have a good race-pace, but the level of the competition is high, but we will do our utmost to achieve a good result. During practice I have improved my confidence with the track and even if it is hot and humid I do not feel any fatigue. The bike is in place and we have to make a few minor adjustments in the warm-up tomorrow.”

125cc:

Cyril Carrillo, FFM Honda: 26th – 2m 18.334s. Will not start due to injury.
“I lost the rear end at the second corner in the wet conditions and crashed and I broke the radius of my left hand. Obviously I cannot race tomorrow or at Valencia next week. A great pity for me and the team because I had my best GP qualifying session yesterday.”


MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 17
Malaysia Grand Prix at Phillip Island Qualifying

line
MotoGP
1 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
2 Valentino ROSSI (Fiat Yamaha Team)
3 Jorge LORENZO (Fiat Yamaha Team)
4 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
5 Colin EDWARDS (Tech 3 Yamaha)
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (JiR Team Scot MotoGP)
7 Casey STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team)
8 Loris CAPIROSSI (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
9 Randy DE PUNIET (LCR Honda MotoGP)
10 John HOPKINS (Kawasaki Racing Team)
11 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
12 James TOSELAND (Tech 3 Yamaha)
13 Anthony WEST (Kawasaki Racing Team)
14 Marco MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
15 Shinya NAKANO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
16 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Alice Team)
17 Alex DE ANGELIS (San Carlo Honda Gresini)
18 Nobuatsu AOKI (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
19 Toni ELIAS (Alice Team)
 
250cc
1 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM 250)
2 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Mapfre Aspar Team)
3 Marco SIMONCELLI (Metis Gilera)
4 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM 250)
5 Ratthapark WILAIROT (Thai Honda PTT SAG)
6 Aleix ESPARGARO (Lotus Aprilia)
7 Julian SIMON (Repsol KTM 250cc)
8 Yuki TAKAHASHI (JiR Team Scot 250)
9 Alex DEBON (Lotus Aprilia)
10 Hector FAUBEL (Mapfre Aspar Team)
 
125cc
1 Andrea IANNONE (I.C. Team)
2 Gabor TALMACSI (Bancaja Aspar Team)
3 Danny WEBB (Degraaf Grand Prix)
4 Pol ESPARGARO (Belson Derbi)
5 Sergio GADEA (Bancaja Aspar Team)
6 Joan OLIVE (Belson Derbi)
7 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (ISPA KTM Aran)
8 Simone CORSI (Jack & Jones WRB)
9 Raffaele DE ROSA (Onde 2000 KTM)
10 Stefan BRADL (Grizzly Gas Kiefer Racing)
 
   
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