Pedrosa on Brno pole as rookie American Spies stars
Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa took his third pole position of the 2010 season in emphatic style today in a gripping and action packed qualifying session at Brno. With just two minutes to go, the 24-year-old Spaniard banged in a lap that was an impressive 0.338s clear of his nearest rival in a session that, up until that point, had been extremely close at the top. His factory Honda team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was also at the sharp end of the qualifying contest and came within 0.3s of his second front-row start in succession, the Italian eventually settling for the second row and sixth quickest time today, with a gap of 0.609s to Pedrosa.
Pedrosa was fastest in both of today’s MotoGP track sessions and has been on impressive form since arriving at the Brno circuit. Working on race set-up this afternoon, he spent most of the second half of the session in top spot despite the best efforts of his rivals to dislodge him. Twice in the last 20 minutes Ben Spies snuck ahead by fractions of a second, only to be demoted once again almost immediately by Pedrosa. In the final moments, attempts first by Jorge Lorenzo and then Valentino Rossi ended in the gravel trap before Pedrosa put pole clearly out of their reach.
This was Pedrosa’s 16th MotoGP pole position, and his 34th in all Grand Prix classes. For some time now, the Spaniard’s total of GP pole positions has kept pace with his total number of Grand Prix victories, and with 33 GP wins to his name, Pedrosa will be hoping to level those statistics once again with another victory in tomorrow’s 22-lap race.
American rookie Ben Spies was the talk of the paddock on Saturday
American rookie Ben Spies had looked to be on course for a sensational first ever MotoGP pole when he assumed the lead time with only a few minutes remaining. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookie will not be disappointed with second spot on the grid next to Pedrosa however as he starts a premier class race from the front row for the first time.
After overnight thunderstorms at Brno last night, thick fog engulfed the MotoGP paddock this morning and the practice sessions were delayed by 25 minutes until visibility reached an acceptable level. With the weather forecast still in doubt for tomorrow, all eyes will be on the skies as the 14.00 start time for second half of the 2010 World Championship approaches.
Pedrosa: “It was a great qualifying session and to be back on pole position is fantastic after such a long time - the last time was in Italy at the beginning of June. We’ve done a very good job so far this weekend and we have established a good pace for the race, but we still need to keep a clear mind, stay focused, and try to be ready for any conditions because the weather forecast for tomorrow is very uncertain. Anyway, the team did a very good job today and I hope if it’s dry we can have a strong race and go for the victory. I won’t really be approaching the race tomorrow with a particular strategy. In this championship you have to find your own limit because there are a lot of riders going fast and you can only concentrate on your own performance and do the best you can. So I really hope to do a great job tomorrow and at least to be back on the podium.”
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