Four factory Honda riders will start of the Grand Prix of France in the first four positions of the grid, with Repsol Honda riders Casey Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa 1st, 3rd and 4th respectively.
After dominating the timing sheets throughout the free practice sessions and securing a new Circuit Record Lap yesterday, Stoner shaved a further six tenths off that time with a 1'33.153, securing his 29th career pole position and third of the season.
Teammate Andrea Dovizioso scored his first front row of the season, capping a positive weekend so far. Session after session he improved his feeling with the front and has the race pace to fight for the podium. Dani Pedrosa starts from fourth position after finding it difficult to get maximum grip from his RC212V.
CASEY STONER – 1st - 1'33.153 "We're very happy with this pole, we focused a lot on race set up this afternoon going from one bike to the another making small adjustments to improve the bike a little. The conditions aren't perfect at the moment, it's quite windy so hard to see if you've improved or not, but my Honda was working really well and I never found myself pushing to the limit too much which is always good. This is our third pole of the season but we've only converted one of them into a victory so we hope to have a little more luck this week here in Le Mans and fight for the win."
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO – 3rd - 1'33.621 “I’m very happy to start from the first row, even though this was our target, I didn’t expect it. I was behind Simoncelli for two laps and this helped me because I followed his lines. This afternoon we did some small changes to the set up and my feeling with the front improved. We arrive to the race very confident, I think we can fight for the podium. Tomorrow the race will be tough, Casey is very fast and he may try to run away, I have a good pace and I think I will fight with Simoncelli and Dani. I want to thank my team for all their hard work and hope we can get a good result tomorrow".
DANI PEDROSA – 4th - 1'33.683 "We improved quite a lot compared to yesterday, but we still feel lack of traction in the rear and good grip to have the tire working as we would like. At the beginning of this afternoon's session we managed to find a good rhythm with the soft tire, but these are not qualifying tires anymore and in my last round of the session, with only five laps to push, I could not make the most of the tire. In the warm up tomorrow we have to improve the bike a little and for the race it's important to get a good start. Here the first chicane is delicate and we need to avoid any trouble. The first laps will be crucial because the tires are cold and it's important to stay in front. Besides Casey, other rivals are closer here, such as Simoncelli and Dovi, Lorenzo has also improved, so we must be prepared to fight because the race will be demanding and long, but as in Estoril, we will try".
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