Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa has broken the lap record and was over half a second faster than his rivals as he stormed into pole position for tomorrow's GP of Catalunya. He clocked a lap of 1'40.893 on his 5th lap of 8, breaking the previous record of 1'41.186, recorded by Casey Stoner in 2008 when qualifying tires were still in use, by 0.293s. This is Dani's second and successive pole position of the season and it comes on the weekend of his 200th GP start. He becomes only the 19th rider to reach this milestone in the 65-year history of grand prix racing.
Tire choice will be crucial tomorrow as temperatures continue to rise. It is expected that the front tire option will be the hard compound but the rear tire is still not decided. The soft compound will lose grip quickly on the hot asphalt so riders may choose the hard compound for the first time this season.
Dani Pedrosa “I am very happy, because we put in a great lap and took a great qualifying time. It was a fantastic pole position for me. We also broke the circuit record and were able to do so in front of the home fans. I am also happy about improving our race pace, as this is the most important thing. We hope to put on a good show tomorrow and take full advantage of the front row start"
Cal Crutchlow, 2nd, Time - 1.41.501, 8 laps “I think we did a great job today and I am really happy to be back on the front row. It seems a while since I managed it at the first race in Qatar and at least I won’t be starting from fourth again. The conditions were really tricky with the incredibly high track temperature and it looks like it is going to be a big battle in the race tomorrow. I’ll be happy to get a good start and hang with Dani and Jorge because they are obviously going to be strong. Jorge had a few problems today and maybe without those he would have taken second off me. But there’s no doubt we deserve this front row and that’s a good reward for all the hard work done by my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. Congratulations to Dani though because that was an incredible lap time in such tricky conditions.”
Jorge Lorenzo, 3rd, Time - 1'41.566, 7 laps “I’m very disappointed because today we had a problem with the clutch in a crucial moment and this lap time was the best I could do. I also had not so much confidence on the front to make a perfect lap. We hope for race distance we can remain constant and fight for the win. We will need to be strong and concentrate for the whole race; we don't know what can happen in the 20th lap.”
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