Pedrosa hopes to capitalise on ‘positive steps’ in Le Mans

Pedrosa dominated on day one in Le Mans

Photo: Repsol Honda 

Dani Pedrosa topped free practice on the opening day of the French Grand Prix, starting a Repsol Honda lock-out at the top of the timing sheets.

With the threat of rain looming, the Spaniard wasted no time and set the fastest laps in both FP1 and FP2, shaving over half a second off his mornings time with warmer track conditions in the afternoon. Pedrosa made the most of a dry track, and finished the day 0.134 ahead of the rest of the field, with a time of 1.34.035. 

Pedrosa said “In today’s practice sessions it was important to test the tyres and make the most of the dry track time, because here you usually don’t have that opportunity. So I tried to stay out on track for as long as possible and gather the best information, because maybe tomorrow it will rain – and you don’t have that chance again. Luckily the weather held up and we were able to make some positive steps, which we hope to capitalise on for the race on Sunday”
Spanish teammate Marc Marquez wasn’t far behind his compatriot, finishing the day in second position.

At a track where Marquez has been successful at in the past, it didn’t take long for the rookie to feel comfortable on his Repsol Honda machine. He jumped from seventh position in FP1 to second in a warmer FP2 following a calmer afternoon session. His time of 1.34.169 left him just 0.134 seconds shy of Pedrosa.

Marquez revealed “Le Mans has always been a good track for me in the other classes. I was fast today right out of the box and felt comfortable. In the first session I got a bit overwhelmed, because I could tell that the track was not allowing much space for me between the corners with this bigger bike and faster pace. I didn’t have much time to think. I was calmer in the afternoon and things went much better. This track is all about accelerating and then braking, although the final sector is more twisty and has some longer corners. It is only Friday, and we still have work to do. Tomorrow, if the track is dry, we will improve our times – but the forecast predicts rain. With a little luck, on Sunday we will have a dry track and be able to have a good race”

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