Repsol Honda duo of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez had mixed successes in today’s qualifying sessions for tomorrow’s Grand Prix at the circuit de Catalunya, with Pedrosa taking pole position and breaking the lap record in the process and Marquez learning the track gradually, landing in sixth spot on tomorrow’s grid.
|Pfft, who needs qualifying tyres anyway?
Photo: Repsol Honda
After finishing third in the morning’s FP3 session, Pedrosa upped his game considerably in the afternoon qualifying. From the off, the Spaniard who lives just a stone’s throw away from the Montmelò circuit, spent most of his time up the sharp end in Q2 and put in a near unbelievable lap time of 1m 40.893s on his fifth circulation to go top of the pile, which is almost three tenths faster than the previous lap record held by Casey Stoner on the Ducati with qualifying tyres from 2008.
Pedrosa was nearly half a second ahead of the rest of the field and was decidedly ecstatic to put on such a performance in front of his home crowd: “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”
Rookie team mate, Marc Marquez spent a second day learning the Catalan circuit on a MotoGP bike. The reigning Moto2 world champion continued to impress fans at what is also very much his home circuit, by putting his RC213V Honda on top of the time sheets in the morning’s FP3 session.
However in qualifying, Marquez found issues beginning to occur under the searing heat, meaning that he was unable to challenge for the front row and set a time nearly a second off that of his team mate’s. He will start tomorrow’s race from sixth on the grid behind Nicky Hayden on the Ducati. “I am fairly happy and satisfied, because we achieved our objective of getting onto either the first or second row. In the morning I felt more comfortable, with the track temperatures lower than in the afternoon. When they rose sharply, we had more problems. Despite this, I think that we have done a good job. We will try to test out a few things in the warmup tomorrow and see if we can gain a little more confidence when the track is hotter”