Saturday, July 23, 2011

Repsol Honda Team maintains momentum at the Red Bull US Grand Prix

Dani Pedrosa Laguna Seca 2011

Dani Pedrosa set a fast lap of 1'22.197 to finish overall second today, just one tenth off the provisional pole position for Jorge Lorenzo, while Casey Stoner was third, thirty four thousandths off Dani, and Andrea Dovizioso, fourth, very close to his team mates.

The riders were able to test the Bridgestone soft tyre compound in the morning due to the cold temperatures, and the harder tyre in the afternoon, with the track temperature 15 degrees higher, and both performed reasonably well even if the circuit grip level is still low.

The Repsol Honda Team will keep working tomorrow morning to improve the set up of the RC212V to prepare for a strong qualifying practice at a unique circuit, with a combination of hard braking and very fast changes of directions.

Andrea Dovizioso will be aiming to step up and fight for a podium that he has narrowly missed twice, in 2010 and 2008, finishing fourth on both occasions.

Dani Pedrosa:
"The second session in the afternoon was pretty interesting, we made some changes on the bike and tried the race tyre, looking to set up the bike to absorb the bumps of which there are many in this track and they especially affect the front. The grip was a little poor today and it was also very windy out there, so we haven't yet found the perfect ride. In the morning we tried the softer compound and it had a little more grip, and in the afternoon, with the race tyre, it was more difficult to find grip, but perhaps the track conditions were not perfect, so we are hoping to keep improving tomorrow."

Casey Stoner:
"We've been trying all day to get a slightly different balance with the bike to get the tyres working differently but we're struggling to get the feeling that we want and that we've had in the past. We've changed the set up quite substantially, with pivot positions and trying to get the rear to work with a little less temperature in the tyre, which we've accomplished but still haven't got the grip that we want and we're creating too much wheel spin. Also, we're struggling to find a good feeling in the front and just not totally comfortable with the bike in general so we have some work to do tonight and will continue in the morning to get prepared for qualifying."

Andrea Dovizioso: 
“This afternoon we did a comparison between two different set ups and the feeling improved. We still have a gap of four tenths from the first rider, but we lapped more consistently. We need to keep on working to improve the pace and the feeling with the front but in general I’m confident that tomorrow we will be able to make another step forward. Compared to the first free practice, lap times came easier this afternoon and tomorrow we will continue working in this direction.”

Repsol Honda press release.

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