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Pedrosa hoping for Donington victory.

With his reputation for gaining ground off the start, and a second place in qualifying, few would be surprised if Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa takes an early lead in Sunday's British Grand Prix at Donington Park.

“Dani's starts have been very good this year and so the middle of the front row gives him a clear run into the first corner which could be valuable,” admitted team manager Kazuhiko Yamano.

Pedrosa took victory in the recent US Grand Prix after rocketing from fourth to first at turn one and the 2006 Donington winner has his sights set on a return to the top step during the final MotoGP event to be held at the East Midlands circuit for the foreseeable future.

“We did a good job in both sessions today and I'm happy to qualify on the front row because, in reality, that's more important than taking pole position,” said the 23-year-old, who lost out on pole to Valentino Rossi by just 0.095sec. “On my last run at the end of the qualifying session I found some traffic on the circuit which caused me to lose my concentration and rhythm slightly, so I think I could have gone a little quicker. But still, the middle of the front row is OK.

“Our dry set-up is nearly there so we'll aim to make just a few little improvements before the race. The weather is looking changeable for tomorrow, though at least we've had some practice time in the wet yesterday. If it's raining I'd like to improve my riding and my pace a bit but the weather is out of our control so we'll have to see. It's the last MotoGP race at Donington tomorrow and of course I'd like a good result to sign off with - preferably a win,” he added.

Rossi's Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will start the other side of Pedrosa in third.

Pedrosa's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso will start the race directly behind Pedrosa in the middle of the second row, having qualified in fifth with a lap 0.662sec from pole. Dovizioso is looking to end a three-race DNF streak on Sunday.

“Starting from the second row is not a bad place to be and gives us a chance to get away at the head of the field so I'm satisfied with that,” said the Italian. “A fast start tomorrow should give us a good opportunity to have a strong race. Having said that, I really like this track and I was hoping to be in a slightly better situation going into tomorrow both in terms of grid position and race pace.

“We still need to improve our speed and consistency and there is some work to do to take us closer to the frontrunners and be fully competitive. We need to improve on the entry to the corner and also to work on traction, so we'll look at the data we collected today and I'm confident my team can help me to make these improvements. It could rain tomorrow too, so we'll come in ready for anything,” he added.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Pedrosa, British MotoGP 2009
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Aleix Espargaro, Pedrosa Dutch MotoGP 2017
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Rossi, Petrucci, Marquez Dutch MotoGP 2017
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Pedrosa, Dutch MotoGP 2017
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gpfan - Unregistered

July 25, 2009 6:23 PM

Of course he will take the earlly lead. If he was on the third row he wold still grab the hole shot. All due to weight, electronics, and launch control. If they don't take electronics away, they NEED to equalise weight with ballast. Too much advantage, just watch the overhead shots coming onto straights, guys like Rossi barely pull anything back in the slip stream. Guys like Dani blast by with no help, I would bet Dani & Casey have the highest percentage of passes on straights, they don't need to make real passes like Rossi on the brakes. I think Dani is a great rider, but the un-earned advantage is pretty ridiculous. Even with equalising ballast lighter guys get to place it as low as possable, it will just take the acceleration away a bit. I have nothing against Dani or any of the little 250 riders, just want better racing, I want more lines into corners, I want more emphasis on rider ability rather than electronic helpers.

gpfan - Unregistered

July 26, 2009 12:28 AM

800s don't need much muscling around, Superbikes do. Dani would have better performance in braking with ballast on the bottom of his bike. Rossi still has his weight pitching forward under brakes, whereas Dani could have it close to the rear tire. Getting off the bike in the corners is to lower your center of gravity, ballast should behave similar. Why do riders slim down as much as possable? The advantage is obvious in the days of electronic helpers, lighter is better. I just want to see the best rider win, without computers getting the most out the bike, not the bike getting the most out of the rider. Like watching Kenny Roberts ride "hold on to" that tz750 dirt tracker. Watching a TT rider like Dani grab the holey without throttle control is not awe inspiring, Either use ballast or get rid of electronics, I want to see more rider mistakes, or better drafting that leads to passing on the brakes into corners.

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