Stoner and Pedrosa had the first duel of the season during the qualifying session, with an intense battle for the pole position of the MotoGP grid. The Repsol riders finished in the top two places of the grid, with the Australian more than eight tenths ahead of the third placed, Lorenzo. The third Repsol Honda Team rider, Andrea Dovizioso, was seventh.
As it happened the previous days, the impulsive Stoner soon set a time below 1 minute 55 seconds, always with his team mate Dani Pedrosa nearby. Although Ben Spies took him by surprise at the beginning, by midsession the Spaniard had not only recovered the second place, but he had also taken the lead, 83 thousandths ahead of Stoner.
But it was not long before the Australian reduced the fastest time even more – 383 thousandths – and, five minutes before the end, they both had a red helmet in the time displays, as they were improving their registers. The Australian set a time of 1 minute, 54 seconds and 137 thousandths, while Pedrosa finished just 205 thousandths away of his team mate, securing a place in the first row of the grid.
With the qualifying session over, everything’s ready for the first race of the year, that will start tomorrow at 22:00 h (local time, 20:00h in Europe).
Dani Pedrosa 1’54.342 sec, 23 laps, 124 km.
“The weekend has been very good for us so far, I’ve been running at the top in every session and I’m very happy to be on the front row in Losail for the first time; this is a big improvement for me. Nevertheless, we have to focus on the race, Casey is running very fast, also Lorenzo is improving very quickly, so we have to focus making no mistakes tomorrow. I don’t know yet if the race will be a fight between Casey and myself. We’ve never run at 10:00 pm, so I hope the bike works well after 125 cc and Moto2 races. I want to prepare as best as possible for tomorrow and be ready to be consistent for 22 laps. The race will be fast, I guess, so we will need to maintain a high pace. I hope I will be able to do it and fight for the victory”.
Source: Repsol Media
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