Sunday, May 2

JEREZ POLE: PEDROSA GETS A STIFFIE

REPSOL Honda rider Dani Pedrosa took full advantage of the new, stiffer frame that Honda Racing Corporation provided for his home grand prix, putting the RC212V on pole position for the second round of the MotoGP World Championship.

It is 24-year-old Pedrosa's 14th pole position in MotoGP. Pedrosa was World 250 Champion in 2004 and 2005 before moving to MotoGP in 2006 so he is now in his fifth season in the top class. His 2005 pole time for the 250 race at Jerez of 1m 42.868s will stand as the all-time record for that class now it has been abandoned.

The pole at Jerez was a big turnaround from the first 2010 MotoGP race at Qatar where he qualified seventh fastest, and finished seventh.

In taking pole for tonight's MotoGP race at Jerez, Pedrosa clocked a 1m 39.202s lap on the V4 Honda, which was 0.269 of a second slower than Jorge Lorenzo's 2009 pole time of 1m 38.933s. It was also slower than the pole record (1:38.189) for the class, which was set by Lorenzo in 2008 on Michelin tyres, before the introduction of control Bridgestones.

The major difference in qualifying conditions between 2009 and 2010 at Jerez was the track temperature. Last year Lorenzo's time came with a track temperature of 39ºC - this year it was 49ºC. The ambient air temperature and humidity was the same: 26ºC and 32%.

So the new Bridgestone tyres, whilst offering a wider operating temperature range than previously, were not getting the best traction on the hotter track surface this year.

Completing the front row of the grid were Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo (1m 39.487s) and Casey Stoner (1m 39.511s) on the Marlboro Ducati. The fastest 10 riders were separated by nine tenths of a second.

Lorenzo had actually set a quicker time (1:39.089) during the morning’s free practice with the track a much cooler 32ºC and as noted was on pole with a faster time in 2009. Pedrosa was second fastest in the morning's free practice, with Stoner third quickest with a 1:39.719 in the morning.

World Champion Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) rode through the pain in his injured right shoulder to lead the second row, whilst Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro) bounced back from a big crash in free practice to qualify in fifth position, just two-thousandths of a second behind Rossi.

LCR Honda rider Randy de Puniet completed the second row, as the top six all finished within 0.4s of one another. Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo Colin Edwards and Ben Spies set the seventh and eighth quickest times respectively, with Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) and Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) also inside the tightly packed top ten.

For the full MotoGP qualifying time sheet, go to: http://resources.motogp.com/files/results/xx/2010/SPA/MotoGP/QP/Classification.pdf?v1_5a4df30b