Repsol Honda Team Confident For British GP
Topics: AirAsia British Grand Prix
June 25, 2007
Following a promising test after the race in Spain, Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa arrived at Donington confident of putting in strong performances for the upcoming British Grand Prix.
Pedrosa, third in the riders’ point standings, was quite dominant last year at Donington. The Spanish phenomenon was fastest in all but one of the dry practice sessions. He also set pole position and won the race at ease, having opened up a gap of seven seconds at one point. The 21-year-old Spaniard also set the fastest lap of the race to record a new lap record of 1m 28.714s, over a second inside the previous lap record. The record is 0.450 seconds quicker than the fastest lap of any other rider.
The Spaniard arrived in a confident mood following his strong third-place finish in the Catalunya race two weeks ago. Pedrosa’s Honda RC212V crossed the line less than half a second behind the winner. “Last year I had a very good time at Donington Park so I’m really looking forward to going back there and trying for a repeat performance. We had a positive test in Barcelona after the last race and found a few things that should help us, particularly some tyres that we tested for Michelin, so this gives us more confidence for the upcoming races,” Pedrosa noted.
He added, “The Donington Park track is quite good, with two quite distinct sections, the flowing first half of the lap and the stop-and-go second part. This makes engine performance quite critical to getting a good lap time. It can rain here too so I hope we get the same good weather we enjoyed last year. The crowd is unbelievable here, especially in the last few years, and it’s always good to see so many people at the Riders for Health Day of Champions on Thursday. The target for the weekend will obviously be to repeat last year’s win, I’d be very happy with that.”
“We always knew Barcelona would be one of the hardest circuits for us. Now we are at Donington, which in theory should be much more favorable because it’s more suited to the characteristics of our bike. If it rains I think us Bridgestone riders will have a good chance,” said Melandri of Honda Gresini team.
There is pressure on both Pedrosa and Melandri, but not quite on the reigning World Champion Nicky Hayden who has not hit top form so far this season. Hayden has endured some poor luck while trying to defend his title but his never-say-die attitude could guide the Repsol Champion like the Honda Accord mirror. His notable attitude and racing skills coupled with right driving conditions could work wonders.
“I can’t wait to get on the track on Friday morning to find out if I made as much progress as I think I did on the Monday and Tuesday test in Spain. I really hope it will all carry over and that I haven’t just been fooling myself – anyway and we’ll find out soon! Plus I’m fully over my injuries from the Le Mans crash so I feel ready to push really hard. Donington is a pretty good track,” said Hayden.
“On the Thursday before the race the Riders for Health charity does some good fundraising work and we’re bringing a few kids from the Make-a-Wish Foundation for the weekend too, so I’m looking forward to that. Also we’ve got a few British ‘lads’ in my team and this is their home track, so it would be nice to give them a good result here at ‘Paradise Island’ as they call it,” added Hayden.
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