Saturday, October 18, 2008
Historic first Bridgestone pole creates confidence in Pedrosa
Saturday, 18 October 2008
A 2´01.548 lap of the Sepang circuit put Dani Pedrosa into the history books as the first rider to take pole with two different tyre manufacturers in a single season.
Dani Pedrosa took his first pole position with Bridgestone tyres in the thrilling Sepang qualifying shootout, a spectacular return to form for the Spaniard after six races away from the front row. The Repsol Honda rider snatched the top spot from Valentino Rossi at the end of the hour-long session, becoming the first rider in history to take pole with two different tyre manufacturers in a single season. His previous pole of the year came on Michelin rubber at Le Mans.
`It is fantastic to be on pole here, especially since this is my first pole with Bridgestone tyres, so a big thank you to them and also to my team who have worked so hard for this,´ said an elated Pedrosa after putting down his storming 2´01.548 lap.
`Track conditions were changing all the time this afternoon, so it was quite tricky. At the beginning it was wet, then little by little the track dried, so you had to be on the ball to understand when it was best to change tyres. I was able to get in a good lap time in my final run, and I´m very happy to get this pole position.´
`Victory´ in qualifying holds a special significance at a circuit like Sepang, where the front row has traditionally provided the race winner in the premier class. Pedrosa has upped his race pace from his initial Friday morning struggles during the previous practice sessions, and now feels confident ahead of the Polini Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix –whatever the weather.
`Pole is particularly important here because the lap times are all very close, so a good start will be crucial. We already know what race tyres we are going to use and I feel that we are ready to race. Of course, everything depends on the weather, it usually rains here most days, so we will have to wait and see when tomorrow´s rain storm arrives. It could be wet, dry or mixed.´