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HRC riders have mixed feelings on weather

Repsol Honda riders Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa have mixed feelings about tomorrow's British MotoGP at Donington Park after today's wet qualifying

The American, who branded his fourth slot on the grid as 'not so bad', would not mind a wet race, while his Spanish teammate 'would much prefer a dry race' after qualifying a lowly ninth.

The 2006 world champion's RC212V bike is fitted with HRC's new pneumatic-valve engine, at its debut in a race weekend and running in the wet for the first time today, while Pedrosa keeps on using the traditional engine.

"I had hoped to be on the front row," said Hayden. "Fourth here isn't so bad and we will be okay so long as we can get some stuff sorted out for the race.

"If it's wet tomorrow we're lucky it rained because we're using a completely different engine and today was the first time I rode it in the rain. It took some adjusting to, just a few laps to get comfortable on it.

"The engine is a little bit aggressive but I was able to control it okay. We certainly need more time to understand it some more but all in all it's not too bad."

He added: "We knew this weekend we were going to be a little bit in the dark because we don't know what this bike is going to do on tyres over race distance and we could've done with some more time on fuel consumption.

"This morning things felt good in the wet, but when things dried out this afternoon we were struggling to go fast, that's where we've got to work with Michelin to improve. The track's slippery, but it's cold too and that can make as much different as the surface.

"The race will be fun nonetheless, see what happens when that light goes out..."

Pedrosa, who is not expecting an easy race because of the circuit's tightness, was left puzzled by the faster pace of some rivals in the wet.

"The race won't be easy tomorrow because I've got to start from the third row of the grid," he said. "This is a tight, one-line racetrack where overtaking can be quite difficult.

"But the main unknown is the weather. If it's dry we already have some fairly clear ideas about machine set-up and tyre choice from yesterday's two dry sessions.

"Today the bike felt fine in the wet but some of the riders were going very fast with an impressive rhythm. So we will wait and see what the morning warm-up session brings. If I could choose, I would much prefer a dry race.

"As far as my physical condition goes, my back and hand are still hurting from yesterday's crash, though I do feel a bit better today."

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