STONER SETS THE PACE ON DAY ONE, MELANDRI IN FIFTEENTH Casey Stoner set the fastest lap on the opening day of the Czech Republic Grand Prix despite suffering the effects of an illness, which has left him weak and unable to ride to the maximum of...
STONER SETS THE PACE ON DAY ONE, MELANDRI IN FIFTEENTH
Casey Stoner set the fastest lap on the opening day of the Czech Republic Grand Prix despite suffering the effects of an illness, which has left him weak and unable to ride to the maximum of his ability. The Australian still managed to lap a second inside circuit record pace this afternoon under cloudy skies, which eventually gave way to heavy rain shortly after the end of the second MotoGP free practice.
Marco Melandri made a promising start this morning but dropped down the time sheets this afternoon, despite improving his best lap time. The Italian's target tomorrow is to improve his feeling with the bike, particularly with the rear end.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1st - 1'57.231
"Unfortunately I've not been feeling well for a few days and I felt very weak today - I even felt sapped of energy just putting my gloves on. I can deal with a bit of tiredness but this afternoon I could only ride a handful of laps before I started to feel cramps in my stomach. That doesn't help my crew because I've not been able to put many consecutive laps together and this morning wasn't too good for us, we struggled to find the right set-up for this new surface. To look at you'd think it would be smooth on the tyres but it's actually quite aggressive, particularly on the front. This afternoon we went with a harder compound front tyre - similar to what we used at Laguna and Sachsenring, which is about the hardest we've got - and we had to work on the geometry to get the most effective load on the front tyre. The guys improved the bike every time I came in so it was frustrating not to be able to put it all together with a long run. We still have a lot of work to do so hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow and the weather holds out for us."
MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 15th - 1'59.943
"We started out well this morning and did some decent lap times but in the afternoon we didn't manage to make progress with the set-up and as the other riders improved we lost more and more ground. The bike is moving around a lot, especially on the rear, so that's an area we have to work on tomorrow - weather permitting. The new surface has improved the track overall although there are still a few bumps here and there."