STONER TO START FROM FOURTH AT MUGELLO, MELANDRI 18TH Casey Stoner will start tomorrow's race at Mugello from the second row of the grid after lapping fourth fastest in qualifying practice for the Italian Grand Prix. However, his team-mate Marco...
STONER TO START FROM FOURTH AT MUGELLO, MELANDRI 18TH
Casey Stoner will start tomorrow's race at Mugello from the second row of the grid after lapping fourth fastest in qualifying practice for the Italian Grand Prix. However, his team-mate Marco Melandri struggled to find a solution to his set-up problems and the Italian faces a tough home race from 18th on the grid.
The riders enjoyed their first full hour of completely dry time this afternoon, adverse weather in the other three sessions turning set-up work and tyre choice into a dramatic race against the clock. Stoner found a comfortable setting just minutes before the moment came to fit a soft qualifying tyre and he is confident for tomorrow. Melandri will again experiment with weight distribution in tomorrow's warm-up session as he aims to find better feeling with the rear.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 4th fastest: 1'48.357
"In the afternoon we tried some new settings at the start of the session but they really weren't working so we decided to go back to what we'd found in the morning, when the bike felt smooth, and immediately the feeling with the chassis came back. We refined it a little more and just before we put the qualifying tyre in I felt really comfortable with the race set-up. I only got two laps in with that set-up on a race tyre but that was enough to make me feel confident about it and we know the tyre has longevity because it's the same tyre a lot of other riders have been using and we already put race distance on the same compound and construction. We put the qualifying tyre in and I honestly think I could have put in a strong challenge for pole position but I got held up by some slower riders, even though they were also on qualifiers. I feel frustrated about that but the grid position is still good for the race and I'm determined to bring home a good result for everybody at Ducati in their home race."
MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 18th fastest: 1'50.889
"We've had four really tough sessions here and we've completely changed the configuration of the bike in each of them without finding the correct solution. We got more and more confused and unfortunately the feeling with the bike just got worse. The feeling with the rear is vague and the tyre doesn't reach optimum temperature. We'll have to see tomorrow but we somehow need to get more weight on the rear so that I can get a feel for the tyre on the way into the corner, which is where I'm having most of my problems."