Japanese GP: Ducati Friday practice report

STONER SETS THE EARLY PACE AT MOTEGI, GOOD START FOR MELANDRI Casey Stoner set the quickest lap on the opening day of free practice for the Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi today, where Marco Melandri made an encouraging start with the eighth...

STONER SETS THE EARLY PACE AT MOTEGI, GOOD START FOR MELANDRI

Casey Stoner set the quickest lap on the opening day of free practice for the Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi today, where Marco Melandri made an encouraging start with the eighth fastest time. It was a good day for Ducati in general, with all four riders inside the top ten.

The weather continued its persecution of the MotoGP paddock in 2008, with morning rain making for a damp track that dried out in the afternoon. Lap times, however, were still some way off record pace.

Both Stoner and Melandri used the second session to find a good base setting for their machines and the pair are confident of further improvements tomorrow, providing weather forecasts predicting a dry day throughout are proved correct.

CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1st: 1'48.121

"This morning we struggled to find rear grip on the wet track and we couldn't understand why, so this afternoon it was a case of taking our time to get the setting right and eventually we found a decent feel. We have a few areas to improve on and one of the things we tried towards the end of this afternoon proved to be a blind alley, so that cost us some time. Basically we tried a new tyre but it was spinning up a lot on the rear and forcing me wide on the brakes. We need to make up for that tomorrow and a dry day would certainly help! My wrist is feeling pretty good here - much better than it has for the last two races anyway, only in the dry it is a little bit more difficult, in the wet no problems. I didn't use any bandage I preferred not to because I have not the same movement. If I can I won't use it."

MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 8th: 1'48.945

"This morning we had a lot of problems - we weren't totally prepared with the electronics and I was running wide for the first four or five laps. However, in the afternoon things went much better. We still have a few things to work on but the weekend has started out positively and I think that trend can carry through to the race. Now we'll see if we have another two sessions in the wet but at least it looks as though it will be dry for Sunday. If that's the case we have an idea about tyre choice and even though we have some way to go with the bike I can say I'm happy today."

-credit: ducati.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Marco Melandri , Casey Stoner