DUCATI MARLBORO RIDERS BEGIN SET-UP QUEST AT 'UNIQUE' MOTEGI Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden were hard at work today as they began the tricky task of adapting their bike settings to the unique 'stop and go' demands...
DUCATI MARLBORO RIDERS BEGIN SET-UP QUEST AT 'UNIQUE' MOTEGI
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden were hard at work today as they began the tricky task of adapting their bike settings to the unique 'stop and go' demands of the Motegi circuit. First free practice for the Grand Prix of Japan saw Stoner lap fourth quickest and Hayden thirteenth, with both riders confident of major improvements tomorrow.
After his victory last time out in Spain Stoner was quickly on the pace in the Japanese sunshine, which defied wet weather forecasts, although an impressive effort on his ninth lap proved to be his best of nineteen as he struggled to make improvements in the second half of the hour. Hayden, on the other hand, overcame an early technical problem to steadily improve his pace before a late crash halted his progress after eighteen laps.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 4th -- 1'48.481
"From the first setting we tried to the second one and we made a huge step forward but after that, as I got more used to the track and found my braking points, we went a little bit backwards with the set-up. Also the rear tyre dropped off a lot towards the end, which affected my pace although it was the softer compound tyre and it had pretty much done race distance so that is not a concern. The question for us is whether we can get our bike working with the hard compound tomorrow. Hopefully the weather stays like this and allows us that opportunity because we have plenty of things we want to try."
NICKY HAYDEN (Ducati Marlboro Team) 13th -- 1'49.882
"The session didn't start so well, I had a brake problem and had to come in after one lap and just generally struggled to get into a rhythm over my first couple of runs. After that we made a change and immediately I felt better and improved my time. Unfortunately halfway around my next lap I made a mistake in the hairpin and crashed. It was only a little one -- I lost the front and then saved it but my left foot came up and I just tipped off the inside of the bike. It was a bummer because I lost quite a bit of track time and looking at my ideal lap I would have been seventh fastest. This track is quite unique and always takes a little bit of work on the set-up so even though things haven't gone smoothly today I am satisfied that we are close to where we need to be and we have some clear ideas about tomorrow."