Stoner under lap record to set pole in Germany
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Hard, Extra Hard. Rear (asymmetric): Medium, Hard
After a very close qualifying session for the German Grand Prix in which the provisional front row was separated by just hundredths of a second for most of the hour of track time, it was Casey Stoner with a final charge who leapt 0.2seconds clear of the field to set his sixth pole position of the season and his 27th on Bridgestone tyres.
Stoner was the only man to dip below the existing lap record, set by Dani Pedrosa last year, and did so twice: once on a harder rear tyre and again using a softer rear right at the end of the session. His fastest time came using the harder front slick tyre too, which was used by all riders as the track temperature reached a weekend-high of 46 degrees Celsius.
If conditions remain the same, which current forecasts suggest they will, based on today’s rider preferences race tyre choice tomorrow is likely to be the harder front and harder rear options.
Behind Stoner just 0.02seconds separates Dani Pedrosa in second, Jorge Lorenzo in third and Marco Simoncelli in fourth. Around the 3.6km Sachsenring circuit, the top twelve riders are within one second, suggesting a close race. Tomorrow’s 30-lap race gets underway at 1400hrs local time.
Hirohide Hamashima – Assistant to Director, Motorsport Tyre Development Division
“In general the temperature has been much higher today and the track condition has been better so we have not seen the front grip issues experienced yesterday morning. In fact, during qualifying every rider favoured our harder front option because of its increased stability and wear resistance given the track temperature. I am pleased to see that Casey could set a time under the lap record using both the harder and softer rear slicks, both of which are softer this year compared to last season here, as this shows that both are working well and the performance of our revised rear tyre selection is good. Casey also completed nearly race distance on the harder slicks and durability and consistency were good as he was still able to lap fast at the end with no complaints at the start of the run. The forecast is that it will be hotter tomorrow, so managing the tyre temperature especially for the rear will be very important during the race.”