Repsol Honda press release
On the first day of Free Practice in the Australian Grand Prix, local boy Casey Stoner ended the top of the timing sheets with Respol Honda team mates Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa sixth and seventh.
Weather conditions at Phillip Island were perfect with an afternoon air temperature of 21 degrees and a track temperature of 44 degrees, however all three riders reported a very bumpy track compared to last year.
Casey had a fall in FP1 but soon put it behind him and concentrated on finding the best set up for his RC212V to attack the bumpy Phillip Island track. In FP2 he found some more rear grip but lost some front end feeling, he remained fastest of the day with a 1'30.475 lap. Andrea also complained about the track surface and spent the sessions working on the feeling in the front of the bike, alternating between the hard and soft compound tyres to see which worked best. Dani struggled with rear grip and only improved his lap time slightly from the morning session, he and his team will work hard in FP3 tomorrow morning to find the best set up for Qualifying.
CASEY STONER - 1st 1'30.475
"I don't feel totally comfortable with the bike today and I'm sure we can improve the bike a lot. The track is certainly a lot more bumpy than last year and I think it will be very difficult to get the bike feeling 100% as the circuit is making things worse. In general we've found the Honda is better in certain aspects than what we had last year but with these bumps it's difficult to compare in other areas. We need to get the bike riding the bumps in the front a lot better, and also find some more rear grip. There is still a lot of work before we find the right race set up and we know we can go a lot faster".
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO - 6th 1'31.532
"It's been a difficult first day of practice. The track has many more bumps than last year and it's difficult to see them, maybe because the surface is very dark I don't know, but I've been struggling to get a good feeling with the front. I decided to keep the hard tyre in front because it suits my riding style more, but with these bumps it's impossible to control the bike and when I switched to the soft front tyre I couldn't improve my time either. If the temperature drops tomorrow it will be even more complicated, but we will try our best to improve and have a good qualifying session".