Stoner sets record-breaking standard in Assen practice Ducati Corse rider Casey Stoner, winner of last weekend's British Grand Prix, continued his impressive form in today's opening practice sessions for Saturday's Dutch TT at ...
Stoner sets record-breaking standard in Assen practice
Ducati Corse rider Casey Stoner, winner of last weekend's British Grand Prix, continued his impressive form in today's opening practice sessions for Saturday's Dutch TT at Assen, beating the existing pole position record, set in 2006 by John Hopkins, by almost four-tenths-of-a-second, using Bridgestone race tyres.
During today's two practice sessions, Stoner completed an impressive 17 laps quicker than any other riders' best of the day, setting a high benchmark for the remainder of the weekend. His best time of the day, 1m36.087s, was 0.7s quicker than his nearest challenger, Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, who ended the day in second position.
A total of six Bridgestone-shod riders were classified in the top ten of the combined practice standings with Honda Gresini riders Alex de Angelis and Shinya Nakano in fifth and sixth place, Kawasaki's John Hopkins in eighth, and Rizla Suzuki's Chris Vermeulen in tenth spot. Only half-a-second separated Rossi in second from Sylvain Guintoli, who was an encouraging twelfth for the Alice Team.
Bridgestone used the dry weather conditions in Assen today to understand the best slick tyre specifications to use this weekend, and to set a firm foundation for the rest of the weekend. Bridgestone has yet to see a rider on its tyres take victory around the legendary Assen circuit, something that the tyre manufacturer hopes to rectify this weekend.
Tyre Talk with Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
Are you surprised with the competitive times today?
"Casey and Ducati have again started the race weekend in a very strong way, and it is impressive to see that Casey's best time on race tyres is quicker than the existing pole position record, which John Hopkins set using our qualifying tyres two years ago. Our main focus this morning was on checking the tyre specifications that our teams have allocated this weekend. The track conditions have been quite hot and we have looked at harder specification tyres than what we would normally expect to run here, and have seen some very respectable lap times."
What is the plan for tomorrow?
"Some riders put many laps on the same rear tyre during this afternoon's session with some pleasing consistency, which will be the key factor for Saturday's race. However, we need to conduct some mid-long range runs in tomorrow's practice session to understand the behaviour of the tyres, especially over consecutive laps. Naturally, we must also work with our teams to gain more performance from the tyres, but for today, I think we can be satisfied with a solid start to this weekend, at a circuit where we have yet to be victorious."
Session 1 / Dry - Air 24o.C, Track 28o.C (Bridgestone measurement)
Session 2 / Dry - Air 24o.C, Track 38o.C (Bridgestone measurement)