Ducati duo take second row in Istanbul The Ducati duo of Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi will line up in fourth and fifth on the grid for tomorrow afternoon's Turkish Grand Prix, the highest placed Bridgestone-shod riders in this afternoon's ...
Ducati duo take second row in Istanbul
The Ducati duo of Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi will line up in fourth and fifth on the grid for tomorrow afternoon's Turkish Grand Prix, the highest placed Bridgestone-shod riders in this afternoon's qualifying session at the Istanbul Park circuit.
Stoner has dominated the free practice sessions setting the benchmark race pace in the low-mid 1m54s, but with durability the major decisive factor in tomorrow afternoon's race, Bridgestone will continue to discuss all available race tyre options with its five teams in order the capitalise in the notable improvements it has made since last season's difficult Turkish GP.
Having never tested with 800cc machines at the Istanbul track, a lot of decisions have rested on data collected from previous races and meticulous evaluation of front and rear specification tyres has been required in each of the four sessions so far this weekend. Time has been a precious commodity and has prevented Bridgestone from conducting a complete 22-lap race simulation with any of its teams, which leaves a question mark over the tyre performance during the entire race. Bridgestone remains pleased with progress so far, a feeling shared by its riders and teams.
Tyre Talk with Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport -Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
Did the qualifying results this afternoon meet your expectations?
"We cannot be satisfied with today's results because we are not on the front row and it is clear that we still have work to do to improve the general performance of our qualifying tyres. However, this is something that we are addressing and trying to achieve on a race-by-race basis. We brought a new specification rear qualifying tyre here this weekend, which is an improvement on its predecessor but the gap to the front row was more evident here than in the previous two races. Nevertheless, we have Casey and Loris on the second row for Ducati and both Suzukis in the top ten, two bikes that have shown good potential in race trim."
How is the race pace of the Bridgestone tyres?
"It has been difficult to truly understand how our tyres will perform over the 22 lap race distance because we have spent our time gathering as much information as possible from the various specs we have selected. In this morning's practice session, we carried out a medium length run which showed that our level of performance is generally better than last season. As expected, the lack of testing at this track has left us with a number of tyre options all of which need to be carefully analysed. The track is continuing to improve as more rubber is laid down on the surface, so we must think ahead to correctly predict what conditions will face us tomorrow afternoon, rather than rely solely on the conditions that we experienced throughout today. We must sit down with our teams and riders to assess the options available for before our final race tyre selection."
Riding Perspective - Casey Stoner - Ducati - 4th Place
"We are reasonably sure of what set-up and what tyres we are going to use for the race so we didn't have to do too much testing this afternoon and I think we can look forward to a good battle up front. The first qualifier didn't go too well, I wasn't very confident with it, I ran wide and didn't do the best effort. The second qualifier would have been a lot better but unfortunately I couldn't get rid of a few riders before the lap. I suppose I slowed down too much trying to get rid of them, the tyres got too cold and when I started the lap the tyres were moving around a lot. As the lap went on I got a bit better but it was just my fault for taking it too easy on the out lap."
Weather: Dry - Air 20C, Track 34C, Humidity 14%