STONER AND HAYDEN IN TOP THREE AS RAIN DELAYS PLAY AT THE ISLAND Both Ducati Team riders were amongst the top three fastest men on track once free practice for the Australian Grand Prix finally got underway today, with the action delayed...
STONER AND HAYDEN IN TOP THREE AS RAIN DELAYS PLAY AT THE ISLAND
Both Ducati Team riders were amongst the top three fastest men on track once free practice for the Australian Grand Prix finally got underway today, with the action delayed until 15:50h local time due to heavy rain at Phillip Island. With standing water on the track surface and flooding in some of the gravel traps, Race Direction took the decision to postpone the session for two hours as circuit staff worked frantically to get the track into the best possible conditions.
The rain abated once the session got underway, a dry line forming towards the end of the hour that saw the lap times drop significantly in the final ten minutes, with Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden clocking the second and third fastest times respectively.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Team) 2nd -- 1'41.480
"The conditions were difficult today and obviously we had the big delay too, which is not the ideal way to prepare. Also we would prefer a fully wet session but it started to dry towards the end and that denied us the opportunity to confirm the settings or get a full understanding of the conditions. Other than the wind, which made things very difficult, it was quite a successful day. We made a couple of changes and I feel we made a little improvement with the bike but again because of the conditions we weren't able to get much of a direction. Hopefully tomorrow we get consistent weather, whatever it may be, so that we can get a proper idea of our set-up in either the wet or the dry."
NICKY HAYDEN -- (Ducati Team) 3rd -- 1'41.631
"Those were nasty conditions... I mean nasty. It wasn't so much the wet but the wind. It was really strong and for me it took a little while to get comfortable with being blown around so much. Other than that the bike worked well in the wet. We made a little bit of a change to help the bike turn, keeping some weight on the front, for the second run and I was able to go okay. My pace wasn't too bad. Obviously it could be all for nothing if the forecast is right and the conditions are dry from here on but at this track you have to be prepared for anything and take advantage of every situation. We're in the top three and very close in the wet so that's a good sign. Anyway, we'll see what the conditions are like tomorrow and try to take advantage of whatever they are."