STONER AND HAYDEN BEGIN SET-UP WORK IN SCORCHING SPANISH HEATWAVE Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden began with the difficult task of finding a set-up to cope with the sizzling Spanish summer at Barcelona today, as the...
STONER AND HAYDEN BEGIN SET-UP WORK IN SCORCHING SPANISH HEATWAVE
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden began with the difficult task of finding a set-up to cope with the sizzling Spanish summer at Barcelona today, as the Grand Prix of Catalunya got underway in 37C ambient temperatures, with the track surface reaching 53C.
Such conditions always take their toll on the riders, their bikes and in particular their tyres but both Stoner and Hayden made encouraging progress in the opening free practice. The Australian was happy to start out with a better base set-up than he has found in recent weeks, whilst the American struggled for edge grip in the first half of the session before making important steps forward in the final few minutes
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 2nd (1'43.412)
"I'm very happy about today. We started off on the right foot and so far I've had no problems with my arm -- we just need to spend a little more time on the set-up of the bike but at this point of the weekend we have to be happy with it. It feels good and it's easy to ride but we still have a long way to go before we start setting the lap times we think will be necessary. We have to work a little bit more with the rear set-up and the gearbox and I think if we can get better in those areas we'll notice a big improvement overall. It is very hot here but the tyres are working well and our bike works in a different temperature range to the others, which could work to our advantage."
NICKY HAYDEN (Ducati Marlboro Team) 8th (1'44.440)
"It wasn't a great first session for us -- we struggled a lot for rear grip. On the edge of the tyre I had no traction and I was losing a lot of time. Towards the end we got it a little bit better but it was quite a tricky session to be honest. We were trying to manage one engine and put more miles on it whilst the other one felt a little better so that was tough. It's not a great start for us but at least I feel like I'm not on the limit yet. There is a lot of room for improvement and we have a lot of work to do tomorrow because we're 1.1 seconds off the pace and that is a lot."