STONER FASTEST IN RAIN AT MUGELLO, CAPIROSSI HAPPY WITH NEW ENGINE SPEC Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi finished today's first two practice sessions at Mugello fourth and ninth fastest overall. World Championship ...
STONER FASTEST IN RAIN AT MUGELLO, CAPIROSSI HAPPY WITH NEW ENGINE SPEC
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Loris Capirossi finished today's first two practice sessions at Mugello fourth and ninth fastest overall. World Championship leader Stoner shone in this afternoon's rain-lashed second session, lapping fastest aboard his Bridgestone-equipped Desmosedici GP7.
Conditions this morning were cool and dry but thunder, lightning and torrential rain hit Mugello at lunchtime, flooding parts of the track, riders experiencing aquaplaning where the circuit was at its wettest. Stoner rode a few exploratory laps when heavy rain was still falling, then returned to the pits to wait until near the end of the hour when the rain had eased off. Capirossi meanwhile spent the day comparing and refining his new engine spec, which has been designed to offer smoother power delivery.
CASEY STONER, 4th fastest, 1m 51.356s (rain: 2m 07.107s)
"The wet is no real drama for me, at Le Mans we didn't really have the perfect setting, we definitely gained experience from that, so we changed the wet setting a bit and definitely made improvements, so I feel a lot more comfortable now. I came in after three or four laps this afternoon because it kept raining and getting wetter, so I said that's enough for now, it was getting too much. You can go around but it's not safe and you're not learning anything, so I thought it better to come in and wait for the right time to go out again. This morning we weren't too bad in the dry - race pace was pretty good straight away. For sure we can improve the bike. We need to improve traction a little bit, which we did this morning, and we need to improve the turning a bit because I don't have the same sensitivity I've had at other tracks. We pretty much know what settings we need to change to make it turn a bit harder and we should be all right, so it's looking good wet or dry."
LORIS CAPIROSSI, 9th fastest, 1m 51.803s (rain: 2m 10.220s)
"We learned a lot today. This morning we compared the new engine spec against the standard spec. I think the new stuff has potential, the power delivery is already smoother at low revs and we can improve it a lot more. This afternoon we worked on the new spec, making some improvements, but clearly the track conditions weren't the best for this kind of work, even though the track wasn't so bad considering how hard it was raining. There was so much water on the main straight that the rear tyre was spinning a lot even when I shifted into sixth. We still have a few things to fix but that's normal when you have a lot of new ideas to test. I'm generally pretty happy with today but I really hope we get two dry sessions tomorrow so we can continue setting up the new spec. If not, we probably won't race with it on Sunday."