STONER SEALS FRONT ROW START IN JAPAN, HAYDEN QUALIFIES ELEVENTH Casey Stoner and his crew made a significant improvement to the set-up of his Desmosedici GP10 machine in the final stages of qualifying this afternoon, allowing the Australian to...
STONER SEALS FRONT ROW START IN JAPAN, HAYDEN QUALIFIES ELEVENTH
Casey Stoner and his crew made a significant improvement to the set-up of his Desmosedici GP10 machine in the final stages of qualifying this afternoon, allowing the Australian to secure a front row start for Sunday's race. Stoner and his team-mate Nicky Hayden have endured a busy weekend so far in working to adapt their bikes to the demands of the Motegi circuit, a stop and go layout that is in stark contrast to the fast bends of Aragon.
Whilst Stoner's late charge saw him secure third place on the grid, just a tenth of a second shy of pole position, there was no such breakthrough for Hayden. The American made gradual but only slight progress throughout the session and qualified eleventh.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 3rd -- 1'47.105
"We started out yesterday with a very similar setting to Aragon, with a similar geometry, but we had to drop the bike quite a lot because we were having a lot of problems under braking and in the exit from the corners the front was coming up. So we dropped it down to try and get some more stability but then found that we had lost grip. The track was getting better and I was riding harder but we were getting slower! We had to lift the bike a little to get more weight over the rear and decided to put up with the wheelies. Immediately we found an improvement and the lap times started to tumble. From there we threw a soft tyre in and we escaped the clutches of the third row so we're happy."
NICKY HAYDEN -- (Ducati Marlboro Team) 11th -- 1'48.182
"It hasn't been a good day for us really. The team has worked really hard but we have been dancing around problems. I'm suffering a lot of pumping on corner exit and the front is quite harsh over the bumps -- it's closing a lot. Eleventh place on the grid is never good and my race pace isn't too hot either. It's unfortunate and I'm not real happy right now but we'll come back tomorrow and try to make it right."