STONER SEVENTH BUT CONFIDENT FOR THE RACE, MELANDRI 14TH The second day of the Grand Prix of Malaysia was again hit by mixed weather conditions, making for a tricky qualifying practice and a virtual lottery in the scrap for grid positions. It...
STONER SEVENTH BUT CONFIDENT FOR THE RACE, MELANDRI 14TH
The second day of the Grand Prix of Malaysia was again hit by mixed weather conditions, making for a tricky qualifying practice and a virtual lottery in the scrap for grid positions.
It was a case of judging the conditions and timing a qualifying run for as late as possible but a small problem cost Casey Stoner the chance of challenging for pole position. With less than five minutes remaining of the session the Australian became the first rider to dip inside the 2'03 mark but he missed the chance to defend his position when a small mistake in the garage saw him head out onto the track for his final attempt without enough time to complete his flying lap before the chequered flag was waved.
However, last year's race winner remains confident of mounting a challenge tomorrow after a very positive morning free practice in dry conditions, thanks to the good job made by the team on the set up of the bike overnight.
Marco Melandri is also satisfied with his set-up but could only manage fourteenth place on the grid.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 7th - 2'02.953
"The guys did a great job with the bike overnight and in the dry this morning it felt much better than it had done yesterday. My pace was good and I felt much more comfortable. We struggled a little bit in the afternoon because there wasn't enough weight on the rear but we didn't really get much time to work on that because it dried out so quickly. In any case, the wet pace was pretty good so if it rains tomorrow, which looks likely, then I'm confident we'll have a good set-up. Unfortunately qualifying was a bit of a lottery with the way the track dried out and we missed the chequered flag with my final qualifying tyre by just twenty seconds, so that was frustrating. Anyway, the most important thing is that we're in good shape for wet or dry conditions so I'm looking forward to going out and having some fun in the race."
MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 14th - 2'03.835
"The conditions today were a little strange but in the end the track was dry so I can't blame that for my fourteenth place. I know I'm repeating myself but I don't have any feeling with the bike in these conditions and that's despite doing a good job with my team on the set-up here. It is going to make it difficult tomorrow, especially with such tough conditions that we always have to deal with here in Malaysia."