STONER SETS EARLY PACE AT MISANO, MELANDRI SIXTEENTH Casey Stoner , the only rider to breach the 1'35 barrier, topped the time sheets in both of the opening free practice sessions for the San Marino GP, lapping just outside the previous circuit...
STONER SETS EARLY PACE AT MISANO, MELANDRI SIXTEENTH
Casey Stoner , the only rider to breach the 1'35 barrier, topped the time sheets in both of the opening free practice sessions for the San Marino GP, lapping just outside the previous circuit record despite the track being slightly lengthened at the Variante del Parco corner and a bizarre hand injury.
The Australian went to visit Doctor Costa at the Clinica Mobile at the end of the afternoon session, with x-rays showing that the scaphiod break he suffered in 2003 appears to have re-opened.
The injury will make it extremely painful and awkward for Stoner to ride tomorrow, although the Australian will undergo physio and wear a special support in order to give it his best shot.
Marco Melandri was sixteenth fastest today but is confident of making improvements with the front-end set-up of his bike.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1st: 1'34.806
"The scaphoid is a really strange one because there has been no impact on it. I was just adjusting my back protector before going out for one of my runs this afternoon and I felt some pain. It got worse as the session went on so we decided to check it out with the Clinica Mobile and I couldn't believe it when they showed me the x-ray - it seems the bone I broke in 2003 has re-opened. It's not going to be easy and I'll have to take care not to cause any further damage but my plan is to compete tomorrow. It's a shame because other than that everything else went really well today. It's nice to get off to a good start at this circuit, we went well here last year and the bike and tyres seem to be working well already. I'm not a big fan of the changes to the track. Last year turn two and turn three were a lot of fun but this year it's too tight. You can't flow so well, the grip isn't so good it's a bit of a shame. Even so there are some points of the track that are still a lot of fun and in general I enjoy riding here. Hopefully we can continue like this tomorrow."
MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 16th: 1'37.096
"This is one of the hottest events we've had this year and the temperatures are making the track quite slippery. We've worked really hard to counteract this and we've found decent grip on the rear. The feeling on the front is not as good, however, and I can't be precise with my lines or fast. That is the only real problem at the moment so I'm confident that if we can solve it we can take a big step forward tomorrow. The changes they've made to the track will make it more difficult to overtake in that section, which is a shame, although I do think it is more fun to ride."