STONER FIFTH AND MELANDRI THIRTEENTH ON DAY ONE AT VALENCIA Free practice for the final Grand Prix of the 2008 season got underway today, with the last two days' rain continuing at the Cheste circuit and contributing to a somewhat lethargic ...
STONER FIFTH AND MELANDRI THIRTEENTH ON DAY ONE AT VALENCIA
Free practice for the final Grand Prix of the 2008 season got underway today, with the last two days' rain continuing at the Cheste circuit and contributing to a somewhat lethargic atmosphere that brought back memories of the final day of the school term.
There was little in the way of excitement for the riders, who were forced to lap with a wet setting throughout the day on a treacherously slippery circuit that contributed to a series of crashes.
Casey Stoner was one of the riders to slide off the track during the morning session, the crash slowing down set-up work for this notoriously tight circuit and limiting him to the fifth fastest time in the afternoon session. The Australian is hoping for better conditions tomorrow as he finalises preparations for Sunday's race.
Marco Melandri's problems continued as he struggled to the thirteenth fastest time.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 5th fastest: 1'46.260
"So far things haven't gone too well and we're still a long way off with the set-up. For the past few races we've struggled a little more than usual in the wet and even though we've managed to sort it out in the past we've not done so here yet. We're lacking a bit of rear traction and we need to improve corner entry too. This morning I crashed without any kind of warning from the bike although there was a lot of water at that particular point and maybe I was a little outside the usual line. I wasn't hurt and in general the wrist isn't as bad in the wet anyway. We know what changes we need to make to the bike tomorrow if the conditions are the same. We know we can do better than that, we just need to work hard."
MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 13th fastest: 1'48.437
"It seems that the rain is following us wherever we go. Anyway, today was difficult for us, like all season has been, and I can't just blame that on the weather. I don't have any feeling with the bike and I can't ride it how I want to here."