STONER ON FORM FOR FINAL FLING AT VALENCIA, HAYDEN LOOKING TO BUILD ON EARLY PROGRESS Casey Stoner made a strong start at Valencia today, setting the pace in the first free practice this morning and lapping second fastest in the afternoon.
STONER ON FORM FOR FINAL FLING AT VALENCIA, HAYDEN LOOKING TO BUILD ON EARLY PROGRESS
Casey Stoner made a strong start at Valencia today, setting the pace in the first free practice this morning and lapping second fastest in the afternoon. Stoner was more than half a second quicker than his closest rival in the opening session and whilst his advantage was overturned in the afternoon the Australian showed his great potential with a string of hot laps at the end of the hour.
Nicky Hayden was sixth fastest in the morning after making a strong start but he struggled to build on his progress in the afternoon, producing his best work at the end of the session with a run of improved laps that closed the gap to third place to just two tenths of a second. Both riders will look to improve in tomorrow morning's final free practice before the last qualifying session of the season in the afternoon.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 2nd -- 1'33.004
"Not too bad a day today. We had some problems over the two sessions with a small vibration in one of the bikes and we lost some time trying to work out what it was. We changed to the other one and we started to improve the setting a little bit but we hadn't really got enough time or laps to really improve it. I needed basically one more run to be happy with what we have but in general we feel quite good. We have had two sessions with very good weather so no problems. We just need to wait and see what the weather does tomorrow but if we can improve the situation of my preferred bike we would be happy."
NICKY HAYDEN -- (Ducati Marlboro Team) 10th -- 1'33.684
"Obviously today was not how we hoped to start the last race of the season. We started this morning quite good I was fastest in the first minutes of the session I think and then third, second... at least near the front but then it was very difficult to really improve from there. I think did a low 34 in my first run but I didn't find a lot of time since then so we have to try and understand why. Anyway, to be honest the position is not good for sure but we are not so far away in the lap times apart from the first two so we will see what we can do tomorrow to improve. It was nice having two full sessions today. We will regroup tomorrow and try to improve. I love this track, I love this race so it's a long way from over. We'll keep pushing."