Frustrated Casey Lines Up Fourth On Estoril Grid
After yesterdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s storm on the Portuguese track of Estoril, today the weather respected the MotoGP sessions, which shaped the starting row for tomorrow, where Pedrosa will start from the first row while Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso will start from the second.
Despite the clouds that covered the sky during all day, the rain did not appear at the Portuguese track. Nevertheless, the morning practice session was held with the surface still damp due to the heavy rain fallen just 24 hours before which made most premiere class riders to be cautious. In the first practice session, Casey Stoner completed seven laps, while Andrea Dovizioso did fourteen and Dani Pedrosa eleven. They finished fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, with times ten seconds slower that the ones set yesterday.
With the asphalt completely dry but with the possibility of the unpredictable rain, all riders set a good pace quickly. Dani Pedrosa was soon among the fastest, while Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso improved yesterdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s times and sensations steadily.
Once again, when the end of the session approached, the pace raised at the Portuguese track, where the three Repsol riders set red helmets on the time displays, indicating they were setting times better than the pole. The fastest time was finally set by Jorge Lorenzo. Pedrosa did his best in the two last laps, but the time he gained in the first part of the track was lost in the second, and finally finished 163 thousandths adrift of his fellow countryman.
Then it was the turn of his team mate, Casey Stoner, who also set very good times in the first sectors of the Estoril track. However, when he crossed the finish line, the Australian was 60 thousandths behind Pedrosa and tomorrow will lead the second row of the grid. Andrea Dovizioso will start from the right side of that second row, after setting the sixth fastest time of the day, after improving by more than half a second the time he set yesterday.
FP3 – 1:47.676, 7 laps, 29 km.
QP – 1:37.384, 25 laps, 105 km.
“Today hasn’t really been that great for us either, this morning’s session was pretty much a waste of time we were just working on our wet setting that we weren’t really happy with in Jerez. We improved that situation a little and we can hopefully expect a better feeling next time in wet conditions.This afternoon we continued on from yesterday, trying to find a better balance under braking and mid-turn corner speed but it wasn’t until towards the middle, end of session that we started to make some improvements with the bike.
Every time I went out the balance didn’t feel correct so we tried to go in another direction, finally we found the right route and we improved a little bit more each run after that, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to use the qualifying tyre like I wanted to. When I went out there with the only new tyre that we had for the session, I made a few mistakes in the early laps so didn’t really use the best of the tyre. I think the race potential is there now and hopefully we can have a good race tomorrow”.