Sachsenring Practice, Casey: “We Need A Big Step Forward Tomorrow”

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The two first free practice sessions of the German Grand Prix allowed to see today at Sachsenring circuit a recovered Dani Pedrosa. Despite a minor crash in the morning session. the Repsol rider finished the day with a remarkable third fastest time, just ahead of his team mates, Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

There is undoubtedly a very special relationship between Dani Pedrosa and the Sachsenring. With two memorable victories in MotoGP —2007 and 2010—, the Respol rider also won here in his two visits on a 250cc in 2004 and 2005. Nevertheless, he also suffered a dramatic crash here in 2008, when under a deluge he was on his way to his first win on wet asphalt.

Today, Pedrosa saw again both sides of the coin, with a minor crash in the first session —he lost grip in the front wheel on corner 11— but also with a positive third position at the end of the day, after a second session where he finished 207 thousandths behind the fastest, Marco Simoncelli.

Just behind him, finished Casey Stoner, who also suffered a crash this morning in the same corner 11, where, apart from Pedrosa, also finished on the floor Valentino Rossi and Toni Elías. It is a right-hand corner following seven consecutive left-hand bends, where the riders lost grip on the front wheel. Despite the crash, Stoner took the track again quickly to finish the first session in second position.

A session that Andrea Dovizioso also finished in fifth place. The Italian of the Repsol Honda Team improved his time by 7 tenths from the morning, after completing 25 laps to the German track, finishing 427 thousandths behind the fastest time. Andrea was satisfied at the end of this first day, both due to his feelings and his performance at the German circuit.

Casey Stoner

FP1 – 1:23.004, 15 laps, 55 km.
FP2 – 1:22.542, 19 laps, 70km.

“I’m not too happy with how today has gone, we had a crash second lap out in FP1 and this affected us quite a lot, we lost a lot of time coming in and changing leathers and then I had to go out on a bike that I wasn’t quite as comfortable with, so apart from the last few laps, this morning’s session was a bit of a waste for us.
Then this afternoon we tried the bike from this mornings crash but something wasn’t quite right with it so we had to come back in and get on the other bike. We definitely made some progress, we started using hard tyres front and rear and made some positive steps but we still need to take a big step forward tomorrow.
Our confidence was knocked today and I’m feeling a little sore still but we remain positive for tomorrow and hopefully we’ll be able to close the gap a little more”.