Casey Struggling For Feeling On Day One At Laguna Seca

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The three Repsol Honda riders started with an excellent level in the two first free sessions held today on the Laguna Seca circuit in California. After the first session, dominated by Casey Stoner, the times were faster in the second, which finished with Dani Pedrosa setting the second best time, followed by Stoner and Dovizioso, in a session led by Jorge Lorenzo.

The special ambiance of the United States Grand Prix, which one more year held a spectacular track of Laguna Seca, the premiere category of the Motorcycling World Championship, saw the Repsol Honda Team riders become the most powerful team of the category, completing three of the four first positions of the classification. Despite the difference of temperature from the previous years, from between 18ºC and 22ºC in the first and second session, the tarmac reached 48ºC, allowing for a positive first contact in the American track.

The first free practice saw a dominant Casey Stoner taking the initiative since the beginning. The Australian of the Repsol Honda Team did 19 laps, outperforming by 102 thousandths his team mate, Dani Pedrosa, who suffered a minor crash at the end of the peculiar Laguna Seca straight —who has a left-hand corner where the riders don’t leave the gas—. Pedrosa braked too late and when he reached the gravel and with the Honda nearly stopped, the Repsol rider lost control and fell, although with no physical nor material damages. 611 thousandths behind Stoner finished Andrea Dovizioso, who was finally fifth after 23 laps to the short American track.

In the second session, before the track reached the optimal grip level, times were reduced and Pedrosa, Stoner and Dovizioso were again among the fastest. The protagonist of last Sunday’s podium Germany dominated again the time sheet, where Jorge Lorenzo finished first, followed just 141 thousandths later by Dani Pedrosa, who also outperformed Casey Stoner in 34 thousandths. After him, three tenths from the Australian’s time, finished Andrea Dovizioso —1 minute, 22 seconds and 537 thousandths—, thus completing a very good day for the Repsol Honda Team in Laguna Seca.

Casey Stoner

FP1 – 1:22.300, 19 laps, 69 km.
FP2 – 1:22.231, 20 laps, 72 km.

“We’ve been trying all day to get a slightly different balance with the bike to get the tyres working differently but we’re struggling to get the feeling that we want and that we’ve had in the past.
We’ve changed the set up quite substantially, with pivot positions and trying to get the rear to work with a little less temperature in the tyre, which we’ve accomplished but still haven’t got the grip that we want and we’re creating too much wheel spin.
Also, we’re struggling to find a good feeling in the front and just not totally comfortable with the bike in general so we have a some work to do tonight and will continue in the morning to get prepared for qualifying”.