Casey A Solid Second On Day One At Motegi

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The first day of the Japanese Grand Prix, fourteenth round of the MotoGP World Championship, started early this morning at the Motegi Circuit, where the Repsol Honda Team riders took the top three places at the end of the free practice sessions. Dani Pedrosa was the fastest, with a time of 1 minute, 46 seconds and 790 thousandths. Together with the Spaniard, Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso were the only riders able to set a time below the 1 minute and 47 seconds mark.

In the first free practice the Repsol Honda Team riders already showed their good level at the Japanese track. The golden wing bikes adapted themselves perfectly to the Honda-owned circuit and they led the times sheets, which after 45 minutes finished with Casey Stoner on top, followed by Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa in fourth.

Their dominion was even clearer on the second session, despite it starting under the threat of rain, but it was finally held on dry tarmac, allowing the Repsol riders to continue working in the set-up of their bikes for Sunday’s race. Stoner and Dovizioso soon took the initiative, but after some adjustments, Pedrosa was the first rider to get under 1 minute and 47 seconds. The Repsol rider, who turned 26 yesterday, had a very good birthday present with this fastest time, and he was accompanied by his two team mates, who, together with the Spaniard, were the only riders able to set a time of 1 minute 46 seconds.

Casey Stoner

FP1 – 1:47.289, 16 laps, 77 km.
FP2 – 1:46.844, 15 laps, 72 km.

“The bike felt pretty good this morning and then this afternoon we started the session on pretty much the same setting that we ended on this morning, it felt ok but we felt we could improve.
Unfortunately we went in slightly the wrong direction and couldn’t get the bike to turn or hook up on the last two exits and then we didn’t really have enough time to come in and make a change. We know what direction we want to go in now and hopefully tomorrow we can make the small improvements.
The new surface here feels very good, very smooth and the grip level is impressive. It’s really great to be racing here on a Honda in front of the home fans and I hope we can get a good qualifying tomorrow to prepare best for the race on Sunday”.