Casey Leads The Field On Difficult Day One At Valencia

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The Ricardo Tormo circuit saw the rain marring the first day of the fourth Spanish Grand Prix of the year. The Repsol Honda Team riders, Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, were the ones to adapt themselves better to the weather conditions during the whole day and took the first and second positions at the end of the two first free practice sessions. His team mate, Andrea Dovizioso, set the ninth fastest time of the day.

The first contact of the MotoGP riders with the Ricardo Tormo track was complicated. Under threatening dark clouds, the Valencian track offered areas with wet tarmac and others with dry surface. Some minutes had to go by before the riders adapted themselves to these difficult conditions and set times that, at the end of the day, would be the fastest. It was not until the last part of the session when Casey Stoner took the lead of the classification, improving the fastest time until setting a time of 1 minute, 45 seconds and 513 thousandths. The Australian saw in the last lap how his team mate, Dani Pedrosa, got closer and finished only 223 thousandths behind him. Andrea Dovizioso, meanwhile, set the ninth fastest time.

If the weather conditions were complicated in the morning, in the second free practice session they were even worse. It started to rain intermittently at the beginning of the session. The Repsol rider who felt more comfortable on the Ricardo Tormo wet track was Andrea Dovizioso. The third placed in the MotoGP Championship set the sixth fastest time of the session, followed by Valentino Rossi and his Repsol Honda Team mates, Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, who set the eighth and ninth fastest time, respectively.
For tomorrow, the weather forecast indicates an improvement. The Repsol Honda Team riders will try to achieve the fourteenth pole position for the team in the eighteen rounds of the year. If it is the new World Champion of the premiere category who achieves it, Casey Stoner will match the record of pole positions in one year —twelve— set by Mick Doohan in 1997 in 500cc and equalled by Marc Márquez in 125cc last year.

Casey Stoner

FP1 – 1:45.513, 15 laps, 60 km.
FP2 – 1:49.674, 14 laps, 56 km.

“It hasn’t been a great day to be honest, we’ve never had a great feeling here in the wet. I love riding this circuit in the dry, but there seems to be some sort of oil or grease on the circuit, I’m not sure if it’s due to a lot of car rubber down but it makes things hard for sure.
It’s been pretty useless in terms of finding a good set up, both sessions began with a little water and then drying out towards the end, when it’s like this you’re chasing the set up all day so we didn’t do too much work on the bike.
We tried a few small things to make it better in the wet, but then as it dried up we saw everything we had done was a waste of time. We’ll wait and see what tomorrow brings and if it does rain again I hope it at least rains consistently so we can get a full wet session in”.

Source: Repsol Media