Casey Stoner sixth on tight day one at Assen

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Casey Stoner placed seventh on day one at Assen – the second session’s top eleven riders separated by just 0.471.

assen1

Few are the occasions in which an opening free practice classification has looked as close as that for this year’s Dutch TT. Held on Thursday in accordance with tradition at Assen, the first sessions on-track for the MotoGP field ended with Ben Spies in the top spot, Dani Pedrosa sixth and Casey Stoner seventh fastest on the combined standings.

In the morning run, the Repsol riders began with a strong pace at Assen, ending the first 45 minutes of track time in second place (Pedrosa) and third (Stoner). They were 20 and 75 thousandths of a second down on the time set by Jorge Lorenzo in the competitive FP1.

The equality was repeated in the second session, in which Dani Pedrosa was 0.214 off last year’s race winner and today’s fastest rider, Ben Spies. Pedrosa put in 21 laps in the afternoon and was debuting —and dedicating his focus to— a new chassis brought by HRC to the Netherlands in comparative testing over the course of the day.

Casey Stoner was unable to improve his morning times due to a chatter problem on his bike, placing tenth in the afternoon. His mechanics managed to reduce the problem with the rear, but were unable to find a clear solution for the front and are still having difficulties with tyres. Stoner stopped the clock at 1´35.304 in the afternoon, 0.438 off the top of the timesheet.

Casey Stoner
“We tried a few things with the bike but weren’t really happy with them. We tested another chassis but haven’t found many positives with it yet, in the morning if felt like we had slightly less chatter in the front, then this afternoon no real benefit, perhaps a little worse. In FP2 we couldn’t get any feeling from the rear and to be honest I felt a little nervous on the bike because from the first two exits, the bike just wanted to throw me off, every time I touched the throttle the rear wanted to come around on me and I lost the front quite a few times, too many for my liking. Everything we’re doing, trying to reduce the chatter is just making the bike difficult to ride. We’re going to have to rethink things again and come out fresh tomorrow. I’m not too worried about finding the pace, it was just a little bit disappointing this afternoon”.

Source: Repsol Media