MotoGP »

Stoner fights back from problem.

Casey Stoner only completed a handful of laps on a comfortable set-up before rain arrived, just after the midway point of Friday free practice at Le Mans, but it was enough for the Ducati Marlboro rider to clock a close second fastest time, 0.058sec behind Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso.

The 2007 world champion is usually fast from the off, but an unidentified problem with the rear of his bike left him 18th and last for the first 20 minutes of the hour, before leaping up the order.

"In the first part of the session it felt like we maybe had a problem with the rear tyre because the bike was pretty difficult to ride but we haven't analysed the data yet so we don't know what really happened,” Stoner confirmed.

“We were in and out of the garage a few times before deciding on a complete change, swapping onto my other bike with a completely new tyre. I immediately had a better feeling but we still weren't getting enough temperature into the tyre, which we think was because the rear setting was too stiff and we weren't getting enough weight transfer to load the rear and make the tyre work.

“We changed the set-up but we only had time to do half a lap and then the rain came, which was effectively 'game over'. It wasn't much of a session for us because we only completed three proper laps so it would be useful if we could have a dry weekend to have more time to work on the setting.

“Unfortunately with the way the weather forecast is, I don't think we're going to get that!" added the #27, who was officially credited with 10 laps, the least of any rider.

Team-mate Nicky Hayden, working for the first time with new crew chief Juan Martinez, was the only rider starting the session with a harder rear tyre and had just switched to a softer compound when the heavens opened.

The American ended the session just 15th fastest and is desperate for the opportunity of a full day's work tomorrow.

“We thought we were going to have an hour today but it seems like the weather decided we should stick to 45 minutes!” he smiled. “It was a shame about the rain because we obviously have a lot of work to do and we're in a new situation, where me and Juan need to learn about each other, but we only got two runs in the dry.

“I constantly got a little faster, a little faster, and then I was really just getting going on my second run when it started to rain. For a while it looked like it couldn't decide whether it wanted to rain or whether the sun was coming back out but unfortunately the conditions were never back to what we needed.

“I was planning to go out on the softer tyre and see how that felt but we didn't get that chance. It's early days to comment on the relationship with Juan but he clearly knows his stuff and we'll see how we go.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stoner, French MotoGP 2009
Lorenzo, Crutchlow practice start, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Redding, Crutchlow, Lorenzo practice start, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Redding, Lorenzo, Crutchlow, Vinales, practice start, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Tim Walpole, Michelin, Bibendum man, Dutch MotoGP 2017
Hayden`s number on Miller’s glove, Catalunya MotoGP Race 2017
Darryn Binder wearing a Hayden rep, Italian Moto3 Race 2017
Crowds, flags, Italian MotoGP Race 2017
Smith with Hayden`s number on his fairing, Italian MotoGP Race 2017
Hayden rememberance, Italian MotoGP Race 2017
Hayden rememberance, Italian MotoGP Race 2017
Hayden rememberance, Italian MotoGP Race 2017
Hayden rememberance, Italian MotoGP Race 2017
Nicky Hayden rememberance, Italian MotoGP Race 2017
Nicky Hayden rememberance, Italian MotoGP Race 2017
Nicky Hayden rememberance, Italian MotoGP Race 2017
Hayden rememberance, Italian MotoGP Race 2017
Hayden rememberance, Italian MotoGP Race 2017

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Flavio Bonnin - Unregistered

May 15, 2009 9:05 PM

Hey cyclebum cool it off man! This is an open forum with some people knowing more tah oters, let us keep courtesy among us. I honestly dont see a once World champ and vice-champ switching brands yet, he is still to earn more success (and discomfortness such as Rossi with Honda) to make the move. As of now he has all the support form Ducati. Although I would eventually love to see Stoner on Honda, Rossi on the Duc, Pedrosa altogether with Lorenzo and Melandri on Yamaha ...that would be a real show!

Tax Dodger - Unregistered

May 16, 2009 4:40 AM

For the past 2 years the Stoner haters have been looking for the reasons he is so fast on what is for everyone else the almost unridable Ducati. First it was sheer horsepower then, the tires, then traction control and electronics, now it seems the that the bike was built around and exclusivly for Casey, oh and don't forget blind luck. Here's a new theory fanboys Casey Stoner is just plain FAST!..maybe the fastest rider to date, no mystery , the lad is a genius ! Put Stoner on a works Honda/Yamaha and the story would be better, he would cream the field. The only people who haven't worked this out yet are those that believe anyone who beats Rossi has some secret advantage.cheers

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.