Casey Stoner says an inability to get heat into the hard Bridgestone tyres has put him onto the back foot heading into the remainder of the Italian Grand Prix as he struggled to match the pace of his key rivals during Friday practice.
The Australian began the day with a run to second position in FP1, but he was a considerable seven tenths back from Jorge Lorenzo, a margin he could only reduce by a further two tenths in FP2 as he slipped to sixth place overall.
Struggling to find a set-up capable of getting heat into the hard tyres, Stoner admits he and Repsol Honda will have to try a different direction on Saturday if they are to get on terms with Lorenzo and team-mate Dani Pedrosa.
"We haven't had a great day and aren't too impressed with our pace on the bike," he said. "This morning we began very far off the pace and slowly made our way forward.
"This afternoon we were trying to get the hard tyre to work, but every time we went out it didn't work so we came back in to try something different and then go back out but it was still the same.
“We can't seem to get the same tyre temperatures that the others are getting at the moment, we're trying to find it through different set ups, but we haven't found it just yet.
"We have some thinking to do tonight and will try to come back tomorrow with something different.”
Stoner completed just three consecutive fast laps this afternoon, compared with eight for Pedrosa and 14 for Lorenzo.
Stoner trails Lorenzo by 20-points after falling last Sunday at the Sachsenring. German winner Pedrosa is between them, 14 points from the top.