MotoGP »

Stoner puts Ducati top in Japan.

The four Japanese MotoGP manufacturers were once again forced to watch a Ducati sit on top of the timesheets at their home event, as Casey Stoner set the quickest lap time during Friday free practice at Motegi.

Ducati - which has won the last three Japanese Grands Prix, albeit with former rider Loris Capirossi - saw all four of its Bridgestone-shod Desmosedici finish inside the top nine, after an opening day divided into one wet and then one almost dry session.

Stoner - who needs to reduce his current 87 point deficit to Valentino Rossi to at least 75 on Sunday if he is keep his slim title chances alive - finished the day just 0.073secs ahead of Honda's Dani Pedrosa, with third-placed Rossi 0.316secs further back for Yamaha.

"This morning we struggled to find rear grip on the wet track and we couldn't understand why, so this afternoon it was a case of taking our time to get the setting right and eventually we found a decent feel," said the reigning world champion, who was nonetheless third fastest this morning.

"We have a few areas to improve on and one of the things we tried towards the end of this afternoon proved to be a blind alley, so that cost us some time. Basically we tried a new tyre but it was spinning up a lot on the rear and forcing me wide on the brakes. We need to make up for that tomorrow and a dry day would certainly help!

"My wrist is feeling pretty good here - much better than it has for the last two races anyway, only in the dry it is a little bit more difficult, in the wet no problems. I didn't use any bandage I preferred not to because I have not the same movement. If I can I won't use it," he added.

Team-mate Marco Melandri, who will join Kawasaki next season, was eighth fastest by the end of the afternoon.

"This morning we had a lot of problems - we weren't totally prepared with the electronics and I was running wide for the first four or five laps," he recalled. "However, in the afternoon things went much better. We still have a few things to work on but the weekend has started out positively and I think that trend can carry through to the race.

"Now we'll see if we have another two sessions in the wet but at least it looks as though it will be dry for Sunday. If that's the case we have an idea about tyre choice and even though we have some way to go with the bike I can say I'm happy today," declared the Italian.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stoner, Czech MotoGP 2008
Stoner, Crutchlow, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Dovizioso, Stoner, Crutchlow, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Crutchlow, Dovizioso, Stoner, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Crutchlow, Dovizioso, Dall`Igna, Stoner, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Casey Stoner, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Dall’Igna and Stoner
Stoner, Valencia MotoGP 2016
Twin Ring Motegi, Japanese MotoGP, 2016
Twin Ring Motegi, Japanese MotoGP, 2016
Twin Ring Motegi, Japanese MotoGP, 2016
Marquez, Japan MotoGP 2016
Stoner, Austrian MotoGP Race 2016
Stoner, Austrian MotoGP Race 2016
Stoner, Austrian MotoGP Race 2016
Dovizioso, Stoner, Austrian MotoGP 2016
Casey Stoner at Austria test (pic: Ducati)
Stoner, Nakamoto, Italian MotoGP 2016

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.

Schnertz - Unregistered

September 26, 2008 9:13 PM

I think Ducati are running out of time. If it comes down to an evenly matched machines series, Stoner will be way out, finito. He's no match for a Rossi, Pedrosa , Lorenzo, Dovitsioso, and probably not his soon to be teamate Hayden. He's also benefitted from the luck of being picked by DUC as they went to 800's. He was deplorable on the Litre series bikes (too small for the big bikes, very Petho sa'ish). He was without a ride when Ducati needed anyone they could get. I wish they'd go back to those(990)bikes. More muscle and skill required to ride. I'm tired of the midget series that GP is becoming.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

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