Mugello : Honda LCR - Day 1
Honda LCR rider Carlos Checa was in top form today, finishing fifth fastest in a dramatic day of free practice for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix. The morning session was conducted on a dry, but cool track, while in the afternoon the 5.2 km circuit
was lashed by a torrential rain storm that made conditions extremely difficult.
Checa was the pacesetter in full wet conditions until he stopped five minutes before the end, as the rain eased and track began to dry. In the rain, Checa was consistently the fastest rider, battling for top spot with Chris Vermeulen and Casey Stoner. The LCR team completed a productive day of race set-up for both wet or dry conditions in advance of Sunday's 23 lap race.
CHECA : "I was quite comfortable in the rain, especially in the full wet conditions and I stopped early because we had completed all of our set-up work. As the track dried late in the session some riders went faster, which is normal, but it was important to establish that we have a strong pace both on a full wet or dry track, as it was in the morning. I have a good base set-up, either wet or dry, and depending on the weather tomorrow I will continue testing our tyre allocation to be ready for the race."
In first qualifying for the the 250cc GP, Eugene Laverty was also in brilliant wet-weather form and is eighth (2'09.
297) on the provisional grid, in a season-best performance on his first visit to Mugello.
LAVERTY : "I'm am really enjoying this circuit, it suits me, especially the fast changes of direction. And I have always been fast in the rain, I found a lot of grip in the wet in qualifying, although the bike was moving around a lot. I'm really happy today."