Estoril : Day One
Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner continued his dazzling form in Portugal today, leading both morning and afternoon practice sessions around the tortuous and bumpy Estoril circuit.
Team-mate Loris Capirossi ended the day in seventh spot,
half a second behind the Australian.
World Championship leader Stoner, who has topped practice and qualifying at the last four MotoGP events and won the last three races, worked with his usual precision to achieve an impressive pace, his best run averaging low 1m 38s. His closest rival today was Makoto Tamada who used a qualifying tyre to get within 0.039 seconds of Stoner, who used race tyres throughout the day.
Capirossi improved during the afternoon but still has more work to do to get the best out of his Desmosedici GP7 at this challenging racetrack.
CASEY STONER, fastest, 1m 37.950s
"We're reasonably happy with the way today went, we struggled a little bit this morning and also a little bit in the last part of this afternoon's session but apart fro that we're very happy with the settings we've got for this track, which is one of the most difficult circuits of the year with a lot bumps and some very technical corners. We've nearly done race distance on the tyres, so everything is thing going very well, we just need to try and improve the traction for tomorrow. If we can do that then we should be able to push to improve our lap times and also our pace for the race."
LORIS CAPIROSSI, 7th fastest, 1m 38.481s
"I'm struggling a lot here. During the final phase of the afternoon session I was able to find a better set-up and I did some not so bad laps, but we aren't okay yet. The engine delivery is too aggressive, so I'm having a lot of trouble, most of all in the slow parts of the track. We need to work on the engine management system and the electronics. This is a particular track where you need a perfect bike, because if the engine delivery isn't right, then the chassis won't work well and it's difficult to find the problem.
Anyway, we made a step forward at the end of the day and we are hoping to improve some more tomorrow."