Catalunya : Team LCR - Day One
MotoGP's season of rain continued today with showers costing valuable track time during today's free practice at the Circuit Catalunya.
After a warm and sunny morning session, a lunchtime rain shower spoilt the opening 25 minutes of the
afternoon session in which Honda rider Casey Stoner finished fifth fastest. Stoner posted his fastest time of 1'43.380 on the 15th lap of 16. Stoner was just 0.5s off the best time in a highly competitive session, with the top 16 riders separated by just 1.1 seconds.
For his final three-lap run Stoner tried the latest construction of front tyre from Michelin introduced for this race. The new tyre was tested by other Michelin riders at the Mugello test last week, a session that Stoner missed with a sore neck following his crash in the Italian GP. Stoner's crew chief Ramon Forcada said he is planning further front-end set-up changes to improve braking stability with the new front tyre.
Casey Stoner said: "The rain cost us some decent track time, it wasn't worthwhile going out early in the afternoon session, it would only have destroyed tyres and meant nothing. The morning session was difficult, I couldn't get any feedback from the bike. It was only late in the afternoon session when I got the new front tyre that all the other guys had that I had more confidence.
I had much better feeling overall with this tyre and now our main problem is improving rear grip."
Lucio Cecchinello concluded: "Casey's pace was consistent and he seems to have a good rhythm at this track so that is a positive. His main complaint at the end of the session was a lack of rear grip but this is good information as we work towards a choosing the correct tyre and set-up for the race."