Sepang : LCR Honda - Day 1
Honda LCR rider Casey Stoner was fifth fastest overall in today's free practice despite suffering leg cramps at a hot and humid Sepang Circuit. Stoner was quickly on the pace with a comfortable set-up in the morning session, posting the second
fastest time of 2'02.847, just behind last year's race winner Loris Capirossi.
Stoner's time did not improve in the afternoon, when track temperatures rose to 46 degrees. Following successful tests at Brno last month, the LCR team are using a new front fork system supplied by HRC and Showa, although more work needs to be done to find the ideal setting.
Casey Stoner: "I had a good feeling with the bike in the morning session but everything we tried in the afternoon did not work, I wasn't getting a lot feedback from the bike. Plus I was having a problems with leg cramp, mostly in the long left-hand corners and I also had some cramp in my left arm. This track at Sepang seems to be my demon track -- I had my shoulder problem here earlier this year in testing, plus leg cramps at the end of last season -- and now it happens again. This is the only track that does it to me, I don't know what I am doing wrong. In the morning session I wasn't too far off the pace but in the afternoon I only used worn tyres and could not do the same times – it's a little frustrating but hopefully it will improve tomorrow."
Lucio Cecchinello: "For this race we are trying the new front fork system which provided Casey with a small improvement at the Brno tests. I'm very happy for the support from HRC and Showa but we are still assessing what is the right direction for this set-up for Casey -- it seems to be delicate and reactive, a small change does not always provide a better feeling from the bike."