Sepang : LCR Honda - Day 2
After a rain storm forced the cancellation of qualifying, Honda LCR rider Casey Stoner is unhappy to be starting from tenth on the grid for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Stoner feels he has been unfairly penalised in being forced to start from the
fourth row in highly unusual circumstances. Race Direction have allocated grid positions according to the combined times of the three, free practice sessions completed – although Stoner was never as far back as 10th in any session!
Stoner was second fastest in opening free practice session on Friday morning and then finished in 5th position overall after the second free practice on Friday afternoon. Both sessions saw all riders focus on race tyre set-up. In Saturday morning's third practice session, Stoner was sixth fastest until bumped to 9th when rivals fitted soft qualifying tyres to set faster times.
Casey Stoner: "This is an unfair decision. It's ridiculous that I am starting tenth when I never finished tenth in any session. This morning riders in front of me used a qualifying tyre and I was sixth until they went faster. So now I'm starting on the fourth row when I should be on the second row -- I was fifth at the end of Friday when everyone was on race tyres. It has been frustrating, as we did not have a base setting for this track and took some sideways steps with the set-up, rather than forwards.
I had some leg cramps yesterday but I used my upper body more in practice today, so hopefully that will help in the race."
Lucio Cecchinello: "I think one problem is that we missed some of the winter testing at Sepang because Casey was injured, and then with the conditions we have lost track time again. Also it seems Casey has suffered a penalty because he did not use a qualifying tyre this morning -- and the unsafe conditions meant that qualifying was cancelled."