Provisional pole for Stoner in Catalunya The Repsol Honda riders reached the top of the timing sheets today in the first day of free practice of the Grand Prix of Catalunya, after dealing with a range of weather conditions. Casey Stoner was the fastest rider on track and Andrea Dovizioso the third fastest in the combined free practices times.
The Repsol Honda team who will compete in the fifth round of the Championship without Dani Pedrosa due to his injured right collarbone, completed two successful sessions today before the all important qualifying, to be held tomorrow.
With clear skies in the morning and light rain that delayed the start of some riders in the afternoon, both Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso rode consistently and had good pace. The Australian was the only rider capable of lapping in 1'42 when with fifteen minutes of the session remaining, all riders put on slick rear tires to attack the clock. Dovizioso and Stoner both improved their lap times by one second from the morning to the afternoon and both find themselves placed on a provisional front row.
CASEY STONER – 1st 1'42.940 "We're quite happy with the day, unfortunately we didn't get a lot of good wet or dry track time so a lot of time was wasted in changeable conditions and not achieving much. However, in general we got a pretty good feeling with the bike and everything seems to be working well. We would like to improve rear grip and turning on the exit, also some more stability on the brakes, but in general the bike feels good and we're confident we can go faster tomorrow, hopefully in dry conditions and we'll see what we can do. Physically I feel better than I have done in the past weeks, I've got blocked sinuses which doesn't help when I'm trying to concentrate and my ears are popping but I'm trying to put this to one side and concentrate on the job at hand".
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