Stoner tops opening practice at Laguna Seca The Repsol Honda Team enjoyed a strong start in the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix today in Monterey, California.
Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, separated by just one tenth of a second, took the top two positions in the first free practice session at the Laguna Seca circuit.
With colder temperatures on the ground compared to last year, the riders began working on the set up of the bikes with a softer tire that Bridgestone brought to America. Casey's best lap time this morning (1'22.300) is still one second slower than his circuit record lap (1'21.376 in 2010), but with higher track temperatures this afternoon, the times will soon improve in the second free practice session starting at 14h10, local time.
CASEY STONER – 1st 1'22.300
"This morning went ok, at the beginning of the session the tires were working well and the grip was pretty good. We tried a few different things and got the bike working better and then the tires started to go off quite a lot, I'm not sure if this is due to the track being cold in the first part of the session, but for sure they weren't as good at the end of the session. It will be difficult to understand if we got any real decent data this morning and we'll have to wait until we get onto the harder compound tires this afternoon to see if the current setting will work with those or not. We still have a few areas to improve for sure, it's hard after one session to really say anything certain but I suppose we're happy enough at the moment".
DANI PEDROSA – 2nd 1'22.402
"We had a pretty good start, we needed to make some small changes on the set up of the bike to better absorb the bumps in this circuit. Laguna is more bumpy than Sachsenring and there are many fast changes of direction, we have some wheelies and hard braking, so we have to adjust the set up according to this. Early in the session I went wide in Turn 2, I made a mistake with the gear and I couldn't stop the bike, so I just released it, nothing else. For the rest, everything was OK. Bridgestone tires, with a softer compound, worked well in the morning, so it's positive. In terms of my physical condition, my back is sore and I guess I will have more pain during the weekend, but I will try to recover well during sessions and do my best".
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