The sixth round of the MotoGP World Championship began today in Great Britain, with Casey Stoner recording the fastest time of the day in the second (dry) session. The morning run had taken place under wet conditions. Teammate Dani Pedrosa, who missed last year’s race at Silverstone through injury, had a busy day of work in which he clocked the ninth fastest lap time.
True to the forecast weather conditions, rain fell at Silverstone for the opening practice session. The rain came down from the early hours of the morning and the premier class riders had a completely wet track with which to contend. Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa made a cautious start, completing the session in fourth and seventh, respectively. Stoner undertook eleven laps –Pedrosa fourteen.
With the sun out, the wind took centre stage in the afternoon. The asphalt dried for the second 45 minutes of practice, although another shower interrupted the session for 15 minutes. The riders returned to the track with 18 minutes remaining on the clock, and Stoner was able to put down the best lap of the day: 2’04.791. Dani Pedrosa, who missed the 2011 race through injury, faced the double task of adapting to a new track and working ahead of the race. The Repsol rider undertook a further fourteen laps in the afternoon, with a best lap of 2’05.886. He was a little over a second down on his teammate.
FP1 – 2:22.713, 15 laps, 88 km.
FP2 – 2:05.886, 14 laps, 83 km.
“It’s been a tough day for me because it’s a long time since I was here and it almost felt like a new track to me. I treated both practices as learning sessions, trying to learn the gears, the lines in the corners, the braking points and to find out the low grip areas. So, for me it was like a reminder in both wet and dry conditions and tonight I need to process all the information in my mind and get a little more used to the race track tomorrow and improve, in any condition.
In the afternoon we used the new Bridgestone front tyre, the softer compound due to the cold conditions here, but we did just a few laps. As I said in Barcelona we need to tune the set up of the bike a little to work better with this tyre because for us it is too soft. Working with the weight distribution we might improve the performance”.
FP1 – 2:20.321, 11 laps, 65 km.
FP2 – 2:04.791, 10 laps, 59 km.
“We didn’t learn very much from today. In the first session we tried understand the bike in the wet a little better, but it was gradually drying out throughout the session so it was difficult to take any real data. It was a similar situation this afternoon, we went out for a couple of laps and it started to rain which destroyed most of the session. We found the bike very hard to ride so we came in and made a change which took a lot of time and we didn’t manage so many laps.
It would be nice if we get some better weather again tomorrow and this wind makes things very tricky, but everyone is in the same position. The chatter is a little better, we made another small improvement but we’ll need to check it tomorrow in some more consistent conditions”.