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#MotoGP -Qatar GP FP1 Top 10 riders statements

Posted on April 6th, 2012 at 8:40 am

1st – Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda), 1’56.474
“The track tonight wasn’t so bad, I expected the conditions to be much worse but in general it was ok. We started this evening with huge chatter issues and I was a little afraid we couldn’t fix this but after a few more exits we managed to reduce it to a more comfortable level. This is a positive point for the weekend but with such a short session and then nothing until tomorrow it’s slightly strange. It was an ok start tonight, we finished quickest which is good but we’ll have to wait until tomorrow for some real track time and with the conditions a little better and see where we are”.

2nd – Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing), 1’56.648    
“A quite good start, the track seems pretty dirty though, we are very far from the lap times of last year but that’s the same for everybody. I feel good, we are in the top close to Casey and we have improvements to come tomorrow from the bike, the track and myself. At the end we made a small change to gain some rear grip on all the corners which helped drop the lap time.”

3rd – Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team), 1:56.924
“The first session went well. This track is a lot different than what we experienced in Jerez, more open and a lot wider. It was quite dirty and not very grippy, which helped us a bit. We started off on the hard tyre and then switched to the soft for the last exit, and I was able to do a nice lap. In general we were pretty fast and consistent, and I’ve certainly had worse sessions here, but we’ll just stay calm, keep trying to improve and try to get a good grid spot on Saturday night. It’s just one session, and there’s a long way to go. Sunday night is what counts, and it would be nice to get this team a result it deserves.”

4th – Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing), 1’56.982
“I was happy with tonight, we were generally pretty close to the top. The bike seemed to work pretty well; we made just two small changes to it and kept the same set of tyres on the whole time. We made our fastest lap when the tyre had dropped off with almost race distance on it. I’m quite pleased with how the bike performed. We’ve tested at Sepang, Jerez and here and the bike has been good at all three so I’m happy with the bike, the team and myself. We’ve just got to keep rolling and keep the momentum going.”

5th – Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), 1’57.130
“There are some corners where we are struggling a lot with the chattering, especially in the area where you slide more, but it’s like this and we will need to adapt the best we can. On my first exit I had an issue with the tyres and I had to stop in the garage; I felt a vibration in the wheels, so we decided to change both tyres. I lost some time there and at the end of the practice I went wide twice. Anyway, it’s been good to go out there and get the feeling back at this track after a long time without riding here. Tomorrow, with two practices sessions, we will start working more with the chassis and electronics to improve and prepare for the race”.

6th – Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), 1.57.395
“That’s not a bad way to start 2012 at all and I’m pretty happy to be in the top six. At the start of the session I was way down and not really going as quick as I should, but once I got my head down and got into a good rhythm I was always around the top six and that is very positive. I didn’t change anything on the bike at all and I kept the same soft rear tyre on throughout, so I’m sure had we put in a new tyre at the end like some of the others did, I could have been a bit faster and possibly inside the top four. I’d like to get the bike turning better but I’m not going to complain starting the new season inside the top six. It is a good platform to build on for the rest of the weekend and now I’m really looking forward to the race on Su nday night.”

7th – Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini), 1.57.512
“The 2012 season is finally underway on a track that always has grip problems in the first session. We have tried to work to find a good feeling for the bike but I had some problems in corner entry with a little front end chatter that prevented me from being able to push. We used the same hard rear tyre for the whole session and with the track in these conditions that gave us a lot of spinning that made it difficult to get on the gas, so tomorrow we will work with the electronics and the chassis geometry and try to improve my overall confidence with the bike. ”

8th – Andrea Dovizioso (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), 1.57.512
“I’m satisfied with the first session and the feeling with the bike was immediately good. Straightaway I had a better feeling at the beginning than I did at the last test in Jerez, so we could work on improving the bike. I still need to understand how to use the maximum potential of the Yamaha. It has some very good points, which I like a lot, but I know in some parts I can be faster, particularly on the exit of the corner. We need to improve in that area but I know we have some good ideas for tomorrow and I am confident we will make the bike better. The gap to the front is quite big at the moment but tomorrow the conditions will be better and I am sure I will be much closer.”

9th – Hector Barbera (Pramac Racing Team), 1.57.912
“I’m happy with how we are working on during the free practice of today. I had a good feeling with my Ducati and we had a good pace race.We had a few small issues with the front tyre that took quite a lot of time out of our session today.We made several runs to test both the hard and the soft tyres, but the general situation didn’t improve. However we are confident on the work done and we should be able to change the situation.”

10th – Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team), 1:57.914
“It’s the first practice and I used the hard tyre the whole session, trying to do a lot of laps in order to understand it. The new tyre is much better for warming up, so good for safety, but it started to slide a lot after some laps and made some of the understeer worse. We have to work with the setting and also the electronics. The soft will be important for Saturday, but the hard will be the tyre for the race. Tomorrow we’ll try to do better.”

 

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