DANI PEDROSA (1st – Repsol Honda): “This afternoon the track was a little better than in the morning and we were able to improve our lap times quite a lot and also try the hard tyres, which worked much better than the soft specification we tried this morning. As we saw today, the times will keep dropping during the weekend with more rubber on the asphalt, so we have to continue working hard on the bike. We found a good base today to move on from; we can improve every area still, focusing especially on the suspension and electronics and also care about the tyres because it’s very hot out there and the tyres dropped off very quick”.
BEN SPIES (2nd – Yamaha Factory Racing): “The track definitely made a huge improvement from the morning to the afternoon today. The bike is working really well; we made some small changes then just worked on race set up. We used hard tyres for the whole time and were able to set our fastest lap and be consistent with a lot of laps on the tyres, which is encouraging. We’ll try the softer tyres tomorrow to see if we can pick up some speed for qualifying but for the race set up the bike is good”.
JORGE LORENZO (3rd – Yamaha Factory Racing): “We were better this afternoon than this morning. We managed to get closer to the first position. I didn’t feel great on the track today so I hope we can improve the feeling for tomorrow. This track seems to be quite difficult for us to find a good set up. I’m struggling on the entry to the corners where I don’t seem to have much grip”.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (4th – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “I’m really happy with my rhythm this afternoon because this morning the track was unbelievable. There was absolutely no grip and it was very difficult to try and understand the feeling from the bike or where the limit was. I improved by more than three seconds from this morning so it shows how bad the conditions were. But we expected this because it’s always like this here. The infield track we race on is not used during the whole year, so it’s quite dirty. And yesterday’s rain certainly would not have helped. We made some good changes to the bike for the second session but we need to improve our pace again tomorrow. Ben [Spies] was able to do some very consistent laps and he is the benchmark for Yamaha so far. I can look forward to tomorrow though with a lot of confidence and I’m sure I can be fighting to be on the second row at least. If we can find some more grip, particularly on corner entry, then we should be very competitive tomorrow”.
CASEY STONER (5th – Repsol Honda): “We tried a couple of things this morning but with the track being so slippery we didn’t really take anything from it. This afternoon we knew what we wanted to try after the morning session but unfortunately we had some issues with the bike. We had a problem with electronics on one exit and then a strange feeling in the rear on a later exit, perhaps a stone got into the chain or something, we’re not sure yet. Due to the fact we couldn’t identify what the problem was, we decided to use the second bike and I only managed a few laps. A slightly disappointing afternoon and we know what we want to work on tomorrow morning”.
CAL CRUTCHLOW (6th – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “I am pretty happy to finish sixth overall on the first day because I had a big crash this morning and it could have been much worse. Fortunately I wasn’t injured but there were a few damp patches still on the track after the storms from yesterday but it was really hard to see them. I took a big hit on the left side of my body but I was able to recover well and ride strongly this afternoon. We made some good changes to the bike that gave us some more grip but it was obvious this morning the track wasn’t in great condition when you look at how slow the lap times were. I used the same hard rear tyre for the whole session and we gained a lot of valuable information that will help for Sunday’s race. I did my fastest lap on the last one, which is a really good sign and bodes well for the rest of the weekend”.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (7th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “Today I felt like I had my feeling from before Mugello and Laguna back. We tried two different settings and worked hard, especially in the afternoon because the track conditions were not so good this morning. In the end we went with our base setting because I felt more comfortable with it. I tried to get my references and find the limit on the hard tyres and I am quite satisfied. Now we have to keep this positive progress going tomorrow to perform to our full potential”.
STEFAN BRADL (8th – LCR Honda): “We all knew that it would have not been so easy today because the infield was very dirty and the tarmac did not provide very good grip condition. So at this point it was not easy to work on the bike finding the proper set up especially when you have to struggle with the tyres. This situation made my first outing here even more difficult but in general we are not far from the top group and from our standard pace. Actually we must improve the rear feeling entering the corners and I think we will be capable to improve our pace for tomorrow’s qualifying”.
NICKY HAYDEN (9th – Ducati Team): “It’s nice to be back with the team and on the bike. This morning things went pretty well. With the rain last night, it took a while to dry out the track and get some rubber down, but we got going okay. This afternoon we tried a couple of things, but we didn’t make a big step like we had hoped. We got some more grip in the rear, but then we started to push the front worse. We improved by a second, but everyone else improved a lot more. Some of these corners are really connected, and it’s important to get the bike to turn, because if you mess up the first one, the problem gets exaggerated. We need to understand why we’re having this turning issue and hopefully do a good step tomorrow”.
VALENTINO ROSSI (10th – Ducati Team): “We lowered our time by two seconds in the afternoon because the track’s grip was improving lap by lap, and I think we’ll see the same tomorrow. The feeling of riding is better compared to last year, but we’re still having a very hard time with corner entry, especially in the lefthanders. We’re also losing a lot on the exits of the two slow corners. This afternoon, I used the same hard tyre the whole time in order to check its performance after many laps, because I don’t think it will be possible to do the whole race with the soft. Anyway, tomorrow we’ll try it. We have a number of things to sort out, but the second group isn’t far off”.
RANDY DE PUNIET (11th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “The first session was difficult and in the middle of it I felt that the bike was very heavy and feeling strange on the front. I decided to stop and found a small stone lodged in the tyre. Things went better in the afternoon, as we tried out various electronic settings to improve our engine braking and I immediately felt more comfortable. I rode for fifteen laps on the hard tyre then tried the soft tyre. I am happy, because both my feeling and my times improved considerably from the morning. We were only two seconds off the top, which is pretty decent when you consider how long the straight at Indianapolis is”.
KAREL ABRAHAM (12th – Cardion AB Mooracing): “After first day I must say that I´m quite happy. We are getting back to the time before my injury. We have good set up with only few problems. We compared our data to Nicky´s bike and we know where we are losing and theoretically how to improve it. The quest is to do it tomorrow on the track. I must say that everybody were riding very hard even if it is „only“ Friday. I´m looking forward to Saturday”.
MATTIA PASINI (13th – Speed Master): “I’m really happy with this first day. Since this morning the bike was working well and, step by step, we sorted out some improvements to adapt the setting to this track. We need to keep working in this direction in order to face at the best tomorrow’s sessions, we know that the other CRT machines are fast, but we’ll do our best to try and get some positive results”.
ALEIX ESPARGARO (14th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “I am much happier than I was at Laguna Seca and the feeling here on board the bike is notably better. We lost a little time this afternoon trying a few things out with the second bike, which we had to do because it was not working as well as the number one machine. Maybe I was missing a fast lap for the day, but in general I am happy and think that we did a good job today. The track conditions today were a little hairy, as you would slide around a lot and it was dirty on the majority of the asphalt. That made keeping up a steady pace very difficult. Fortunately, things improved as the day went on. Despite this, you have to ride with a lot of care”.
MICHELE PIRRO (16th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “The conditions were a little difficult this morning but they improved for the afternoon and we worked hard on improving the electronic problems we have had in recent races. We have taken a small step forward and we are not too far behind the top CRT so I am confident for tomorrow and if we can take another step I think we can soon get back to the level we showed at Assen. Finally today I was able to start enjoying myself on the bike again so I hope we can continue like this”.
Sincerely, Eduard Ballús