CASEY STONER (1st – Repsol Honda): “It was a very positive first day, we were pretty quick to get on the pace and to be honest I didn’t expect to achieve the lap times we did. With the extra horse power we have this year it’s a little easier to get around this place quickly! The times we were able to do in the first session were pretty good but I thought everybody would improve a lot more in the second session but we were able to go quite a lot faster than everybody with almost race distance on our soft tyres and then we put the hard tyre on and were able to improve again. This is very positive at this stage of the weekend but we’ll have to wait for tomorrow and Sunday to see where everyone else is. My ankle is in a lot worse condition than in Motegi but coming here, there are a lot less right hand corners, it’s nice to take a bit of weight off it”.
DANI PEDROSA (2nd – Repsol Honda): “Fortunately, today we’ve had two dry sessions which was not expected and that’s good at a circuit like this as the first day is important to find a good direction for the set up. I only tried the soft rear tyre today, so tomorrow will be important to test the hard compound and some different ideas on the electronics and suspension to improve the feeling. Casey is going very fast here, as expected, so let’s see if it stays dry tomorrow and we can work on the pace and close the gap to Casey”.
JORGE LORENZO (3rd – Yamaha Factory Racing): “It’s been really tough so far today, the conditions are quite difficult. It’s been really windy which makes it very uncomfortable to ride. We are going to try and stay with Dani here and also Casey but he is very fast, he’s on another level at this track. I think we are close to Dani so our goal is to try and beat him. We’re going to try and make the bike more stable tomorrow to keep the wheels on the ground and make it more comfortable in the wind”.
CAL CRUTCHLOW (4th – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “It was a good start to the weekend and I’m happy considering how ill I’ve felt before today. I had a really high temperature yesterday but the bigger issue is the bronchitis because I am finding it quite hard to breathe. I felt better today and concentration is not a problem but this track is so physical and fast that you don’t get a break. And with the wind you are constantly fighting the bike, so that isn’t making it any easier for me. I will go and see the Clinica Mobile staff again tonight and hopefully I’ll feel better again tomorrow. I’m still not anywhere near 100% and my target is to leave this weekend picking up some decent points”.
ANDREA DOVIZIOSO (5th – Monster Yamaha Tech 3): “As always when we come to this great track at this time of year, the conditions were normal for Phillip Island. It was quite cool and windy but the positive thing is that apart from a few minutes of rain this morning we were able to ride on a dry track to concentrate on improving the set-up of the bike. We gained a lot of data today but it is clear we have to recover a bit of time to get closer to the top three. My feeling with the bike though is quite good but I would like to gain a bit more feeling from the front. This is the main point in this track because there are a lot of fast and long corners with some very fast changes of direction, so you have to prepare the bike on the exit to have the right line. If you can do this quickly the lap time comes quite easy”.
ÁLVARO BAUTISTA (6th – San Carlo Honda Gresini): “We worked intensively today on the base setting of the bike but ran into a problem this morning with the rear end moving around a lot in corner exit, which meant I couldn’t use the full range of power because the bike was too nervous. We changed a few things in the afternoon to try and solve this issue but if anything we made it worse s o we had to go back a step. We have a lot of work to do with the electronics and suspension but as far as the base is concerned we think we have the right setting to work from”.
STEFAN BRADL (7th – LCR Honda): “It was a quite tough day for us and was expecting a better feeling on this race track. Basically I have not enough confidence although we tried different adjustments especially in the fast corners. In the corners exit I am struggling to keep the bike in balance and it’s tough to avoid the rear pumping; the surface is very bumpy here and it makes the problem even worse. In these conditions I can not be faster as I would like and we must analyse the data finding a quick solution for a better set up which will give me the chance to lap faster than this”.
VALENTINO ROSSI (8th – Ducati Team): “In the end, this first day didn’t go too badly, considering that we’re not so far from Bradl and Bautista. We improved the bike’s setup and I was able to go quite a bit faster in the afternoon compared to this morning. I also did some nice laps with the used tyre, which is important. Tomorrow we’ll try to make another step forward and look for a balance that allows me to ride well in the fast corners without losing too much traction in acceleration. Here we do lots of accelerating on the left side, so the tyre temperature goes up and the tyres begin to slide more and more. We’ll see tomorrow. We’ll have to continue improving as we did between today’s two sessions, and then we’ll also decide which tyre to use”.
NICKY HAYDEN (9th – Ducati Team): “It hasn’t been a great day. The conditions weren’t easy for anyone. It was cold and windy with a few spots of rain, which makes it tough on a fast track. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in the fast corners, as the bike was moving a lot and the track felt very bumpy. I had a lot of chatter and vibration, so it’s tough to push hard. Tonight we need to think about how we can improve the feeling and feedback and hopefully do a big step tomorrow”.
RANDY DE PUNIET (10th – Ducati Team): “I am happy because I have had a good feeling all day today. I went six tenths quicker this afternoon than this morning and managed to gap my team-mate Aleix by a second for the top CRT spot. We have really struggled for a set-up in the last couple of races so we have to be happy to start off a GP like this. I feel strong and I plan to keep going like this for the rest of the weekend. It will be difficult to make up a ten-point gap to Aleix in the championship in just two races but we’re going to try. Taking Stoner out of the equation we are close to the top guys and this is not an easy track”.
KAREL ABRAHAM (12th – Cardion AB Motoracing): “I´m quite satisfied with today sessions. We suffered some problems in the morning – bike had been very bumpy when leaving corners. Now after changing the set up the bike is more balanced, but we still have problem with grip on rear tyre. We finished on twelfth place, but the compared to the lap times of other riders it doesn´t seem bad. We lose only some thousandth to Hector Barbera and only one tenth of second to Nicky Hayden on factory bike”.
ALEIX ESPARGARÓ (13th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “I really struggled to get a feeling today. I could feel something wasn’t right with the front wheel this morning and I didn’t feel comfortable. The same issues carried over to the afternoon and we tried a different gearbox that I didn’t like so the performance was the exact opposite to what we were hoping for. We also had an electrical fault that brought the session to an early end but there is no need to panic – today was the day to try these things so now it is time to analyse everything and try to improve tomorrow”.
COLIN EDWARDS (14th – Power Electronics Aspar Team): “We are in lovely Australia, my favorite track in the whole wide world. When we started this morning we had an idea to make some changes from we had in Malaysia and we did but it wasn’t enough. I have to say I am really proud of my guys, especially of my Crew Chief, today we made a change that he suggested in the morning that worked great and saved us a lot of time. This change gave us a really good direction to work on in the afternoon practice. Went out on the chassis that is a little bit different to the one I used last weekend, and with a lighter crankshaft. We seem to have an issue with front hopping but we have a couple of ideas to solve it tomorrow morning. You could say that this is my third home race and so far it feels good”.
MICHELE PIRRO (15th – San carlo Honda Gresini): “I went rodeo riding this morning but managed to hang on to it until I hit the wet grass and crashed. It was a shame because it cost us a lot of track time and considering how much work we had to do in the afternoon it wasn’t a bad session for us. The bike is still moving around too much but I think we can make some improvements tomorrow and close the gap even further to the top CRTs”.
ROBERTO ROLFO (19th – Speed Master): “The session of this afternoon wasn’t completely negative: in the first part of the practice, we managed to fight for some decent positions and to make progress in a consistent way, specially halfway though the session, when the weather improved. In the last part of FP2 we tried out some options that didn’t really help us to improve, in particular in the second and third part of the track. For tomorrow we’ll take one step backwards and we’ll work on other decisions, so that we can improve the bike in the fast corners. Our ideal time is better than my real time, we just have to put together the data we gathered and get ready as well as possible. Tomorrow I hope I can stay behind some other CRT guys, in order to check and see their lines”.
Sincerely, Eduard Ballús