Casey Stoner didn't enjoy a trouble free start to his championship defence after suffering from chatter problems in first practice at Losail. The Australian admitted to struggling badly early in the session but overcame the issue eventually to top the timesheets, 0.174s ahead of Jorge Lorenzo.
Stoner isn't getting too excited by today's lap times and expects a clearer picture of the pecking order to emerge after tomorrow's two sessions.
“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”.
Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa had the same problems as Stoner this evening and finished fifth quickest. The Spaniard was still happy to return to competitive action and is looking forward to continuing with the hard work tomorrow.
“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”.