Casey Stoner doesn't think he will be able to challenge for victory in tomorrow's Qatar Grand Prix unless the Repsol Honda team make improvements to the bike's set-up in warm-up. The World Champion qualified second behind Jorge Lorenzo and complained of chatter problems for the second time this weekend.
The 20 minute session will take place four hours before the race starts and Stoner feels it will be crucial to his hopes of kicking off his title defence with a win.
“I’m not really happy with how qualifying went for us, it should have been a lot better especially on the soft tyre which we hadn’t used all weekend. Last night we were happy with what we had improved and with the set up in general. Then tonight we tried to improve that set up and we just made it worse and worse. In the end we did a full circle and came back to what we had on Thursday night and we have huge chattering problems again. Now we have a lot of work to do to understand what’s gone wrong and where the problem is before tomorrow. If we can make a big step forward in warm up then we can challenge for a podium and maybe fight for the win, but if the bike remains as it is at the moment, then we were going to be in for a long hard race”.
Teammate Dani Pedrosa also has a tough race ahead of him after qualifying down in seventh. The Spaniard lost time when his spare bike wouldn't get going and by the time he had rejoined the circuit, he was up against it to climb the order.
“We solved a little the issues we had yesterday with the electronics, but we had other problems today. I stopped in the garage to change the bike and it didn’t start, twice. I lost a lot of time there and I had to take the other bike which I didn’t feel comfortable with either. It’s a shame. The team couldn’t do any better and nor me; from this point I lost the concentration a little and we couldn’t get a better position. Seventh on the grid is not a good place to start the race, but I hope that we don’t have any issues tomorrow and I can have a good race”.