Repsol Honda riders Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa played down their Friday practice performance after finishing the day sixth and eighth respectively. Both chose not to use the softer tyres, accounting for the gap between themselves and pacesetter Jorge Lorenzo but Stoner later revealed he was also suffering from chatter.
“It’s been nice to have some good weather and consistent conditions. It’s very hot on track and I think everyone is struggling a little on the soft compound tyre. This afternoon we used the harder tyre and they seemed to be a little more consistent. We’re still not very happy with how the bike is feeling and we can certainly improve on that but we’re fairly happy as far as pace is concerned. Everyone seemed to treat this afternoon’s session like it was qualifying, using the softer tyre but in the end this is their choice! There are lots of things to try before qualifying tomorrow, we need to continue working on reducing the chatter and a few other things, but in general we’re pretty happy”.
Pedrosa also shrugged off the seven-tenth gap to the Yamahas and feels confident about his race chances after the run on hard tyres this afternoon.
“Our main target today has been to properly test the tyres because it will be very important to make the right choice for the race. Here in the past, the soft tyre worked quite well with high temperatures, but we still don’t know how long it will last. I did the whole morning practice with the softer compound and I kept the hard in the afternoon and I felt good with both. My lap times were almost identical in both conditions, and the riders in front put the softer at the end, so I’m not worried with my position today. It’s also true than they have improved the times by a second, so we will need to understand better if the softer will last the race distance. 25 laps are a lot, you spend a lot of time on the edge of the tyre and it’s important to keep them ‘fresh’ until the end. We will keep working on some details tomorrow morning in order to be ready for the qualifying”.