Casey Stoner was annoyed with the CRT competitors after slower traffic hampered his pole position challenge at Laguna Seca. The World Champion lost pole to Jorge Lorenzo but got held up by Ivan Silva and Danilo Petrucci on separate laps, one which turned out to be his fastest.
With Laguna Seca being the shortest lap of the year, Stoner said he was catching the CRT bikes with regularity and is certain he could've gone quicker. The Australian is still hopeful of challenging for victory tomorrow although he would prefer cooler conditions.
“I’m disappointed as I think we definitely had the potential for pole position. We spent most of the session with the hard tyre trying to improve our pace, we’ve been struggling with it all season when the temperatures aren’t high enough to get it working and we had made a few steps and weren’t too far off the pace. Then we put on the soft tyre and unfortunately we never got a clean lap. There was always a CRT bike in the way and considering we’re 3-4 seconds a lap quicker than them, you come up on them pretty quick, no matter how big a gap you give them. Every lap was spoiled which is very frustrating as I really feel we could have been on pole but we’ll have to settle for where we are. Tyre choice for the race will depend on the weather conditions tomorrow, I think we have the pace and longevity in the tyre for the soft, but if it’s hot then we may have to try and make the hard work”.
Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa starts alongside in third despite setting his fastest time in the opening ten minutes of qualifying. The Spaniard admits he is still learning how to get the best out his updated RC213V but thinks he still has the pace to fight for victory.
“I was a little upset at the end of the session as I wasn’t able to improve my lap time, but happy anyway with another front row. We did a big job this afternoon, considering this morning, in my opinion, there was no meaning to go out with such a track and weather conditions. So we had one hour to work with the tyres and set up the new bike that I finally chose for the race. It was an intense and interesting practice; we know what we have to do for tomorrow. The bike is working well and I’m pretty confident for the race. Let’s see if we have better conditions than today for the warm up tomorrow and we can work on the finer details, although I think we have already a good package”.