Stoner sets pace at British Grand Prix
World champion Casey Stoner set the fastest time in Friday’s practice for the British Grand Prix, making the most of mixed weather conditions at a track where he won in the rain last year.
The Australian, who will retire from the sport at the end of the season, clocked 2min 04.791sec on his Honda as the circuit dried with Yamaha rider Ben Spies 0.034sec back on a Yamaha and Honda man Alvaro Bautista 0.204sec off the pace on a Honda.
“We didn’t learn very much from today. In the first session we tried to understand the bike in the wet a little better, but it was gradually drying out throughout the session so it was difficult to take any real data,” admitted Stoner.
“It was a similar situation this afternoon, we went out for a couple of laps and it started to rain, which destroyed most of the session. We found the bike very hard to ride so we came in and made a change, which took a lot of time and we didn’t manage so many laps.
“It would be nice if we get some better weather again tomorrow and this wind makes things very tricky, but everyone is in the same position.” Spain’s Jorge Lorenzo, who leads the standings by 20 points from Stoner, was down in seventh place, 0.697sec behind the Australian.
“It was nice to try the bike in the rain this morning as we may have these conditions for the race,” said Lorenzo.
“We had a lot of problems with the wind in the afternoon session, which made it difficult. I don’t feel very comfortable yet, especially on the straight, we have to solve a problem with the front of the bike to be faster.” Ducati’s Nicky Hayden finished fourth fastest, having recovered from his hand problem last time out in Spain while teammate Valentino Rossi, who was fastest in the wet in the morning, had a disappointing afternoon session finishing in 11th.