Misano MotoGP: Casey Stoner unfazed by lowly eighth

1 of 1

Casey Stoner denied his lowly eighth place in today’s opening practice for the Misano MotoGP race was a cause for major concern.

The Australian was trailing 1.300s off Dani Pedrosa’s fastest pace on a warm but breezy start to the 12th round of the 2010 campaign.

Continuing to use a new set of 2011 spec Ohlins front forks he first raced with in Indianapolis last weekend, the 24-year-old could only set a best time of 1.36.072.

That put him 0.044s adrift of American team-mate Nicky Hayden but Stoner denied he was already facing another tough weekend. He also tested a new triple clamp in today’s practice session.

The 2007 world champion hasn’t won a premier class race since last October and he said: “It wasn’t a fantastic day but not so bad. We’re not in too much trouble and there’s nothing to worry about.

"The bike feels difficult to ride. We tried to make the front end a bit softer stiffness wise with the new triple clamps to try and make the bike better on the bumps at maximum lean.

"But we didn’t get such a good feeling with it. We just didn’t have time to finish the job today, so I’m not too worried. I felt we were losing a bit of engine power and we’ll have to check it and see if it is a problem.”

Stoner said the engine issue was not a big concern either with his factory GP10 motor high on mileage anyway.

Stoner said he had opted to persevere with the new 2011 front forks despite crashing out when he raced them for the first time in America five days ago.

He added: “The problem with these forks is they feel fine until they are gone. Once they go you can’t them back. It basically waits until the last second and when it is gone it is game over.

"With the other forks I get more feedback so we understand when it is going to go. But the two times I’ve run these new forks I’ve been a lot faster so we’ll keep trying them. I’ve got nothing to lose and only a lot to gain.

"We’re going to keep trying things and we have to try something big because I’m sick of finishing third or a long way back from the winner. Unfortunately when you try something big it doesn’t work immediately before you find a good setting.”

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in Sport…

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt