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Views from the top MotoGP riders of day one in Jerez

Views from the top MotoGP riders of day one in Jerez

After the opening day's action of the Gran Premio de España weekend in Jerez collected the views of the day's significant performers after the opening two MotoGP free practice sessions.

After the opening day's action of the Gran Premio de España weekend in Jerez collected the views of the day's significant performers after the opening two MotoGP free practice sessions.

Carlos Checa Honda LCR (1st, 1'40.851)
"Being at the front is always a good feeling but I'm not getting carried away, the times are very close. Since the Qatar race, the changes to the front-end have made the bike comfortable on braking and turn-in, a much more positive feeling. My first target tomorrow is to complete the tyre testing for the race, we have two good options, and secondly to improve my qualifying performance where we had some problems in Qatar. I'm feeling good for my home race."

Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team (2nd, 1'40.906)
"I'm reasonably happy with progress today and we improved a lot from the morning as the track temperature rose for the afternoon session. It's only the first day and we're still working on the bike set-up and tyre choice but I have a good feeling on the bike and I hope we can continue to move forward tomorrow and get a good qualifying position. We must work hard for this because the times are so close today and a good grid position will be very important for the start of the race, especially with the tight first corner here. The weather looks as though it will stay dry for the weekend and I'm looking forward to racing on Sunday – I'm sure the crowd will be impressive."

Toni Elias Honda Gresini (3rd, 1'40.972)
"To set the third fastest time on the first day is a good way to start, even though we are all very close and we need to keep working. The test after the race in Qatar was really useful and today I found a good feeling straight away. I have got a good rhythm and it will be important to keep working with the Bridgestone technicians to choose the right tyres for the characteristics of this circuit."

Casey Stoner Ducati Marlboro Team (4th, 1'41.171)
"Things are okay but I suppose we shouldn't really expect any less than what we've done today. Everybody is saying how fast the Ducati is and how that's the only reason we were up front at the last race but here we're still sticking it in there against the hometown boys, even though there's no big straight, so the Ducati is proving it's a good package. There's a few things we need to improve - we need to find a little bit more rear grip and we need to improve the turning a little bit through the entry and the middle of corners, so for tomorrow we'll just tweak the suspension and geometry. Otherwise I think we're already pretty happy with our race set-up. We made the best tyre selection we could for this race and we're just trying to do the best job we can with it, same as Qatar."

Valentino Rossi Yamaha Team (6th, 1'41.198)
"Today was quite difficult for us, compared to how we began in Qatar! Unfortunately the situation with the tyre is not perfect, we don't have enough grip and the problem is made worse because the condition of the track isn't so good either. We have a lot less grip than we had at the test here so now we need to work more on the setting of the bike in order to improve the grip with the tyres we have. This morning the problem was a lot worse and we were quite worried after the first session, but we've worked very hard today and the situation this afternoon is a lot better. Anyway we're not that far away at the end of the day, only sixth, and all the riders are very close together so I don't think we need to worry yet. It's clear that some of our rivals are very strong and it's going to be a hard battle, so we need to make the most of the time we have left. I hope that the track grip will improve tomorrow as more rubber is laid down and I hope it will also be a little bit warmer in the morning so we can work properly during free practice."

Loris Capirossi Ducati Marlboro Team (11th, 1'41.409)
"We started this morning with a very similar setting to what we ran at Qatar and we lost most of the first session because it wasn't the best choice for this track - we were trying to find more traction but in the end that meant I didn't have enough feeling from the front. So we completely changed the set-up for this afternoon, going back to more standard settings, and things started to go better. I can now lap easily enough around 41.5 or 41.6 but we need to make another step forward to be really okay because our target is to lap in the low 41s. Tomorrow morning I'll do a mini race run to check tyre endurance but I can honestly say I'm happy with the direction we took this afternoon and confident that we can improve more for the race."

Nicky Hayden Repsol Honda Team (13th, 1'41.536)
"This morning it was definitely encouraging to be up front at the sharp end and it was fun to be riding back here at Jerez. This afternoon we didn't exactly go backwards but we didn't go forward as much as I'd have liked – and everybody else went quite a lot faster. We're definitely a lot closer than we were at the first race in Qatar and I've got a much better feeling on the bike than I did at the first race. Also, the bike seems to be running quite a lot smoother here in the cooler conditions. I just need to try to bust on through that mid 1m 41s bracket and get in amongst the front guys. We're working on a few things tonight so that I can move up tomorrow and try to get on the front two rows at least."


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