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Three riders in their own words at Motegi

Three riders in their own words at Motegi

Three riders, three sets of circumstances. That was the story of the day at Motegi yesterday, as the MotoGP riders undertook their opening practice sessions at the Japanese circuit.

Three riders, three sets of circumstances. That was the story of the day at Motegi yesterday, as the MotoGP riders undertook their opening practice sessions at the Japanese circuit.

One rider with reason to smile was Kawasakis Randy de Puniet, who was second quickest despite a morning crash. The Frenchman is onboard the Ninja at Kawasakis home race for the final time this weekend, and has come out swinging so far.

´That wasn´t a bad day! This morning we worked on the settings on the bike and this afternoon we tried a harder compound tyre, which was better for longevity because I did 20 laps on it and my time at the end of the session was still very good. We can improve a few bits and pieces, including adjusting the rear suspension slightly and perhaps working with a different rear tyre, but already, it´s pretty good and I´m happy.´

For Casey Stoner, the opening day of practice was somewhere between success and disaster, as even though he failed to replicate his recent form the Ducati rider was still amongst the fastest six yesterday. The Australian is not overly preoccupied with any minor problems encountered at Motegi so far, simply looking for improvement tomorrow.

´I´m a bit disappointed with today because we couldn´t find a good set-up and we just went around in circles. This afternoon we tried something with the chassis but it didn´t work and we didn´t have enough time to go back to the same settings we had this morning, so we spent a lot of time making a lot of changes and it definitely wasn´t a great day. To be honest there isn´t one area where we have a big problem, we just need to generally improve in a lot of areas, so tomorrow we will start again with the bike settings we had this morning and we will continue working from there in a different direction. I´m confident we can improve because this morning´s set-up wasn´t bad at all´.

Languishing way down the order, Valentino Rossis setup problems will calm Stoner yet further, knowing that if he finishes ahead of the Italian he can take the title. Rossi had a big moment midway through the session when smoke poured out of his Yamaha M1, and he finished outside of the top ten on the combined practice sheets.

´This morning and early this afternoon things were not looking good at all! We couldn´t find the right setting or the right tyre and we were crossing our fingers that something was going to work out for us. Mid-way through the afternoon however we tried our last tyre and we were immediately one second faster, so at least there´s no doubt now that´s the right direction to follow. We´ve got a lot more work to do, both on setting and with the tyres, so we need to have a good look at the situation tonight to make sure we make the most of the time we´ve got left to us. We were two seconds off the pace and now we´ve closed that gap to one but that´s still way too much and we´re really going to have to pull out all the stops tomorrow.´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, A-STYLE GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN

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