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Stoner notes wrist improvement, Melandri inside top ten

Stoner notes wrist improvement, Melandri inside top ten

World Champion Casey Stoner was not overly troubled by his ongoing wrist injury at Motegi on Friday as he lapped quickest on the opening day at the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan.

The scaphoid injury which has hampered Casey Stoner at the last two rounds appears to have improved according to the Ducati Marlboro rider after he topped the Friday timesheets at Motegi.

After confirming the 2007 World title at the same venue last year, Stoner was still displeased with his race performance in Japan last time out, though on this occasion he is feeling far more comfortable with his Motegi set-up following one wet session and one dry session on the first day of this weekend´s Grand Prix.

Stoner´s team-mate - until the end of the season when he will be replaced by Nicky Hayden - Marco Melandri, has often lagged behind the Australian this year, but he managed to lap eighth on Friday and was positive about how things had gone.

Casey Stoner - first

`This morning we struggled to find rear grip on the wet track and we couldn´t understand why, so this afternoon it was a case of taking our time to get the setting right and eventually we found a decent feel. We have a few areas to improve on and one of the things we tried towards the end of this afternoon proved to be a blind alley, so that cost us some time. Basically we tried a new tyre but it was spinning up a lot on the rear and forcing me wide on the brakes. We need to make up for that tomorrow and a dry day would certainly help! My wrist is feeling pretty good here - much better than it has for the last two races anyway, only in the dry it is a little bit more difficult, in the wet no problems. I didn´t use any bandage I preferred not to because I have not the same movement. If I can I won´t use it.´

Marco Melandri - eighteenth

`This morning we had a lot of problems - we weren´t totally prepared with the electronics and I was running wide for the first four or five laps. However, in the afternoon things went much better. We still have a few things to work on but the weekend has started out positively and I think that trend can carry through to the race. Now we´ll see if we have another two sessions in the wet but at least it looks as though it will be dry for Sunday. If that´s the case we have an idea about tyre choice and even though we have some way to go with the bike I can say I´m happy today.´

MotoGP, 2008, A-STYLE GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Marco Melandri, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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