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Rear shock change makes big impact for Stoner

Rear shock change makes big impact for Stoner

2007 World Champion reaps benefits of mid-session bike adjustment.

Casey Stoner put his ninth pole position of the 2008 season down to a technical adjustment, made mid-session in qualifying for the Gran Premio Parts Europe de la Comunitat Valenciana, with a hasty change made to the rear end of his Ducati Desmosedici GP8.

The Australian had experienced difficulties in meeting his high standards in the previous wet sessions, and his technicians were left looking for ideas to enable the 2007 World Champion to pick up his pace. A leftfield switch to the rear suspension left Stoner feeling more comfortable, coinciding with an opportunity to run qualifying tyres as the rain held out. A 1´31.502 lap followed, putting the Australian at the head of the grid for Sunday´s season finale.

`This afternoon we struggled a bit at the beginning of the session to get a decent setup; we were a long way off the times,´ admitted Stoner after the qualifying session. `We tried something a little bit different in the rear shock and it seemed to really help us. We got a lot more feeling in the middle of the turn and were able to corner harder.

`Then we threw on the qualifying tyres and were quite lucky there –it had looked like it was going to rain and I´d end up at the back of the grid. But it stayed away and we were able to get our qualifiers in. The laps were reasonable, not great, but we had some nice clean laps.´

Stoner´s time was a tenth of a second quicker than his own 2007 qualifying time at the circuit –which earned him second on the grid- and just 0.015 faster than last year´s pole lap.


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