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Complicated first day for Ducati pair

Complicated first day for Ducati pair

Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden worked hard to adapt their Desmosedici GP10 prototypes to the demanding Mugello layout.

Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden completed the first practice at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM with clear ideas on what they need to further improve ahead of Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session.

Stoner tried the front suspension system from last season on one of his bikes in a bid to improve his front-end feeling, but a crash early in the session complicated the remainder of his practice.

"I think I only managed three ‘proper’ laps and none of them were decent!” said Stoner, who ended up seventh fastest with a time of 1’51.128 from 15 laps. “I had a crash at the start, which obviously didn’t help. When I went to grab the brakes at the Bucine corner there was nothing there! I tried to tip the bike into the corner but it was going wide so I just had to run it into the gravel. Stones got everywhere and that kind of messed that bike up for the rest of the session.”

Stoner reported a much improved sensation with the old suspension system, established before his fall after eight minutes. He continued: “Even though I only had a couple of laps on the old forks it was enough to make me want to use them on both bikes tomorrow. The feel with them is more aggressive but we have feel. The other bike had the new forks on but I just don’t have the same confidence with them and I was losing the front in the same kind of corners that I have been in the last races.”

“Nothing we tried seemed to work today, it was just one of those days! All we can do is start again tomorrow,” added Stoner.

Hayden, who was just under three-tenths of a second off his team-mate’s pace and was ninth fastest in the session, found the opening session of the weekend hard. He envisages some hard work overnight being the solution for a better second practice ahead of qualifying.

“Today wasn’t as smooth as we would have liked,” said Hayden. “The bike didn’t feel too bad but we were struggling in some of the downhill corners to get it to hold the line and change direction, without using the brake to get the weight onto the front. We certainly need to take a good look at things together tonight and see where we can make it better because nothing came easy out there. I know my guys will be working hard as always and tomorrow we need to get our head down again because this is such an important race for Ducati.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2010, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA TIM, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner, Ducati Team

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