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Stoner and Dovizioso end day one at the front

Stoner and Dovizioso end day one at the front

The Repsol Honda riders placed first and third on the timesheet on the opening day of the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya.

The Repsol Honda riders reached the top of the timing sheets today in the first day of free practice of the Grand Prix of Catalunya, after dealing with a range of weather conditions. Casey Stoner was the fastest rider on track and Andrea Dovizioso the third fastest in the combined free practices times.

The Repsol Honda team who will compete in the fifth round of the Championship without Dani Pedrosa due to his injured right collarbone, completed two successful sessions today before the all important qualifying, to be held tomorrow.

With clear skies in the morning and light rain that delayed the start of some riders in the afternoon, both Casey Stoner and Andrea Dovizioso rode consistently and had good pace. The Australian was the only rider capable of lapping in 1'42” when with 15 minutes of the session remaining, all riders put on slick rear tyres to attack the clock. Dovizioso and Stoner both improved their lap times by one second from the morning to the afternoon and both find themselves placed on a provisional front row.

Casey Stoner:
"We're quite happy with the day, unfortunately we didn't get a lot of good wet or dry track time so a lot of time was wasted in changeable conditions and not achieving much. However, in general we got a pretty good feeling with the bike and everything seems to be working well. We would like to improve rear grip and turning on the exit, also some more stability on the brakes, but in general the bike feels good and we're confident we can go faster tomorrow, hopefully in dry conditions and we'll see what we can do. Physically I feel better than I have done in the past weeks, I've got blocked sinuses which doesn't help when I'm trying to concentrate and my ears are popping but I'm trying to put this to one side and concentrate on the job at hand.”

Andrea Dovizioso:
“This afternoon we started with wet conditions and then the track dried out, however, it was not wet enough so we destroyed the tyres after few laps. All in all it was a good session and we tested both soft and hard tyres in preparation for the race, in case there will be changeable weather conditions. I’m happy with the feeling with the bike. We are 6 tenths from Casey but I think we can improve tomorrow. We did a good job and we will continue working in this direction tomorrow.”

MotoGP, 2011, GRAN PREMI APEROL DE CATALUNYA, Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team

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