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Front row start for Stoner after difficult day for the Repsol Honda Team

Front row start for Stoner after difficult day for the Repsol Honda Team

After yesterday's FP2 was cancelled due to track conditions, this morning offered the first opportunity for the Repsol Honda riders to set up their RC212V's in dry conditions in an extended 90 minute session on day two of the Iveco TT Assen weekend.

Within the first fifteen minutes, all three Repsol Honda riders experienced crashes. Casey Stoner was the first to fall after a violent incident in turn nine, though thankfully the Australian rider walked away unharmed. Andrea Dovizioso also crashed on the same lap and corner as Stoner with a big high side. After a visit to the medical centre, the Italian was given the 'all clear' and escaped with an injured left little toe and some pain in his back and neck. Within minutes, Hiroshi Aoyama, standing in for injured Dani Pedrosa, fell from his RC212V in turn thirteen. He too visited the medical centre and was happy to walk out without any serious injury. The three riders got back on their bikes and spent the remainder of the session getting their confidence back and working on set up for the qualifying.

Fortunately, the weather stayed dry for the qualifying session and Casey Stoner was able to secure a front row place for tomorrow's Assen TT. Andrea Dovizioso will start from fifth position and Hiroshi Aoyama from 12th.

Casey Stoner:
"Today hasn't been the best day for us, after this morning's fall, our confidence was dented a little and we weren't willing to push too hard. The only dry track time we've had is today which has meant we've had to do everything in one day. We're struggling with the left hand side of the tyre, we just can't seem to get the temperature in to it, so I'm losing a lot of time on all the left hand corners. Also, we found it difficult to get the bike settled in the rear, so we have some work to do tonight and tomorrow in warm up but we're confident we can find something and improve. Qualifying went ok, we're happy with front row and I don't think we could have matched Marco's time, it was pretty impressive and he's been consistently fast all weekend here, to be honest I'm a little bit disappointed with our race pace which we need to improve quite a lot so we'll have to see what we can do for tomorrow".

Andrea Dovizioso:
“I’m happy with today's final result. Starting from the second row, at five tenths from the fastest rider is positive after this morning's incident. I crashed exiting turn 9 on the second lap as there was a wet spot next to the white strip that you cannot see when you enter the corner also, the tyre on the left was not up to temperature yet. I had a high side and it was a hard impact on the ground but fortunately I have no real problems apart from some pain in my back and neck. It's the first time for a while that I have had such a big accident and I was really happy with the protection from the leathers and boots. This morning we lost 45 minutes of practice time, so I hope that tomorrow we can have a dry warm up to make some small changes on the set up of the bike. I’m confident for the race, but it will be important to take care in the first laps because with these conditions we struggle to bring the tyres up to temperature”.

Hiroshi Aoyama:
"It's not been an easy weekend so far. Yesterday I didn't have much time to work on the bike because of the cancellation of FP2 and this morning I had a crash at the beginning of the practice. I saw Casey and Andrea falling in a left hand corner and I immediately thought I had to be careful because here it's very difficult to get grip in left corners. But a few corners later I crashed and it was totally unexpected. It was a big one, around 190 kilometres per hour and I hit my back. It was very painful, I received an injection at Clinica Mobile for the Qualifying Practice, but in the end the pain remained almost the same. I hope I can rest a bit tonight and feel better for the race tomorrow".

Repsol Honda press release

MotoGP, 2011, IVECO TT ASSEN, Casey Stoner, Andrea Dovizioso, Hiroshi Aoyama, Repsol Honda Team

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