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MotoGP Qatar FP1 – Results and Quotes

Under the bright and powerful floodlights of the Losail race track in Qatar, the MotoGP weekend has finally took off and with little surprise it was Casey Stoner who hit the top of the charts during FP1 clocking in at 1.

Valentino Rossi second almost 0.
4 seconds from the Australian and third, a rejuvenated Colin Edwards, a little more than eight tenths of second from the Australian.

Casey Stoner – Malboro Ducati:“We’ve made a good start today and I’m happy because the bike feeling was really good straight away, the settings we brought from Jerez seem to be working well here too.

” “We still need to change a couple of things to get more grip from the rear.
A lot of that is due to the track conditions being really dusty but we just need to take our time and try to get it set up better for tomorrow.
Hopefully the track will clean up too.
”Nicky Hayden -Malboro Ducati:“Today wasn’t a great day.
To start with I had a problem with a sensor on my first bike and I had to come back after just three laps of my first run and change to my second bike.

The set-up wasn’t the same and the clutch wasn’t quite right.
The 45 minutes flew by and we weren’t able to get back on the pace we set here in the test.
“Obviously I’m going to need both sessions tomorrow to work something out and get on the pace.
Casey and Valentino are already looking really quick but we’re not too far off the group behind them.
Hopefully with the right changes to the bike tomorrow we can get amongst them.
”Valentino Rossi – Fiat Yamaha:This evening I am quite happy because at the test we were one second from Casey but now the gap is much less.
We had some ideas after the test to improve our pace and I am happy to say that they all seemed to have worked.
I am fast, I have a good pace and I am happy with this opening session.
“We can still improve; the track was quite dirty tonight so I think that tomorrow we will be able to push a bit harder.
It’s much warmer than at the test and this is helping us too, I am more confident and I can ride my M1 how I want to.
”“It’s strange only having 45 minutes in a session and you have to be quite well organised and plan more in advance, but on the whole it doesn’t seem so bad to me” Jorge Lorenzo – Fiat Yamaha“We had a few problems, mainly in the hard braking areas where I didn’t have such a great feeling with the front tyre, but apart from that it’s been ok.
The track was quite dirty so it was difficult to go at 100%, and I think tomorrow it will be much better.
”“At the end today we made a big improvement and my last lap was much better, so I am not worried and I think tomorrow, with more time on track, we can improve.
” Colin Edwards – Monster Yamaha Tech 3:“I’m pretty happy to have started close to the front because it is always important to try and hit the ground running.
We played around with the front-end mainly because I had a few issues at the last test in Jerez with movement on the front tyre whenever I tried to really push hard.
It was a bit like a speed limit in Jerez but the changes we have made feel really good.
”“It’s not a massive change, I’m only talking a millimetre here and there but it has taken away some of that movement and that is crucial for me because I’m such a front-end guy.
I’m happy it was the right direction too because you really can’t afford to waste any time with less track time now.
You’ve got to back yourself and your team that the changes you make are going to be an improvement, and tonight it worked out.
”“I’ve still got some small issues but I needed to make this change because it is obvious the way I force the handlebars with my arms is different to Valentino and Jorge.
I’m happy to have got a good start for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team and give Herve something to smile about on his birthday! (Team manager Herve Poncharal turned 52 yesterday).
James Toseland -Monster Yamaha Tech 3:“I’m pleased with tonight because it has been a tough winter but I was in the ballpark right from the start.
I’m eleventh but on the lap times I’m really close to the top six and that is really encouraging.
The team did a great job with the base setting because I’ve not had much time on the bike, and their understanding of what I need has been fantastic.
I felt comfortable on the bike and that was important for me.
”“My right foot is a little bit sore after the crash in Jerez but it is not proving a big problem on the bike at all.
I’m delighted with my recovery because for a while I couldn’t even put any weight on my right foot.
But if we had a race tomorrow then I’d be going for a top six position and that’s where I want to be coming off the winter.
”“I used the softer tyres tonight because with the track temperature ten degrees hotter than at the test, I wanted to save the harder tyres because that is what I’ll need for the race.
With the shorter session and less tyres, it really comes down to strategy and my team were brilliant.
Hopefully now I’ll be able to give Herve a belated birthday present on Sunday.
”Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda:“Well, I was able to ride for the whole session tonight and that was the first target for Qatar.
I didn’t feel so great on the bike to be honest, but I expected this after such a long time without riding.
I have to readapt to the speed, the braking points, the demands of riding a MotoGP machine again and this will take some time.
”“My knee of course did not feel one hundred per cent and we will have to see how it improves over the course of the next practice sessions.
Because I can’t bend the knee as far as I’d like, my riding position is not normal and this means I feel quite awkward on the bike at the moment.
” “It’s too early for me to really make a judgment on the level of the bike because my pace was not fast enough today to really work on machine set-up.
We knew this was going to be a challenging session and we were prepared for this, so we’ll come back tomorrow and aim to take some more steps forward.
” Andrea Dovizioso – Repsol Honda:“I was very excited this evening, it was my first official practice riding for HRC on the RC212V factory bike, so I was even more excited than last year when I made my debut in MotoGP.
It’s a great feeling.
Racing at night is fascinating and I enjoy starting the season here in Qatar.
I’m actually feeling pretty confident.
We have improved things compared to the last test in Jerez and today was all about preparation for the race.
” “With only 45-minute practice sessions there’s less time to work on the bike and we’ve had to change our method of working to make best use of the session.
We still have some issues with the machine to sort out, but I’m confident.
Today we had a positive session and my team will look at making further adjustments to the settings tomorrow.
”Loris Capirossi – Rizla Suzuki:“For the first practice it was not too bad, but we did struggle a bit with the setting.
In the recent test it was not perfect so we tried a new one and this didn’t work as well so we will use some stuff from that and go back to the old one.
We have a good idea what we need to modify tomorrow and I am sure we will be stronger.
45 minutes seems a really short time and it is difficult to get a lot of work done, also with the limited amount of tyres – especially on such a dirty track – made it quite tough.
Overall we are quite pleased and we will have quite an easy way to improve tomorrow!”Chris Vermeulen -Rizla Suzuki:“We have a limit on tyres and didn’t really want to use any of the hard front tyres that we will be using for racing.
We tried to make the softer one work and we were going not too bad in the beginning of session, but at the end I kept the front tyre in and there was a lot of movement in the front of the bike and struggled to keep corner speed up.
It was a bit frustrating that we couldn’t go as fast as we have been round here, but I still have all my hard front tyres left and hopefully the speed will come back when we put that in.
”Mika Kallio – Pramac Racing: “Today everything went quite well.
I made it to be really constant and this gives me a lot of trust for Sunday’s race.
It will surely be important to work well tomorrow for then see how the race will go.
I am really happy of this start.
The Team has worked really well.
It has been really strange to work so intensively on two bikes due to the 15 minutes cut, but we will have to get used to it.
”Niccolò Canepa – Pramac Racing:“Time has gone so fast today, forty-five minutes are really not enough for a completely new rider like me.
We will need much more time to find the best feeling with the bike and to find the best method of work.
The position I am in right now it surely doesn’t make me smile: tomorrow we will have to work even harder to sensibly improve.
FP1 Results:01 27 Casey STONER AUS Ducati 1′57.
05302 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha 1′57.
43903 5 Colin EDWARDS USA Yamaha 1′57.
83504 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha 1′58.
27205 15 Alex DE ANGELIS RSM Honda 1′58.
45206 65 Loris CAPIROSSI ITA Suzuki 1′58.
46807 36 Mika KALLIO FIN Ducati 1′58.
49908 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Honda 1′58.
50609 33 Marco MELANDRI ITA Kawasaki 1′58.
75710 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Honda 1′58.
77111 52 James TOSELAND GBR Yamaha 1′58.
85012 24 Toni ELIAS SPA Honda 1′59.
09413 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati 1′59.
15814 7 Chris VERMEULEN AUS Suzuki 1′59.
34815 72 Yuki TAKAHASHI JPN Honda 1′59.
43716 59 Sete GIBERNAU SPA Ducati 2′00.
59517 88 Niccolo CANEPA ITA Ducati 2′00.
59718 3 Dani PEDROSA SPA Honda 2′01.

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