Stoner seventh fastest on first day at Assen MotoGP round //
POSTED: 29 Jun 2012 | SECTION: MotoGP News | POSTED BY:Alex Gobert
Reigning MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner was a surprise seventh fastest during Assen’s Thursday practice overnight, setting his quickest lap during FP1.
The whole MotoGP field was treated to a warm and dry first day at the Iveco TT Assen, where last year’s race winner, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Spies, laid down the benchmark ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Nicky Hayden.
In a tightly fought afternoon session, Spies set the fastest lap in the high 1.34s, with Stoner less than half a second off the pace back in seventh.
Stoner only completed eight flying laps in the afternoon session, as he was struggling with issues on both his bikes. Stoner was one rider to not post a fast lap with the soft rear compound.
“We tried a few things with the bike but weren’t really happy with them,” Stoner explained. “We tested another chassis but haven’t found many positives with it yet, in the morning if felt like we had slightly less chatter in the front, then this afternoon no real benefit, perhaps a little worse.
“In FP2 we couldn’t get any feeling from the rear and to be honest I felt a little nervous on the bike because from the first two exits, the bike just wanted to throw me off, every time I touched the throttle the rear wanted to come around on me and I lost the front quite a few times, too many for my liking.
“Everything we’re doing, trying to reduce the chatter is just making the bike difficult to ride. We’re going to have to rethink things again and come out fresh tomorrow. I’m not too worried about finding the pace, it was just a little bit disappointing this afternoon.”
The Moto2 class was topped by Pol Espargaro at 1:38.421, while Anthony West was 21st fastest with a 1:40.084. On debut in his return to GP racing, Damian Cudlin was credited 29th with a 1:41.571.
In Moto3 it was Maverick Vinales who set the pace with a 1:44.312, while Arthur Sissis was top Aussie in 15th with a 1:45.959. Countryman Jack Miller posted a 1:47.418 for the 27th quickest time.