News 25 Jun 2011

Stoner disappointed in second place qualifying position at Assen

Aussie Casey Stoner was disappointed in his qualifying pace at Assen on Friday.

Aussie Casey Stoner was disappointed in his qualifying pace at Assen on Friday.

Australia’s Casey Stoner will start today’s Assen round of the MotoGP World Championship from third position on the grid after what he called a disappointing qualifying session on Friday.

MotoGP World Championship leader Stoner said that his confidence was knocked back a bit when he crashed early in the 90-minute morning free practice. Stoner fell when he hit a wet patch which he hadn’t seen the previous lap.

The Repsol Honda rider later returned to the track, but couldn’t improve his time because he couldn’t generate enough heat in the left side of the rear tyre.

“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,” Stoner said. “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 okay. 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.”

Stoner was off the front row when he put in his fast lap of 1:35.008s just as the checkered flag fell and when he was hopeful of one final pole run.