Date : 18/05/2012
Weather : Dry
Temperature : Air: 17 degrees, Ground: 23 degrees
Humidity : 57%
After announcing yesterday in the official press conference his plans to retire at the end of this season, Casey Stoner got back on track and set the fastest time (1'33.740) in the first day of practice at the Le Mans circuit. His team mate, Dani Pedrosa, finished the day close behind (1'34.005), just two tenths off the Australian.
The Repsol Honda Team had a positive start to the Grand Prix of France with both factory riders already showing good pace in the morning session, taking first and second on the time sheets on their first outing here with the 1000cc machines. In the afternoon, with slightly higher track temperatures, Stoner managed to improve his time by 0.6 seconds and Pedrosa by 0.9.
CASEY STONER – 1st - 1'33.740
"The sessions today went quite well for us. Believe it or not, today we were trying to create chatter, so we can make the most use of this dry time on track to understand it a little better and make some improvements for the rest of the season. We are happy to use some of the sessions to focus on fixing the chatter issue, and not worry about the set up immediately. We started to find some chatter at the end of the day when we switched to the hard front tyre and hopefully it will stay dry tomorrow so we can continue to work on this. After yesterday's announcement, I definitely felt a weight off my shoulders when I got on the bike this morning. The last two races I've had a lot of thoughts running through my mind and this weekend I already feel better knowing it's off my chest and we can now focus on the rest of the season, and try to enjoy it".
DANI PEDROSA – 2th - 1'34.005
"The feeling was pretty good overall; normally with these cold conditions the track here is very slippery, but the tyres worked well, the grip level is good and we managed two good session practices. We still have some work to do, mainly on the corner entry, but the first impression has been positive so far. It looks like the temperature will drop and some rain is coming, so it's been useful to have time in the dry to get the feeling at a track like this, where you have a lot of wheelie. I didn't test the new front Bridgestone tyre today, but I would like to do it tomorrow if it's dry".