Date : 28/07/2012
Weather : Dry
Temperature : Air: 20ºC, Ground: 27ºC
Humidity : 63%
Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa qualified second and third respectively for tomorrow's Red Bull US Grand Prix and it's the fifth time this season the riders share the first row of the grid.
It was a very busy session for both Repsol Honda riders after they sat out the morning's free practice due to the fog and cold temperatures at Laguna Seca.
Casey spent most of the session working on hard tyres and kept the softer slicks for the last five minutes, when he managed to improve his lap times by almost half a second and take second place on the grid with 1'20.628, just 0.074 second from the pole.
Dani, instead, went out with the soft rear on his first exit and set a fast lap time of 1'20.906 that secured him the third slot before start working on race pace.
Casey, who will use the new engine, and Dani, who has chosen the new engine and chassis for tomorrow's race, are confident to fight in front and maintain a high pace in the tough 32 lap race.
CASEY STONER – 2nd 1'20.628
"I'm disappointed as I think we definitely had the potential for pole position. We spent most of the session with the hard tyre trying to improve our pace, we've been struggling with it all season when the temperatures aren't high enough to get it working and we had made a few steps and weren't too far off the pace. Then we put on the soft tyre and unfortunately we never got a clean lap. There was always a CRT bike in the way and considering we're 3-4 seconds a lap quicker than them, you come up on them pretty quick, no matter how big a gap you give them. Every lap was spoiled which is very frustrating as I really feel we could have been on pole but we'll have to settle for where we are. Tyre choice for the race will depend on the weather conditions tomorrow, I think we have the pace and longevity in the tyre for the soft, but if it's hot then we may have to try and make the hard work".
DANI PEDROSA – 3rd 1'20.906
"I was a little upset at the end of the session as I wasn't able to improve my lap time, but happy anyway with another front row. We did a big job this afternoon, considering this morning, in my opinion, there was no meaning to go out with such a track and weather conditions. So we had one hour to work with the tyres and set up the new bike that I finally chose for the race. It was an intense and interesting practice; we know what we have to do for tomorrow. The bike is working well and I'm pretty confident for the race. Let's see if we have better conditions than today for the warm up tomorrow and we can work on the finer details, although I think we have already a good package".