Casey Stoner on top again, Capirossi working to improve, Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner dominated the first day of practice at Valencia today while Loris Capirossi was 14th quickest, albeit just 1.032 seconds off his team-mate's best time.
World Champion Stoner completed another excellent day's work at the tight and technically challenging Spanish circuit, where he made his testing debut with Ducati almost exactly one year ago. The remarkable Aussie was 0.116 seconds quicker than closest-challenger Sylvain Guintoli, who used qualifying tires to achieve his best time while Stoner used only race tires. Capirossi spent the day working to find more traction and believes he should be able go half a second quicker tomorrow.
This weekend the team's GP7 machines are emblazoned in a special 'Made in Italy' livery, featuring the Italian tricolore. The paint job celebrates Ducati's historic 2007 season, during which the Ducati Marlboro Team won the riders', constructors' and teams' World Championships, the first time a non-Japanese marque has won biking's biggest prize in more than three decades.
Casey Stoner, fastest, 1m 32.968s, "Everything seems to be going pretty well again. We tried a lot of different settings this afternoon to try and make the harder compound rear tires work, because the conditions are a bit colder than we expected. The tires we have prefer to work in slightly hotter temperatures, so we're going to have to make them work a bit harder. A lot of times today we had new tyres on but the setting wasn't quite right so we weren't able to do good lap times, then we'd improve the setting using old tires and we were able to go very fast. We just need a little bit more work on the set-up and we should be able to get pretty close."
Loris Capirossi, 14th fastest, 1m 34.000s, "We are working hard, trying to get better rear traction. We have three types of rear tire, all a bit too hard for what I need, so we will probably adjust the set-up to put more weight on the rear. Last year we found a good set-up here but the bikes are very different now - you use the edge of the tires a lot more with the 800s and this can make things difficult for my riding style. Anyway, we will see what we can do with the set-up, and if we do find more traction it should be easy to go five or six tenths faster.