After another two free practice sessions on the second day of running in Qatar, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner was again the pacesetter, lapping under the existing lap record on the harder option front and rear Bridgestone slicks.
The Repsol Honda Team also claimed second and third spots with Dani Pedrosa fastest for much of the session and Andrea Dovizioso in third, just ahead of World Champion Jorge Lorenzo of the Factory Yamaha team. The circuit was faster today as it has become cleaner and more rubber has been laid down by the other classes competing at this Grand Prix.
Both practice sessions were run in cool weather, and although the day started windy, the conditions calmed which helped with track cleaning as less sand was blown onto the circuit. The situation in Qatar is a tricky one for tyres and riders as normally with low temperatures and a slippery circuit, softer compounds are favoured for the extra grip they afford, but here the softer option rear is susceptible to graining and the harder option is performing very well, as Stoner demonstrated yesterday and today, despite the cold.
MotoGP action will resume for an hour of qualifying tomorrow at 1955hrs local time.
Hirohide Hamashima, Director, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development said:
“The track conditions improved quite a lot today as the circuit has become cleaner with the wind dropping and many more laps of running, but it was still quite slippery. Nevertheless I am happy with tyre performance, especially of the harder option rear, because the laptimes are fast and consistency and durability are good. With the softer rear, again some riders experienced some graining, but this was not a concern with the harder option. The overall grip of the softer rear is higher, but because of the sand and the graining, some riders couldn’t get a good laptime on this tyre. Almost every rider set their best lap on the harder option front too as it is more stable under braking. Conditions here are still tricky and tyre evaluation is difficult because of the problems caused by the sand, but this is a situation we see every year here at this circuit so comes as no surprise to me.”
Source: Bridgestone Motorsport
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