Casey Stoner will start tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Spain from the front row of the grid in third place with his team-mate Nicky Hayden just two positions behind him in fifth after another highly-competitive display at Jerez this afternoon.
This morning the American escaped unhurt from high-speed crash and his team worked hard to repair his bike in time for an intense afternoon session that saw him lap just 0.049 seconds off the pace of Stoner.
Both riders are targeting a podium challenge tomorrow as they look to ruin the party for local favourites Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, who occupy the front two positions on the grid.
Casey Stoner (3rd Starting Postion with a 1’39.511) says: "We made a really strong start as soon as we rolled out onto the track yesterday but to be honest we haven’t made much progress with the set-up since then and nothing we have tried seems to have worked. As a result we went back to our original setting this afternoon and even though it was good enough for a front row position we still have plenty of room for improvement with it. It is going to be a busy warm-up session for us tomorrow morning and hopefully we can find something that helps us ahead of the race. In general the bike is still working better than it ever has around here though so I feel more confident for the race than I ever have at Jerez and I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow."
Nicky Hayden (5th Starting Position with a 1’39.560) says: "The crash this morning wasn’t pretty but other than a couple of scrapes and bruises I’m fine. Considering I had a 130mph tumble I feel pretty good actually! Unfortunately it complicated things for the team because they had to work like dogs to fix the bike. I started the afternoon session on my other bike but we had a few issues with the gear shifter that we couldn’t resolve during the session so I had to jump on the bike I’d crashed. The guys were pretty sure it was okay but I wasn’t riding it because they wanted more time to check some things. I did a couple of 1’39.5s and it’s not crazy to suggest we had a couple more tenths in us that could have put us on the front row. Fifth place isn’t so bad – it’s going to be a long, hard race but I can’t wait to get started. I want to say thanks to the team for all their hard work today – hopefully I can pay them back with a good result tomorrow."
Circuit Record: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha – 2009), 1’39.818 – 159.518 Km/h
Best Pole: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha – 2008), 1’38.189 – 162.164 Km/h