Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden will both start from the higher echelons of the grid in the German Grand Prix tomorrow after qualifying third and fourth fastest respectively in difficult conditions at Sachsenring this afternoon. A torrential rainstorm severely reduced grip levels and huge sections of standing water on the track made for a crash-strewn session.
No fewer than nine riders crashed out, seven of them in the tricky downhill turn eight, including Hayden.
Despite waking up to bright sunshine and warm summer temperatures in Germany this morning, a lunchtime thunderstorm left the Sachsenring circuit soaking wet for the opening free practice session of the German Grand Prix.
Ducati MotoGP Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden were in competitive form in qualifying practice for the USGP at Laguna Seca today, with the Australian sealing a front row start for tomorrow’s race and the American qualifying on the third row in eighth place – the best grid position of his debut season with the Italian factory so far.
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for Stoner, who crashed out heavily at the end of the session.
The opening day of free practice for the US Grand Prix took place at Laguna Seca today with Ducati MotoGP Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden back on track just six days after contesting the Dutch TT at the Assen circuit in Holland.
The press conference room in the Assen media centre was packed to the rafters on Wednesday afternoon as MotoGP’s ‘big guns’ previewed the 61st annual FIM World Championship event at the historic Dutch venue.
Fiat Yamaha’s Barcelona protagonists, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, were joined by the man who sits alongside them at the head of the standings on 106 points, Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner, to set the scene for the Alice TT Assen. Also answering questions were Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi and Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso.
For the first time in the history of the MotoGP World Championship there are three riders tied at the top of the standings as the season enters its seventh round, each one of them having taken two wins each from the opening six races.
After the well deserved podium earned yesterday at the Catalunya GP, allowing him to maintain his joint lead in the classification, Casey Stoner today returned to the same track, despite his weariness, to participate in a post-race test session.
With 106 points and two victories each from six races so far this season, the three gladiators that stand together at the top of the MotoGP World Championship stood side by side on the podium at Catalunya today, each having written their own page in another thrilling chapter of motorcycling history. Whilst Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo fought a fantastic battle for victory to the final corner, Casey Stoner had to fight his own battle against illness to secure a priceless third place.
Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner will start from the front row of the grid in tomorrow’s Catalunya Grand Prix, with Nicky Hayden starting in thirteenth place despite a late crash that denied him a potential second-row start.
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden both enjoyed a positive first practice session at the Catalunya Grand Prix, with the American joining the Australian at the top end of the time sheets on an encouraging opening day: Stoner lapped third fastest, Hayden clocked the sixth fastest time.
A small crash towards the end of the session did little to dent the confidence of Stoner, who reported improved corner speed and turning from his machine at a circuit where he celebrated victory on his way to becoming MotoGP World Champion in 2007.