Motorcycle Racing News Stoner and Hayden talk FP from Assen (photos)

Stoner and Hayden talk FP from Assen (photos)

Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden were at work a day earlier than usual today as free practice for the Dutch TT got underway at Assen, with the legendary race set to take place in its traditional slot of the final Saturday in June. The Australian set out on the right foot, just 0.035 seconds off the fastest lap of the session despite being held up by traffic.

Stoner, last year’s winner and the current lap record holder here, was immediately at ease with the base setting of his Desmosedici GP9 and was able to work calmly throughout the session on making gradual improvements to suit the intricacies of the fast and flowing layout. Stepping up his pace towards the end of the session, the 2007 World Champion finished third fastest but is confident of improvements tomorrow, as is 2006 champ Hayden, who was twelfth.

3rd – Casey Stoner Speaks… (1’37.877)

"This afternoon went really well for us and we’ve started off where we left off in Catalunya, which is a great sign. Generally with this bike we’ve had to make a lot of changes from track to track and we usually have to spend the first session working really hard to adapt the set-up, but on this occasion it feels good out of the box. We tried a couple of things during the session but once we got onto the harder front tyre it all clicked into place and we could have gone a lot faster but I got held up on a couple of laps and then on my last lap I pushed the front a bit too hard and ran wide. We still have some improvements to make but generally speaking it is very positive to start out on the pace – especially at such a windy circuit, because usually we struggle in the wind."

12th – Nicky Hayden Speaks… (1’38.928)

"We had some different ideas to try here with the electronics and we ran them at the beginning of the session but I didn’t like them, so we went back to something similar to what we had in Barcelona, which enabled us to move up a bit. The gap to the front is closer than it’s been at other tracks but unfortunately a second around here is a lot of time and our position is not much of an improvement. There are some parts of the track that are pretty good and other sections where I’m kind of in between gears so we obviously need to look at the transmission tonight and put it all together a little better for tomorrow. We’ve got a lot of work to do but we’re used to that! I’m running the number 22 on my helmet this weekend for a close friend of our family back in America, Nick Cummins, who got hurt in a dirt-track event recently. His Dad used to sponsor me when I was younger and I just want him and his family to know that we’re with them and thinking about them, hoping things come right."

Circuit Record

Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2008), 1’36.738 – 169.509 Km/h

Best Pole

Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2008), 1’35.520 – 171.670 Km/h

2020 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 30th Anniversary Review (8 Fast Facts)

The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy grows up in 2020. The petite 107 is dropped, and you have only one motor choice for The Plump One—the...

2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R Test at Portimão & Algarve Streets

The 2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R makes no bones about what it was designed to do, with nearly every aspect of it being conducive to collecting tickets as if they were merit badges.

Honda VF700C Magna : One of the Hondas that Harley Built (Tariff Bike)

Say what? Harley built Hondas? Well, no, not in so many nuts and bolts. But back in the early 1980s, Harley-Davidson did take some actions that led directly to a series of bikes from Japanese motorcycle manufacturers as a result. They are sometimes referred to as the “tariff bikes.”

2020 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro Review (27 Fast Facts)

The 2020 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally and Rally Pro are the English marque’s brand-new off-road-focused adventure motorcycles. The pair are part of the all-new...

2020 BMW GS Trophy Oceania: South Africa Wins New Zealand (Video)

After competitions in Tunisia, Southern Africa, Patagonia, Canada, Thailand and Mongolia, the 2020 BMW GS Trophy headed to New Zealand for the seventh edition. Twenty-two...

How to Restore Kawasaki Z1, Z/KZ900 and Z/KZ1000: Book Review (Rider’s Library)

Finally getting around to restoring that ’73 Zed in the shed? Well, here’s the book you really need before you blow the dust off...