MotoGP FP1 interviews Phillip Island

Valentino Rossi Speaks… (Position: 1st Time: 1’31.032 Laps: 31)

"Today we made a great start. We were concentrated and strong and I am really happy to start in front here at Phillip Island, which is somewhere that I love to ride. We were able to get a lot done in the practice session and try many different things and I was able to ride just how I wanted to. We can definitely improve more – even though we already have a good pace we will continue to work tomorrow and try to find a little bit more, but for the first day I think we can be very happy about our work."

CASEY STONER Speaks… (Ducati Marlboro Team) (2nd; 1’31.167)

"I’m not that happy with today’s session to be honest. The track conditions weren’t good at all and we struggled for traction, which is usually a strong point of our bike. We tried a few different settings, one of which gave us better rear grip but compensated in turning, which was otherwise really good. The front end was quite consistent throughout so it’s just a case of working on the rear tomorrow and hoping that the track conditions improve so that we can find where the limits are. The weather is always a worry here and there was a point in the session this afternoon where it began to spot with rain just as I was heading into turn one and I came back in. I probably had my best setting at that point so the lap time could have been better but I think it has been a difficult day for everybody so we’re not too concerned."

Colin Edwards Speaks… (5th 1.31.846 – 24 laps)

"I went back to a geometry setting on the front that I haven’t tried since we were testing in Malaysia right back at the start of the year. Honestly, I asked what Jorge (Lorenzo) has been running and they said it was the setting I’d used in the Malaysia test. So with it obviously working well for him lately, I decided to give it another go because I really liked it in testing. It’s basically just taking a bit of weight off the front compared to what I’ve been running most of the season. At the start it didn’t feel that great but we played around with some spring settings and the feeling was much better. This track is so fast that you’ve got to make the setting much softer and that’s what we did. And it felt much better because once you’ve got a stable bike underneath you at this track then it becomes a piece of cake. But if the bike is set too hard then it makes it really difficult to ride with such a rigid feeling. I need to thank my guys at Tech 3 because in one hour we got through a lot of work this afternoon to get to where we ended up with the bike. Generally we show up and the bike is in the ballpark, but today we were still out in the car park waiting to get in. But my guys did an amazing job and we can still make it better tomorrow, so I’m confident we can have a strong weekend."

James Toseland Speaks… (7th 1.32.255 – 26 laps)

"I’m satisfied with seventh because we’ve managed to get some good information on the set-up and I feel I’m in my best position on a Friday for a long time. I was fast right from the off and in the top six for a long period which was really encouraging. My guys worked hard as always to improve the bike and by the end of the session I felt we’d made some real progress. I had a small issue with the balance from front to rear when exiting corners, but we’ve got some ideas on how to improve that tomorrow. I had a small crash going down the hill after Lukey Heights and that was just a small mistake of mine. I was good in that section of the track and looking to make up some time on the splits where I wasn’t quite so fast and I just lost the front. It cost me a bit of time but didn’t knock me out of my rhythm too much and by the end I was happy with my times and confident I can be fighting for a top six on Sunday."

Jorge Lorenzo Speaks… (Position: 6 Time: 1’32.077 Laps: 23)

"I just couldn’t go fast today. I wasn’t feeling too good – I think that I ate something last night which didn’t agree with me and I felt very weak, which made it very hard to ride the bike. We had some spin and not enough grip or confidence and there were two times where I nearly crashed before I actually did. Luckily I didn’t hurt myself at all and now I will just try to get a good night’s sleep and then hopefully I will be much better tomorrow." 

NICKY HAYDEN Speaks… (Ducati Marlboro Team) (11th; 1’32.771)

"We got a bit of sunshine today so the track temperatures came up a little but there were a few spots of rain out there during the session and that didn’t help. I came out of the gate pretty fast but found it difficult to improve from there and I’m not really happy to be this far off the pace. In the past it has taken me a while to get up to speed here, even when I have had good results, so I’m not too worried but we definitely need to get the bike working better – especially over the bumps – and find some more edge grip. Hopefully we can take a big step tomorrow."