Casey Stoner said his failure to overcome a rear grip issue cost him the chance to claim a front row start for tomorrow’s Czech Republic MotoGP clash at the Brno circuit.
The Aussie logged the fourth best time with his 1.56.868 just 0.003s away from bumping Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo off the front row.
The 2007 world champion was plagued by a return of an old rear pumping issue with his factory Ducati GP10 and he said: “We’ve been trying to fix that. It looked like the Ducati of two years ago but now we have a carbon chassis, so whatever it does it is the old Ducati ten fold. It is that much more aggressive when it moves and pumps hard and it has been shunting me all over the place.
“We fix that problem a little bit we then have problems with the front and we are just trying to get a better balance. I was happier with my last exit but I still didn’t have quite enough grip in the rear and the new tyres covered a lot of problems.
“The problem is on the whole track. With our bike it is never one part that is different to another and we usually find the same problem through the lap. We are getting he same reaction at every corner.” Stoner said he wasn’t fussed to have missed the front row of the grid for the first time since the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in late June.
And he said he expected to be involved in the group fighting for the podium in tomorrow’s 22-lap clash, which starts the second half of the 2010 MotoGP world championship.
Stoner, who will switch to Repsol Honda next season, said: “I’m going to try and join the group but I don’t know if it will be a big group. We’ll see how the confidence of Jorge and Valentino (Rossi) is for tomorrow because they both crashed. Jorge (Lorenzo) hasn’t had a crash in a long time.
“Dani (Pedrosa) is looking good this weekend, he’s been strong in every session to the point where it is not worrying but you can see he feels good and the bike is working well every session. It’s not like he is slowly progressing every session. It is going to be an interesting race but I just have to worry about myself and see if I can run at the front. The Yamahas also seem to be working extremely well here and it’s easy to say I can follow them.”