Stoner hoping for dry mileage

Casey Stoner feels he still has a great deal of work to do to prepare for the French Grand Prix after switching to his spare bike just before the rain hit during practice today

Stoner hoping for dry mileage

The Ducati rider struggled to get up to speed on his primary bike, suspecting a tyre problem at first. He eventually moved into second place on his spare and remained there as the rain prevented further changes of position.

"In the first part of the session it felt like we maybe had a problem with the rear tyre because the bike was pretty difficult to ride but we haven't analysed the data yet so we don't know what really happened," Stoner explained.

"We were in and out of the garage a few times before deciding on a complete change, swapping onto my other bike with a completely new tyre.

"I immediately had a better feeling but we still weren't getting enough temperature into the tyre, which we think was because the rear setting was too stiff and we weren't getting enough weight transfer to load the rear and make the tyre work.

"We changed the set-up but we only had time to do half a lap and then the rain came, which was effectively game over."

Stoner is not optimistic that he will get the dry track time he needs during the rest of the weekend.

"It wasn't much of a session for us because we only completed three proper laps so it would be useful if we could have a dry weekend to have more time to work on the setting," he said.

"Unfortunately with the way the weather forecast is, I don't think we're going to get that."

His team-mate Nicky Hayden's efforts to get to grips with the Ducati and acclimatise to new crew chief Juan Martinez were also hampered by the weather.

"It was a shame about the rain because we obviously have a lot of work to do and we're in a new situation, where me and Juan need to learn about each other, but we only got two runs in the dry," said the American, who was 15th fastest.

"I constantly got a little faster, a little faster, and then I was really just getting going on my second run when it started to rain."

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