Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing World.com - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
SHARE:
May 1, 2009

Updated: Rossi Tops First MotoGP Practice Friday Afternoon At Jerez

Valentino Rossi (46).
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Jerez, Spain
May 1, 2009
Free Practice One Results (all on Bridgestone tires):

1. Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha), 1:39.647
2. Loris CAPIROSSI (Suzuki), 1:40.011
3. Casey STONER (Ducati), 1:40.268
4. Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha), 1:40.441
5. Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Honda), 1:40.601
6. Colin EDWARDS (Yamaha), 1:40.703
7. Randy DE PUNIET (Honda), 1:40.866
8. Chris VERMEULEN (Suzuki), 1:41.063
9. Marco MELANDRI (Kawasaki), 1:41.182
10. Dani PEDROSA (Honda), 1:41.208
11. James TOSELAND (Yamaha), 1:41.461
12. Sete GIBERNAU (Ducati), 1:41.531
13. Alex DE ANGELIS (Honda), 1:41.557
14. Mika KALLIO (Ducati), 1:41.584
15. Toni ELIAS (Honda), 1:41.736
16. Yuki TAKAHASHI (Honda), 1:41.898
17. Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati), 1:41.916
18. Niccolo CANEPA (Ducati), 1:42.063


250cc GP Practice Results:

1. Alvaro BAUTISTA (Aprilia), 1:43.429
2. Hiroshi AOYAMA (Honda), 1:43.538
3. Thomas LUTHI (Aprilia), 1:43.949
4. Mattia PASINI (Aprilia), 1:44.062
5. Gabor TALMACSI (Aprilia), 1:44.278
6. Karel ABRAHAM (Aprilia), 1:44.368
7. Mike DI MEGLIO (Aprilia), 1:44.385
8. Marco SIMONCELLI (Gilera), 1:44.398
9. Hector BARBERA (Aprilia), 1:44.466
10. Alex DEBON (Aprilia), 1:44.632
11. Roberto LOCATELLI (Gilera), 1:44.909
12. Ratthapark WILAIROT (Honda), 1:44.918
13. Lukas PESEK (Aprilia), 1:44.930
14. Hector FAUBEL (Honda), 1:45.138
15. Jules CLUZEL (Aprilia), 1:45.194


125cc GP Practice Results:

1. Bradley SMITH (Aprilia), 1:47.385
2. Julian SIMON (Aprilia), 1:47.689
3. Andrea IANNONE (Aprilia), 1:48.051
4. Sandro CORTESE (Derbi), 1:48.616
5. Sergio GADEA (Aprilia), 1:48.722
6. Esteve RABAT (Aprilia), 1:49.068
7. Scott REDDING (Aprilia), 1:49.131
8. Joan OLIVE (Derbi), 1:49.173
9. Stefan BRADL (Aprilia), 1:49.229
10. Danny WEBB (Aprilia), 1:49.321

22. Cameron BEAUBIER (KTM), 1:50.676




More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Rossi top in free practice on Bridgestone's harder slicks
Round 3: Spain Free Practice
Circuito de Jerez, Friday 1 May 2009
Tyre compounds used: Front: Medium, Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium Using

Bridgestone's hard front and medium rear compound slicks, Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi topped the timesheets after the first free practice session in Jerez. A great performance two laps from the finish saw Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi second fastest whilst Casey Stoner was third for the Ducati Team, 0.17 seconds ahead of home talent Jorge Lorenzo of Fiat Yamaha. Repsol Honda's Andrea Dovizioso was fifth, 0.16 seconds further adrift. The tyre compounds used today were exactly those brought to the official pre-season test at Jerez at the end of March, in which Stoner topped the leaderboard followed by Rossi and Capirossi. Today, with a track temperature of 45 degrees Celsius, the highest of the season, five riders used only the harder front and rear Bridgestones, whilst the rest of the field tried the softer compounds as well. Ultimately, with the high ground temperature and the more abrasive nature of the resurfaced track, the hard front and the medium rear Bridgestone slicks were the preferred choice. Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa was the only man not to have tested here this season due to missing the pre-season test to recover from injury, and the Spaniard finished the session tenth fastest. Whilst the circuit's layout remains unchanged, the result of resurfacing work undertaken since last year meant that Rossi's fastest lap today was 1.1 seconds faster than the fastest Friday free practice lap from 2008, set by Colin Edwards.

Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport Manager, Motorcycle Race Tyre Development

"We brought medium and hard compound Bridgestone fronts and soft and medium rears here this weekend after we confirmed they were the correct choice during the Jerez pre-season test. Both compounds of front and rear Bridgestone worked well today, but because of the hot conditions almost all riders preferred the harder specification. "We saw the times get faster throughout the session as the track condition improved and teams adjusted the setting of their bikes to better suit the tyres, and again I can say I'm happy with the consistency and durability of our tyres. Jerez is now quite abrasive and much tougher on tyres than it was last year, but feedback from the session has been very positive, especially for the harder compounds."

Top ten from free practice (Friday 14:05 14:50 GMT+2)

Pos Rider Team Practice Time Gap

1 Valentino Rossi Fiat Yamaha 1m39.647s
2 Loris Capirossi Rizla Suzuki 1m40.011s +0.364s
3 Casey Stoner Ducati Team 1m40.268s +0.621s
4 Jorge Lorenzo Fiat Yamaha 1m40.441s +0.794s
5 Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda 1m40.601s +0.954s
6 Colin Edwards Yamaha Tech3 1m40.703s +1.056s
7 Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 1m40.866s +1.219s
8 Chris Vermeulen Rizla Suzuki 1m41.063s +1.416s
9 Marco Melandri Hayate Racing 1m41.182s +1.535s
10 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 1m41.208s +1.561s




More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

REPSOL HONDA TEAM GETS DOWN TO BUSINESS IN JEREZ

The Repsol Honda Team this afternoon began its preparations for the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, with riders Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa completing a busy opening practice session. The 45-minute duration of the practice periods in 2009 once again saw the team working at lightning pace in the pit garage to get through an intense schedule of testing and evaluation ahead of qualifying tomorrow and Sunday's 27-lap race.

Dovizioso was quickly up to speed today as he began the meticulous process of machine set-up and Bridgestone tyre evaluation. The 23-year-old Italian clocked a lap time of 1m 40.601s around the 4.423km (2.748-mile) track, which was good enough for fifth place. It's a position Repsol Honda's new signing for 2009 is becoming familiar with, having finished the first two races of the season in fifth. But with sunshine forecast for tomorrow's practice and qualifying sessions, and the latest developments on his RC212V to work with, the former 125cc World Champion is determined to move forward as the weekend progresses.

Dani Pedrosa was riding at the Jerez circuit for the first time this year, having missed the MotoGP pre-season test at the end of March as he recovered from surgery. The 23-year-old finished the session in 10th place which, bearing in mind he won the race here last year, was lower than he would have hoped for, especially in front of his home crowd. Pedrosa encountered an electrical problem with one of his machines this afternoon which the team will iron out, and he still has some set-up work to do, so everyone is expecting the Spanish favourite to climb the timesheets tomorrow - most of all the fanatic crowd that will descend on the Jerez circuit.


Andrea Dovizioso

"Today the conditions of the track and the weather were perfect and I was able to ride fast from the beginning of the session. For part of the practice I was trying some new parts and I was impressed with the laptimes I could do without a lot of set-up time. Time is very limited with only 45 minutes per session but we've found some potential. We need to do quite a lot of work to maximise this potential, but I'm satisfied of this first test session for Spanish Grand Prix."


Dani Pedrosa

"It's a good feeling to be back in Europe and especially to be riding at Jerez again. It's only Friday but there are already a lot of fans out on the banking so I know it's going to be another special weekend for the Spanish riders. The first session didn't go quite according to plan for us though and I think we can go faster than this tomorrow. We had an issue with one of my bikes and our general machine set-up still needs some work. The Bridgestone tyres seem to be working pretty well though, so set-up will be the main issue for us tomorrow."


Kazuhiko Yamano - Repsol Honda Team Manager

"We've made some progress today, but at this moment there's still quite a big gap from us to the fastest riders, so we must improve rapidly. We have some ideas how to do this and we'll take what we learned today and work it into the plan for tomorrow's sessions. The weather forecast looks quite constant for the weekend and I'm very happy about this because it should allow us to make some good progress with the machine. I know both Dani and Andrea and all the team are very motivated right now."




More, from a press release issued by Rizla Suzuki:

Rizla Suzuki racer Loris Capirossi used today's one-and-only test session at Jerez in Spain to full effect as he put his Suzuki GSV-R on the provisional front row.

Capirossi (1'40.011) was one of the busiest riders on track, completing 21-laps of the 4.423m Spanish circuit, as he worked towards finding the optimum tyre and bike set-up for Sunday's 27-lap race. He knows there is still work to do over the weekend, but is confident of a good result on Sunday as he continues to go in search of his 100th podium.

Chris Vermeulen (1'41.063, 20 laps) made steady progress during today's 45-minute session, ending the day with the eighth fastest time and a lot of information that he hopes will point him in the right direction tomorrow.

Today's free practice session was held in warm and sunny conditions with air temperatures at 23ºC and the track surface rising to 48ºC. Today's fastest time was set by reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi.

Rizla Suzuki MotoGP has one more practice session tomorrow morning. This is followed by a timed qualifying session in the afternoon to determine grid positions for Sunday's 27-lap race. The third round of the season gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (12.00hrs GMT) on Sunday 3rd May.

Loris Capirossi:

"It was not too bad today, but we still have a lot of work to do. We still have a bit of a problem with getting the right tyres for here. We have already used the hardest tyre we have - but it is not hard enough for us! We will have to adjust the bike a bit so that we use a bit less tyre. Anyway I feel very good on the bike and I know that when we fix the problems we will go quicker and we will try our best for a good result here."

Chris Vermeulen:

"It's been good to come back to Jerez, because it's a track that we tested at not so long ago so getting up to speed was quite quick for everyone. We had the two bikes set up a little bit different to try a couple of different things geometry wise. Basically it was to help with front feeling - which I struggled a bit with at the test here - and we definitely took a step forward. We have the same compound tyres this weekend as we did at the test and at the moment they seem to be working a bit different. I think the most important thing is to make the tyres last the race distance and keep them in a reasonable condition, so that is what we are going to be working on tomorrow. Hopefully we'll be able to do that and have some good speed for qualifying and the race!"

Paul Denning - Team Manager:

"It's difficult to assess the real potential from this short single session today. Obviously it's good to have Loris right up there in second place and Chris improving a lot throughout the session, but we have a lot of work still to do in these warmer conditions to try and find a good step in rear grip with the harder compound tyre, which looks like it will be the only option open to us for the race. We need to get the bike set up to increase the durability of the tyres, but a least we've had a solid Friday afternoon, and we've managed to gather a lot of information as we look to get a good result here in Jerez."




More, from a press release issued by Fiat Yamaha:

SPANISH FIESTA GETS UNDERWAY WITH ROSSI FASTEST IN JEREZ

Valentino Rossi signalled his intent for a return to the top of the podium with a commanding performance in free practice today, topping the time sheets at a sun-soaked Jerez de la Frontera. Jorge Lorenzo, making a triumphant return to home soil following his victory in Japan last weekend, finished the session in fourth.

After the bad weather at the last two rounds the paddock breathed a sigh of relief today to see blue skies and Spanish sunshine and the Fiat Yamaha Team riders were delighted to be riding in such conditions once again. Rossi, who currently lies one point behind his team-mate in the championship standings, made a few changes to his base setting and reaped the rewards immediately, finishing 0.364 seconds ahead of his compatriot Loris Capirossi.

Having been consistently fast at the test here in March, Lorenzo was expecting to make a good start but the Mallorcan encountered a few unexpected problems in acceleration and wasn't able to match the pace of his team-mate. He will be looking to considerably reduce the gap to the Italian tomorrow during the second practice and qualifying sessions.


Valentino Rossi
Position: 1st Time: 1'39.647 Laps: 21

"Today there's no prize, like at the test here, but anyway it's really good for our work to start in such a positive way. During the first two races we've had a couple of small problems and today we made a change in our setting in order to improve things and straight away we could see it was working. I could ride how I wanted with both the soft Bridgestone tyre and the hard one, and I was the fastest for the whole session. It's very hot today, which is for sure better than the rain of recent races but it means if it's like this on Sunday then the race will be quite hard on the tyres, so tomorrow we need to concentrate on refining our setting to help them as much as possible."


Jorge Lorenzo
Position: 4th Time: 1'40.441 Laps: 20

"It's nice to be back in Spain and in the sunshine, but I am a bit disappointed about the day. I had a problem at the start with my helmet and we were delayed to go out on track. Once I got started I felt good with the soft Bridgestone tyre, but when we tried the hard one later we had a few problems and the bike didn't feel completely stable. Tomorrow we need to come back to a different setting and I hope things will be better."


Davide Brivio
Team Manager

"This has been a very good opening session! We focused on trying a few different settings with the bike and looking at improving the overall balance based on our experience from the first two races, and it looks like we've found something good. We will continue to evaluate this tomorrow and hopefully we will then be set for the race."


Daniele Romagnoli
Team Manager

"The session was not so bad but we encountered a few small problems that we didn't expect, in acceleration. Now we need to compare the data with that from the test and we are quite confident that tomorrow we can fix these problems and be back to our recent form."




More, from a press release issued by Marlboro Ducati:

STONER AND HAYDEN WORKING ON THE SET UP FOR JEREZ

The 2009 MotoGP World Championship officially landed in Europe today as the first free practice session for the Grand Prix of Spain took place under the welcome shimmer of the southern Spanish sunshine. Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden began set-up work this afternoon but both struggled to make the right changes in time to significantly improve their lap times.

For Stoner, who started out with the same set-up that allowed him to set the fastest lap at the official preseason test here one month ago, an issue with front end stability affected his confidence and lap time, although the Australian was still impressive as he set the third quickest lap. Hayden, meanwhile, spent the session working to adjust his set-up to the harder compound Bridgestone tyre but he is still feeling the effects of his crash just five days ago at Motegi and could only manage 17th overall.

CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 3rd (1'40.268)
"We started with the setting from the test and everything felt quite good. We're struggling with some small issues in a couple of areas but I think it was mainly because the tyre pressure was too high and we just need to drop it down a little. We tried the second bike but unfortunately had a technical issue so I went back to my first one and tried a few things without improving the set-up a heck of a lot. The bike was turning really well but I lost the front a couple of times and we couldn't really understand why. We tried a setting that helped front stability but the turning was much worse. We need to work on getting it back tomorrow by finding the right balance. Anyway it is nice to be back in Europe and working under 'normal' conditions, with this great weather. It felt good to have to use my dark visor again! Hopefully it will stay like this because I'm sure we can make the right changes to the bike tonight and make lots of progress tomorrow."

NICKY HAYDEN (Ducati Marlboro Team) 17th (1'41.916)
"It wasn't a particularly great first session for us but it's not as bad as it looks either. The bike is a little different from how we had it at the test but not hugely so. We didn't have a great set-up at the test so we've made a couple of changes and tried the hard tyre on both bikes just to try and understand it a bit more. I've struggled with the harder tyre recently so we just stuck at it today and tried to make the bike work with it. The lap time isn't what we were looking for at this stage but my feeling with the bike was actually okay. I was a bit unsure about how I might feel physically and to be honest I didn't feel great out there but it is possible to ride. We've got a few things to talk about with the team and hopefully tomorrow I can make a big step. I just need to be faster!"

JEREZ LAP RECORDS
Circuit Record: Dani Pedrosa (Honda - 2008), 1'40.116 - 159.053 Km/h
Best Pole: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha - 2008), 1'38.189 - 162.164 Km/h




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing Team:

Difficult start in Jerez for the Pramac Racing Team. Kallio fourteenth, Canepa eighteenth

Not the best start for the Pramac Racing riders, Mika Kallio and Niccolò Canepa, who have concluded the first forty-five minutes of free practice respectively in fourteenth and eighteenth position. Mika has started well the session and after ten laps he found himself in the top ten, but in the second part of the practice, as agreed with his technical staff, he decided to concentrate more to find the best set up for his bike then to look for the fast lap time. Both of the white and red riders will try to conquer better lap times tomorrow to be able to start in a more favorable position in Sunday's race.

Fabiano Sterlacchini - Technical Director Pramac Racing

"We found ourselves in the same situation as the past racing weekends: during the first day of practice we study the situation without thinking too much about conquering the great lap time. Only from tomorrow afternoon it will be important to be fast. We have followed the schedule we had in mind and we understood important things. We are confident that both of our riders will be able to improve a lot tomorrow."

Mika Kallio - Pramac Racing riders - 14th in 1'41.584

"Not a happy day for us. We started with two different set up on the two bikes: one like Motegi and the other like the one used during last March winter test. We have found some complications that didn't allow us to be fast enough, but we remain trustful to be able to improve tomorrow. I didn't manage to use the soft rear tyre and maybe also this didn't allow me to lower my lap times."

Niccolò Canepa - Pramac Racing riders - 18th in 1'42.063

"Today we started with a totally different solution on the bike and I found my self at ease during the firsts laps. My body structure is completely different compared to the other Ducati riders and today, working a lot with the weight balance on the bike, I think we have found the right way to follow. I am very trustful that tomorrow we will be able to improve so that we could start from a good position in the race."




More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

The action at the Gran Premio bwin.com de España got underway on Friday afternoon at the Circuito de Jerez, with Fiat Yamaha's Valentino Rossi setting the pace in Spain and sending a May Day warning to those looking to beat him this weekend.

Happily for the riders the session took place in fine conditions, under brilliant blue Andalusia skies and on a dry surface, with similar conditions forecast for the rest of the weekend -after two rain-affected GPs so far this year in Qatar and Japan.

Rossi started the Spanish visit with a best effort of 1'39.647 on the 16th of the 21 laps squeezed into the 45-minute first free practice session, continuing the good pace he demonstrated in the Official MotoGP Test at the same track in March.

Three other riders who also performed well in the final preseason test at Jerez, namely Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi (1'40.011), Ducati Marlboro's Casey Stoner (1'40.268) and Fiat Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo (1'40.441) lapped second to fourth quickest, respectively, whilst Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso was around a second adrift of Rossi's pace to complete a top five which featured four different manufacturers.

The likes of Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda), Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki), Marco Melandri (Hayate Racing) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) all registered top ten times, Pedrosa lapping a second and a half off the quickest pace.



Losing out on being the fastest rider of the recent Jerez test in a faux qualifying clash with Marco Simoncelli, Mapfre Aspar's title hopeful Álvaro Bautista got things underway in style in the 250cc outing.

The popular Spaniard registered a best time of 1'43.429 and was half a second faster than any of his rivals until the final few seconds, when in-form Honda rider Hiroshi Aoyama (Scot Racing Team) closed the gap to just over 0.1s to finish second quickest.

Whilst Metis Gilera's World Champion Simoncelli was down in eighth position, approximately a second off Bautista's pace, the likes of Thomas Luthi (Emmi Caffe Latte), Mattia Pasini (Team Toth Aprilia) and Gabor Talmacsi (Balatonring Team) were all in the top five.

Karel Abraham (Carbion AB Motoracing) and Mike di Meglio (Mapfre Aspar Team) were marginally quicker than Simoncelli, with Spaniards Héctor Barberá (Pepe World Team Aprilia) and Álex Debón (Aeroport Castello-Blusens) rounding off a top ten comprising eight Aprilias.



Bancaja Aspar's Bradley Smith was the quickest rider in the first 125cc free practice, with his late 1'47.385 surge putting him at the head of the timesheets, three tenths of a second ahead of his Spanish team-mate Julián Simón.

Third fastest participant Andrea Iannone (Ongetta Team I.S.P.A) suffered a crash in the last sector of the track as the practice concluded, though fortunately he walked away from the incident. Sandro Cortese (Ajo Interwetten) and Sergio Gadea (Bancaja Aspar) were also in the top five.

Esteve Rabat (Blusens Aprilia), Scott Redding (Blusens Aprilia), Joan Olivé (Derbi Racing) and Stefan Bradl (Viessman Kiefer Racing) were also at the business end of the timesheet, whilst Danny Webb (Degraaf Grand Prix) made sure there were three English names in the top ten, behind aforementioned compatriots Smith and Redding.




More, from a press release issued by Playboy LCR Honda:

POSITIVE START FOR De Puniet AT JEREZ OPENING DAY

Jerez, 1 May: the LCR Honda MotoGP Team rider Randy De Puniet was back on track today for the first European round of the 2009 season at Jerez de la Frontera after the last week's race at Motegi circuit in Japan. Randy circulated the Southern Spain circuit 21 times throughout the 45-minute free session clocking his fastest lap time on 1'40.866.

The Frenchman riding the Honda RC212V no. 14 worked with his crew to adjust his machinery in the dry setting consistent lap times and he finished 7th overall. Today's track temperature reached 36°C and the 28-year-old focused mainly on tyres testing and chassis set up gaining a good package for tomorrow but, at the end of the session, a bee stung just below his left eye.

Today's frontrunner Rossi set a 1'39.647 fastest lap time.

De Puniet 7th 1'40.866

De Puniet 7th: "One bike was set up as we tested it during pre season official test and the other one was set up as we raced in Japan but we fixed several issues. I compared both bikes and my pace was pretty fast since the beginning of the session. I was happy with my package and at the end I lapped on hard set of tyres which will be our race tyre if the track temperature remains the same. Unfortunately in the last lap a bee stung just below my left eye but I am OK. Our to-do list for tomorrow includes engine mapping and chassis set up but basically we already had a very positive beginning".




More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Top six for Edwards, Toseland 11th in sunny Spain

Colin Edwards made a flying start to the highly anticipated European phase of the 2009 MotoGP campaign in Jerez today, the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider clocking the sixth best time in opening free practice.

The Texan's best time of 1.40.703 was only 0.4s outside of the top three in the 45-minute session, which was run under warm but cloudy skies, a welcome respite from the bad weather that has seriously disrupted the first two races in Qatar and Japan.
Edwards, who was as high as second position on the timesheets at the halfway stage, spent the majority of the session concentrating on improving the electronic set-up of his YZR-M1 machine to cope with the hard acceleration points on the 2.748 miles circuit.

James Toseland produced another encouraging performance to build on his first top ten result of the season in Japan last weekend. A best lap of 1.41.461 pushed the British rider into the top ten in the closing stages.

The 28-year-old unfortunately dropped down to 11th but he ended just 0.4s outside of the top eight, a switch to a harder front fork setting to improve feel in the hard braking points failing to yield the expected improvement in handling performance of his YZR-M1.

Colin Edwards 6th 1.40.703 19 laps
"That was a good solid start and I'm happy with the bike. Yamaha has done a great job because we seem to go from track to track and be right up with the leaders from the start. There are a couple of things with the electronics and chassis set-up that we can definitely find at least another half-a-second to go consistently quicker around the 40.3 area. That's not going to trouble Valentino (Rossi) but that would be a big step for us and put us in contention. With the electronics we just need to get the anti-wheelie working a bit better. Yamaha did a great job with that in the winter and we needed that improvement on a track like this where you accelerate hard out of a lot of slow hairpins. I'm losing a little bit of time on acceleration and we can still make it better, but my guys at Tech 3 know what they are doing and I know we'll make a big step for tomorrow. I'm doing those lap times and I'm not 100 per cent comfortable, so that bodes well for the weekend knowing we've got a lot of room for improvement."

James Toseland 11th 1.41.461 20 laps
"We went for a harder setting on the front fork to help with some of the heavy braking points but it didn't really work as we'd liked. We also changed the rear a bit from Japan and the balance wasn't really there. We didn't really have time to go back to plan B but even with a couple of small issues I'm not too displeased with my time and I know my potential is much higher. I think what is going to be crucial is to conserve the tyre here over race distance and that's something I'll work out with my team. I ran the harder rear today because of the hot conditions and even that was sliding around a little after about eight laps. I could see a few other people were having the same problems, so a decent race set-up will be critical. A bit more time would have put me in the top eight and it wouldn't have been a bad afternoon, but we know where we can improve on the setting and be much stronger tomorrow."