The weather was it's typical Phillip Island self today in Australia: cold, blustery with generous sprinklings of rain. Everyone complained of problems setting up due to the weather, and things don't look like improving for tomorrow. One man, though, seemed utterly unperturbed by the whole affair. Casey Stoner, conquering hero, put in his usual performance, turning up on Friday morning, and being fastest from the word go. The only minor blemish on his record was a tumble at the end of FP2, crashing on a very slick patch which had caught out Chaz Davies moments earlier.
Fortunately for the tire companies, both manufacturers seem evenly matched, with the exception of Stoner, with both Bridgestone and Michelin runners in the top half of the timesheets. But both tire makers are equally stumped by the weather, the cold and showers wreaking havoc on any kind of decision making process for finding a race tire.
It's not just tires which are affected by the weather, though. A couple of new fairings have appeared, with Casey Stoner running a fairing with a modified nose and screen section to help cope with wind buffeting, and Nicky Hayden finally receiving a fairing with a much larger front section, to help him cope with the buffeting he's been suffering all year from the tiny version of the original RC212V fairing.
Practice continues tomorrow, with both free practice and qualifying sessions expected to be run in damp, cold and blustery weather.
|5||14||Randy DE PUNIET||KAWASAKI||1'31.996||0.710||0.062|