Casey Stoner has heavily criticized the bumps at Silverstone, saying they mar an otherwise spectacular track. The MotoGP field got its first taste of Silverstone's Arena layout today, with the British round of the championship returning to the circuit after over two decades away.
"This circuit is fantastic, it's amazing," said Stoner, who was second fastest in opening practice. "The layout of the circuit is really nice to ride. It's difficult, it's technical, it's fast, it's slow. It's got a bit of everything in there. But, unfortunately, with these bumps it's making it near on impossible to focus on the track. You're worried about picking the bike up over bumps, or going into certain corners not too hard, because you'll lose the front on a bump. You're not really able to ride the track to its full potential and that's a little disappointing."
He believes Silverstone underestimated how sensitive bikes would be to the bumps.
"I think they've had too much experience with cars, and with cars, bumps aren't a big issue," Stoner said. "With bikes they're a huge issue, so it's making things very difficult for a fast track to be so bumpy.
"This, Mugello and a couple of other tracks later in the year have suddenly become very bumpy, like Brazil and Welkom used to be. They're starting to become like tracks from 40 years ago when it wasn't such a big issue – the bikes had a hinge in the middle and it was OK. But with the bikes we've got today, it's getting difficult to ride over the bumps."
Yet Stoner also acknowledged that his Ducati might not be riding the bumps as well as the rival Hondas and Yamahas.
"I watched the slow-mo of myself, Dani [Pedrosa] and Jorge [Lorenzo] and saw that our bike wasn't really reacting well enough over the bumps," he said. "So we just have to try and do a couple of things with suspension to make the bike go over the bumps a little better, but we have to do this without making the suspension softer."
Full Q & A with Casey Stoner