"For sure it stops the bike from moving around so much but if you can understand the bike when it is moving around then I prefer to turn it down as much as I can to get as much power out of the bike as possible. That's what we need on these 800 machines because they've already not got a heck of a lot of power compared to the old 990s. If I can tone that down and do the rest myself then that's the best option." Hayden said he was in the middle of the TC spectrum. "At places I use less than other guys, but in other places more." When he uses more it's at the first touch of the throttle, then less later in the corners.
The TC is used the most at tracks that use the most fuel. Hayden said there were "a few tracks that use a lot of fuel and those are where you work the most with the electronics. The more cuts you use, the less fuel you use and things like that. If there's a certain part of the track that's not important for the lap time, you want to burn less fuel there, use it on those straightaways. So that's a bit of a puzzle to put it all together." Without having to spend much time on tire choice-there are only two Bridgestones to choose from-Hayden said he spends most of his debrief on electronics. He said the mapping is done for the start, for every corner, every straightaway, and every gear, then added, "not every single corner, because if a corner's connected and you keep the throttle open, that means sometimes you can't do different things."
Interestingly, Hayden said he uses less electronics in the wet, "because when the bike starts to cut you lose [weight] transfer, because it goes and then it just stutters. But you want a lot of transfer in the wet. Sure, when you first touch the throttle, but on the exit you want to push that rear tire in as much as possible, and the more the engine is cutting it won't deliver enough to transfer."
Guareschi said that it's easy to get too caught up in the electronics, because the "anti-spin is a sea, a big sea. Is very, very difficult. And Casey have a good, good feeling with the electronics. Now have a system perfect and they use only when is necessary, anti-spin. Anti-spin is perfect when have a good program. When is a lot, for example, the bike don't go. Lose the time.
"Is important to have anti-spin when the bike is at the maximum angle, because in that position is very easy to crash, because you don't have grip, but when you pick up the bike is necessary have a lot of power because is necessary to transfer the weight to the back wheel. And this is a very fine line. Work rider and electronics team. And this is a good balance after the time, I think. Casey have a feeling with the group. Nicky I think next year is much, much better."
Stoner is also feeling his improved health. During his exile, a doctor/nutritionist near his home in Australia saw something that suggested lactose intolerance. He was right. But by then Stoner was despondent, the illness having confounded six or seven doctors. "I thought I was finished, to be honest," he admitted. "I was really starting to get depressed and disappointed, because no one could figure it out. And I knew it wasn't in my head, because I was happy. I was refreshed, I had a holiday and it didn't fix me."
Now that it's clear, Stoner closely monitors his diet, though a brief holiday indulgence convinced him of the severity of the intolerance. Stoner said "we thought we'd be cheeky over the winter, end of last year, have a bit of fondue, things like that, because cheese has a very low value of lactose. I thought 'it's not going to affect us. It must just be when I have milk and have value things.' A week after I had the fondue, a few times, things like that, hit the floor again.
"So now we know for sure what it is. It smacks me around. If I start losing my appetite, start losing a bit of energy I think back to, 'OK, yeah, there was a bit of cream in that.' I can pretty much trace it back to lactose every time. If I stay clean, I've got no problem."
When he's on, Stoner is visibly faster in the corners than other riders, but isn't about to say much, because "if I start saying why, I look extremely big-headed, cocky and all this sort of thing. I know why I can be faster than them, I know why I'm not. I know where to improve, where not to and I do everything in my power to make sure I do it. Whether I need to improve the bike, whether I need to improve myself, I'll go out there, I'll figure out what I need and I'll fix it. And I think that's why we're there week in, week out, we're up front. And we just need a little bit more luck going my way and a little bit better management on my part."