First he addressed the state of his surgically repaired left wrist. Then, prompted by a journalist, he showed the range of motion.
“So far everything is very good,” Stoner answered to the first question of the Tuesday morning news conference. “As far as I can tell the bone is healing perfectly. The bone graft has attached itself quite well and I’ve still got to take it very easily for the next month or so just to make sure I don’t break that connection and make sure that everything is still healing as well as it is going at the moment. The main thing at the moment is trying to heal the scar tissue because that is still restricting a lot of movement at the moment. I don’t know if I’m behind schedule but I’m not quite as far on as I thought I would be. As for riding a bike I think it will be close enough to 100 per cent, especially by the time we get to the first test in Sepang. I really want to try and push it a little bit more now I know the bone is healing quite well. I think over these next two-three weeks I should be able to bring it on a long way.”
It was later that he was asked to give a demonstration, which he did, showing the range of motion of his clutch hand.
“The movement in the wrist at the moment up and down is about 80 per cent,” he said. “Considering the time I’ve had to keep it in a cast, I have only just been told that I can now move it a little bit more aggressively and stretching the muscle a little bit more. I don’t think there is any issue and I’ve got no problems. I can grip anything I want, so it is just a matter of building my arm muscle up again and stretching the wrist out gently. I think by the first test, even without 100 per cent movement, riding-wise it should be close enough to 100 per cent.”
Stoner had the operation to correct an old crack in his left scaphoid immediately after the Valencia test that followed the season finale. That ruled him out of the Jerez test, which he nonetheless attended to help new teammate Nicky Hayden. Now Stoner has until Feb. 5 to be healthy for the first test of the new year in Sepang, Malaysia. Stoner had previously tested the Desmosedici GP9 in Barcelona.
“I got enough of an understanding to know exactly what I want and we are not far from what we need,” he said. “So far we have only been using the settings of the GP8 and we know the new bike is completely different, so we have to learn how to set the new one up. But already in both tests I was quickest and it has done nothing but perform for me. We still need to work on the rear end but still using the GP8 settings we have a long way to go yet. What I’m looking for from it, I can’t understand fully yet. I’ve not had the time I’d like so for the first test we will be seeing how my wrist goes and then really get stuck into understanding what we want from the bike and making some changes before the start of the season.”