Sepang Test Ends

Press Release | February 7, 2009

The following is from Ducati… The first test session of the 2009 preseason ended today at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, with another day of intense work for the MotoGP teams and riders, who were able to take advantage of stable yet typically demanding conditions. Casey Stoner shaved another four tenths of a second off his best lap time from yesterday to finish the session on top of the time sheets. The Australian is satisfied with the work he has been able to do on the Desmosedici and the Bridgestone tyres, although he feels there is still plenty more to come when he is fit enough to push himself harder. Another priority for the former World Champion is to regain the range of mobility required from his wrist to be able to ride the bike without pain in the next test. Nicky Hayden has made continual progress over the three days of the test and he was able to improve by another half second today, although he would have ideally liked to have been even faster. The American is determined to use the information gathered over the past three days to full effect in the next test, having already shown the team his famous dedication to the task. The lap times set by his own team-mate have given Hayden belief that there is a lot more to come from himself and his bike, giving him a crucial mix of confidence and motivation ahead of the new season. The next appointment for the Ducati Marlboro Team is a test session from 1st to 3rd March at the Losail circuit in Qatar. Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team), fastest time 2’01.043 (38 laps) “Today wasn’t bad! The more I ride the GP9 the more we understand how to improve the set-up of the new chassis and today we made a big step forward with improving grip and feel with the new bike. Considering that I have recently had an operation and my wrist has still not full recovered, to be the fastest rider here is a dream to be honest. Now I have to work hard on improving my physical condition and recovering the level of movement I need to ride the bike properly without pain. Now I know that I can step up training on my arm and hopefully the situation will have improved for the Qatar test. The GP9 is a good bike and in every test we’ve done with it we’ve come out on top. That doesn’t mean to say that we can afford to relax, though, and we’ll keep our heads down and keep working. I set pretty much the same lap time on both tyre compounds and I actually prefer the harder one. The fact we’ve gone to a single tyre rule doesn’t seem to have an adverse effect on the performance of the Bridgestones – they’re doing a great job, as usual.” Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team), fastest lap 2’02.496 (62 laps) “We started out on the right foot again today and I managed to knock six tenths of a second off my best lap from yesterday. Then in the early part of the afternoon I had a little crash in turn two, where to be honest they’ve done a bad job of resurfacing the track and it has caught a few riders out this week. Luckily I wasn’t hurt. Obviously I’m not happy with my lap times, I was expecting more from myself, but I have to stay positive. I’ve improved my lap times every day and we have gathered a lot of data to work from in the next test. The fact Casey is already so fast means that the bike has the potential – it can only be a good thing that he is going so quick. The team is working hard and they are just as determined as I am to get the results, so that’s a good thing. I wasn’t too bad in the first two sectors but I was losing too much in T3 and T4, where the problem I’m having with the bike being unstable and unpredictable on the exit was the worst. The Bridgestones are really consistent and I was able to do my first long run on the Ducati without any tyre life problems.” 1. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 2.01’043 (38 laps) 2. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 2.01’137 (43) 3. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) 2.01’262 (57) 4. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 2.01’413 (22) 5. Toni Elias (Honda) 2.01’560 (37) 6. Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) 2.01’666 (48) 7. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 2.01’907 (61) 8. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 2.01’955 (54) 9. Mika Kallio (Ducati) 2.02’386 (61) 10. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 2.02’497 (62) 11. Alex De Angelis (Honda) 2.02’523 (32) 12. Sete Gibernau (Ducati) 2.02’727 (42) 13. Randy De Puniet (Honda) 2.03’418 (50) 14. Yuki Takahashi (Honda) 2.03’474 (58) 15. Niccolò Canepa (Ducati) 2.03’915 (41) 16. James Toseland (Yamaha) 2.03’953 (36) 17. Yamaha tester (Yamaha) 2.04’328 (38) 18. Yamaha tester (Yamaha) 2.04’614 (33)

The following is from Yamaha… Fiat Yamaha Team riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo rounded off the first test of the 2009 season in strong style today, with the Italian finishing second, less than one tenth off Casey Stoner. His Spanish team-mate was seventh and inside the lap record pace for the first time this week. Rossi continued to focus mainly on electronics today as he looks to fine-tune the 2009 M1 step-by-step. With the stitches in his hand and foot he decided not to attempt a long-run, but was able to improve on his time from yesterday by half a second and recorded a best lap of 2’01.137. Lorenzo had struggled to find confidence on the first two days of tests but for the first time today found his rhythm with the new Bridgestone tyres. He was delighted to complete a long-run of 22 laps and his best lap of the day, in a time of 2’01.907, was over a seco nd quicker than yesterday. The next stop for the team is a night test at Doha in Qatar on 1st, 2nd and 3rd February. Valentino Rossi Position: 2nd Time: 2’01.137 Laps: 43 I am leaving this place feeling happy, because we’ve made a good start. Everything went well: my pain is less, the bike is good and I am feeling better and better. We finished everything we wanted to do on the bike and the setting and the rhythm is quite good. The lap time is fast so we have made a good start. We didn’t do the long run, but actually we didn’t need to. Without my injury maybe it would have been possible, but in this situation we decided to leave it. My injuries are getting better each day because they’re only cuts and they’re healing fast. I don’t think that they made much difference to my speed here and by the Qatar test I will be back in perfect shape. I did the fastest lap today with the hard Bridgestone tyre, so it means that the bike is good. For sure we need to improve some more bu t since this year we have less testing, this performance has been very important. The first test of the year is always difficult, even if you trained a lot in the winter, so I am happy! Qatar will be interesting, because last year we weren’t strong there, but then last year the bike was not yet ready when we went to the first race in Doha. I am really looking forward to the next text there.” Jorge Lorenzo Position: 7th Time: 2’01.907 Laps: 61 “I am very happy because today I’ve seen how fast I can ride with the Bridgestone tyres. Today has definitely been the best day for me at this opening test of the year. Also, we have been able to do a long run in hot conditions with 32 degrees (36 in the afternoon!), and I was able to finish 22 laps without stopping. I was tired when I finished but it was incredible; the rhythm was good and my best lap was right at the end, when I did a 2’01.9. This means that I have improved over a second since yesterday and we have made a big step forward. We need kilometres under our belt and we’ve got some week! All the team worked hard up until the last minute and now they will keep going so we can try to go even better in Qatar next month. We have to continue in the same way as today, improving all the time, because w e don’t have that much time until the first race!” The following is from Repsol Honda… Andrea Dovizioso completed the first MotoGP tests of 2009 with positive feelings. The Repsol Honda man continued his adaptation to the new bike, evaluating the chassis of his RC212V and working on machine-tyres matching in typical tropical conditions (with asphalt temperatures reaching 52°C degrees, 32°C the air temperature). The Italian rider, who last year scored his first MotoGP podium on this track, was Repsol Honda’s lone rider today. Andrea improved his race pace, cutting more than 4 tenths off his lap time from yesterday. His team-mate Dani Pedrosa ended the test session yesterday after completing the test programme with confidence and good feelings. Repsol Honda riders resume testing at Losail, Qatar in three weeks, next 1st, 2nd and 3rd of March. Andrea Dovizioso, 2:01.955 (33 of 54 laps) “We focused on bike set up and decided the way to follow concerning the chassis. We understood a lot of things during these three days and I’m very confident. We need more work to adapt the machine to the tyres, this is a very important point. Concerning the engine, my feeling is that we need a smoother power delivery. Today it was really hot and it was very demanding out there from a physical point of view, especially after a break of more than two months. I did a long run of eleven laps to understand better the machine and the tyres and collect data. All in all, we have done a very good job and everybody in the team is very motivated.” Kazuhiko Yamano – Team Manager “I’m satisfied of the work done during these three days of testing, both riders and team worked very well and we have fixed the line to follow for the season. We did an important step forward. Dani finished his programme yesterday, he understood the bike and the way to follow and Andrea concluded the job today with a long run. The motivation in the team in very high and we look forward to the next test session in Qatar at the beginning of March.”

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