Stoner To The Top

Press Release | February 6, 2009

The following is from Ducati… Both Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden improved their performance on what proved to be a more demanding second day of testing at Sepang than either of them had expected. Stoner, still recovering from the effects of a wrist injury and operation, can still only ride as for a few laps at a time and he is not able to push himself after a three month absence. Hayden made an encouraging start to the day but then struggled to find the next step forward with the set-up and it was only towards the end of the session, when he went back towards his initial settings, that he felt comfortable again. With the threat of rain looming but holding off for today, both riders are hoping for a dry final day tomorrow as they look to make some last-minute improvements before the end of the test. Casey Stoner (Ducati MotoGP Team), fastest lap 2’01.483 (29 laps) “The wrist is giving me a lot of problems and I can’t manage more than two or three laps at a time, so it’s difficult to work on set-up because I’m having to break off too often. We’ve still managed to do some work on improving the feeling on the GP9, with some changes to the rear set-up that have improved the bike in the area we were suffering the most. Now it is much easier to ride. I still can’t ride how I want though and we really need to string a run of consistent laps together, although I know that if I can get a little closer to 100% fitness that problem will be resolved. Hopefully the wrist will feel a bit better tomorrow so that I can try and do a longer run and confirm the positive feedback we’ve had from the bike today.” Nicky Hayden (Ducati MotoGP Team), fastest lap 2’03.034 (58 laps) “We made a big improvement immediately this morning on used tyres and I was able knock a second off my best time from yesterday. We struggled a bit in the afternoon, though, and didn’t manage to improve any further. I can’t push it on the harder compound tyre because it makes the rear move around so much more and the bike becomes unstable. At the end of the session we made a little change that improved the situation and I was able to get back onto my better lap times. The Bridgestones are really consistent and that makes our job a lot easier. Today I did 35 laps on the same front tyre without any problems! We know and I know that there is a lot of work to be done. Everything is still very new to me – the engine characteristics, the chassis and the tyres, as well as the way the team works together. Obviously it’s not easy to put all that together straight away. We’re working hard though and the improvements will come.” Times 1. Casey STONER(Ducati) 2:01.483 (29 laps) 2. Loris CAPIROSSI (Suzuki) 2:01.555 (45) 3. Valentino ROSSI(Yamaha) 2:01.626 (40) 4. Dani PEDROSA(Honda) 2:01.860 (51) 5. Chris VERMEULEN(Suzuki) 2:02.086 (52) 6. Toni ELIAS(Honda) 2:02.232 (51) 7. Colin EDWARDS (Yamaha) 2:02.241 (37) 8. Andrea DOVIZIOSO(Honda) 2:02.434 (44) 9. Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati) 2:03.034 (58) 10. Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha) 2:03.056 (51) 11. Sete GIBERNAU (Ducati) 2:03.308 (40) 12. Alex DE ANGELIS (Honda) 2:03.518 (40) 13. Mika KALLIO (Ducati) 2:03.774 (55) 14. Niccolo CANEPA (Ducati) 2:04.021 (45) 15. Yamaha Tester (Yamaha) 2:04.312 (36) 16. Yuki TAKAHASHI (Honda) 2:04.332 (65) 17. Randy DE PUNIET (Honda) 2:04.507 (48) 18. Yamaha Tester (Yamaha) 2:04.536 (50) 19. James TOSELAND (Yamaha) 2:04.597 (36) The following is from Yamaha… Fiat Yamaha Riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo finished the second day of testing in Sepang in third and tenth places respectively, as they continued to adapt to the latest evolution of the 2009 prototype M1. Reigning World Champion Rossi had a very positive day, trying out some new electronics and enjoying a light-hearted on-track battle with his old rival Loris Capirossi in the afternoon. He managed to complete 40 laps despite the stitches he has in his hand and foot, and set a best time of 2’01.626, inside the existing lap record. Lorenzo had a slightly more difficult day as he struggled to find feeling with the new bike and to adapt to the new Bridgestone mono-tyres. The Spaniard set a best time of 2’03.056 but hopes to be able to improve enough tomorrow in order to have time for a long-run in the afternoon before the teams pa ck up to leave. Valentino Rossi Position: 3rd Time: 2’01.626 Laps: 40 “Today we tested some new electronic solutions in order to allow me to open the throttle earlier and they were not bad at all, but we still need to work to improve it even more. This afternoon the stitches hurt me a bit, but my pace was still very good so I am happy. At the end of the day I had some fun with Loris Capirossi; we did a couple of laps together and I think that he enjoyed it a lot, because he beat me! I had fun, a lot of fun; it was like the good old times! Today I did not do the long run; I will do it tomorrow if my physical condition allows it. I may have to do it in two parts, so that it won’t put too much stress on my stitches. It will be interesting to do the long run with the new tyres, but I am not expecting it to be so much slower than last year.” Jorge Lorenzo Position: 10th Time: 2’03.056 Laps: 51 “Today was still quite difficult, although I am improving slowly. On this second day we have worked on our braking, because we have seen that Valentino is braking sooner than me and so I need to adapt. I need to use the hours we have and the available tyres in the best way possible, but that’s the same for everybody! My main problems at the moment are the braking and the corner speed. Right now I don’t feel at one with the bike and this means I don’t have the confidence to ride fast. I know I can be faster than this because my bike isn’t much different to Valentino’s and he is quicker than me. Of course he was using Bridgestones last year as well and I am new to them, but Colin is also fast so this shows how competitive the bike is. Today we didn’t find the solution, but we still have tomorrow lef t! The aim will be for me to try to adapt, and not to change too many things on the bike. If I can improve a bit, then maybe we will try a long run.” The following is from Repsol Honda… On the second of the three free training sessions scheduled at the Malaysian circuit of Sepang, the two Repsol Honda Team riders have continued today with the intensive and hard pre-season work. The two Repsol Honda Team riders have spent the second day making adjustments to the suspension, electronics, engines, and other adjustments, as well as working intensively on testing the tyres supplied by Bridgestone. The session started at 10.00am and finished at 5.30pm, and although rain threatened to interrupt the training sessions around 2.30pm, the weather finally remained in the background and the day has passed without any problems. Today, Dani Pedrosa has taken a step forward compared to yesterday, mainly concentrating on fine tuning his bike and improving its performance on the new Bridgestone tyres. Throughout the day, Pedrosa has been one of the four quickest riders, taking turns with Stoner, Rossi and Capirossi at the top of the classification. Knocking almost half a second off his best time yesterday, the Spanish Repsol Honda Team rider finally achieved the fourth best time of the day, stopping the clock 3 tenths of a second from the best time achieved by the Australian Stoner and his Ducati. Pedrosa clocked up his best time in lap 30 of the 51 he completed at the Sepang Circuit. At the end of the training session, Dani sat down with his team and they finally made some decisions together: the Spanish Repsol Honda Team has brought forward his return home one day in order not to strain his left knee. Pedrosa, who injured his knee during the Australia Grand Prix in October 2008, underwent surgery at the beginning of December and since then he has been recovering from his injury. After two positive training days, all that is left is a race simulation tomorrow, but due to the trouble the Repsol rider’s knee is giving him, they have cautiously chosen to end the training sessions early and give Pedrosa more time to finish recovering. Dani Pedrosa should not be back on his bike before the next training sessions that the team will hold in Qatar, on 1, 2 and 3 March. Andrea Dovizioso, after improving his position on the bike to make it more comfortable and feel better yesterday, has concentrated today on the hard task of adapting his official Honda RC212V to the Bridgestone tyres that the Anglo-Japanese firm will supply all of the MotoGP riders. Dovizioso has completed a total of 44 laps of the Malaysian circuit, reducing his best time from yesterday by 6 tenths. Dani Pedrosa “I’m satisfied of the work done today, we focused on chassis and suspension and also worked with tyres in order to find the best compromise with our machine. Today I was much more comfortable on the bike, I could be faster from the first laps and we could work on the bike testing all the items we had to test for this test session. In fact I know this bike, which is an evolution of last year bike, and this gives me an advantage compared to last year, when the bike was completely new for me. We have pointed out the aspects we want to improve for Qatar. Tomorrow a race simulation was scheduled but at the end we decided to end the test session because today I could only do 5,6 laps in a row and tomorrow I won’t be able to cover the race distance. Last December, in fact, I underwent an intervention to the left knee for the consequences suffered when I slid off in Phillip Island during the last race in October. I only need some rest”. Andrea Dovizioso “Today we focused on bike set up and we continued evaluating the chassis. We found some very good points and some aspects that need to be improved. My lap times have improved today even if we haven’t found the best compromise at the moment, this is a good feeling because I could be fast today also without the best configuration. Tomorrrow we will continue testing and I’d like to define with the team the direction to follow for next test session scheduled at the beginning of March in Qatar”.

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