Stoner Bounces Back

Cycle News Staff | November 9, 2009

Just a day after crashing out on the warm-up lap of the MotoGP World Championship season finale at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, Spain, Marlboro Ducati’s Casey Stoner was back to work and back at the top of the time sheets in the first day of pre-2010 season testing.Stoner lapped at 1:32.660 today (he qualified at 1:32.256 on Saturday) to best Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo’s 1:32.685 and Valentino Rossi’s 1:32.826 as those three were the only riders to dip below the 1:33 mark.”I was really excited to try this new version of the M1 today and I had a lot of motivation to get back to work,” Lorenzo said in a team release. “The feeling out of the corner is much better and we have more grip already in the rear so it’s a big improvement for me. We still need to work on acceleration, but I like what we have so far and I think we will continue to be competitive like this year. We have to wait and see the comparison between the old and new bike at a different track next year, but I am excited. I’m quite tired because this is already our fourth day riding here, but I am happy to have one more day of testing.”Yesterday’s race winner Dani Pedrosa was the fourth fastest rider in the first day of testing at Valencia, the Repsol Honda man some .3 of a second quicker than Marlboro Ducati’s Nicky Hayden.Behind Hayden came Ben Spies in his first test on the Yamaha M1 – a day after he finished seventh in his debut with the team. Spies rode today in full Monster Tech 3 livery on the Yamaha after riding in the factory team yesterday with Sterilgarda sponsorship. Spies ended up with a best lap of 1:33.496 – .004 better than his qualifying time on Saturday and just over half a second quicker than his best lap from yesterday’s Grand Prix.Spies’ teammate Colin Edwards ended the first day of the test in 12th after finishing fourth in yesterday’s Grand Prix.Following Spies in seventh was Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso. Then came Mika Kallio, Randy de Puniet and Marco Melandri, the Italian reunited with the Gresini Honda team.Marco Simoncelli also had his first outing with the Gresini team, the former 250cc World Champion ending up 14th in his first day on the Honda.”Gosh, what a difference!” Simmoncelli said in a team release. “It is not uncontrollable but the engine pulls a bit! My first impression is that these bikes are not as easy as people say and like with anything new you have to work hard at it. I have given my thoughts to the engineers and I’m sure I’ll be faster tomorrow. We started out with a setting designed for a rider with completely different physical dimensions to me and quickly made progress with the changes we made to adapt it. We need to keep working like this and not try to get ahead of ourselves in this test. I just have to get an understanding of the bike and find a direction with the set-up. “

Newly crowed 250cc World Champion Hiroshi Aoyama ended up 17th and last in his first day on the Scot Honda MotoGP bike.

Day One Times

1. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1:32.660

2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:32.685

3. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:32.826

4. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:33.088

5. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:33.358

6. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:33.496

7. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1:33.675

8. Mika Kallio (Ducati) 1:33.726

9. Randy de Puniet (Honda) 1:33.775

10. Marco Melandri (Honda) 1:33.839

11. Alex Espagaro (Ducati) 1:33.878

12. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1:33.929

13. Loris Capirossi (Suzuki) 1:34.144

14. Marco Simoncelli (Honda) 1:35.229

15. Alvaro Bautista (Suzuki) 1:35.772

16. Hector Barbera (Honda) 1:36.1:36.204

17. Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) 1:37.964