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Ducati duo happy after Desmosedici GP8 debut

Ducati duo happy after Desmosedici GP8 debut

The fastest rider of the 2007 season onboard the Ducati Desmosedici GP7, World Champion Casey Stoner immediately picked up the pace onboard the GP8 development of the Italian machine at yesterday's opening day of testing in Jerez.

The fastest rider of the 2007 season onboard the Ducati Desmosedici GP7, World Champion Casey Stoner immediately picked up the pace onboard the GP8 development of the Italian machine at yesterday's opening day of testing in Jerez.

The Australian, alongside new team-mate Marco Melandri, was making his debut with the new machine yesterday, and topped the timesheets despite putting in the fewest laps of any rider.

"This first day with the GP8 was really positive for us," explained Stoner after the conclusion of the day's activities. "I immediately felt at home on the bike, because it's pretty similar to what we rode last season. Today we were quite a bit faster than we were when we raced here back in March, which is very important because we have improved at a track that used to be a bit difficult for us."

Whilst the Bridgestone-related focus was yesterday firmly placed on Valentino Rossi on his debut with the Japanese rubber, today Stoner will begin work with new compounds as he looks ahead to his title-defending year.

"We found a very good set-up which could also be good at other circuits. We used 2007 spec tyres today, tomorrow we will start with Bridgestone's new tyres," he elaborated, before turning his attentions to the afternoon crash which left the session red flagged yesterday afternoon.

"The only bad moment of the day was the crash, but these things can happen. I'm okay though, so everything is fine."

Taking a methodical approach to his adaptation to Ducati machinery, Melandri may have been over 1.5 seconds off his team-mate's 1'40.221 fastest lap but is not overly concerned at this early stage. The Italian had previously tried the GP7 in Valencia, before moving onto the new version of his Ducati prototype today.

"We started working on chassis geometry to adapt the bike to my riding style," said Melandri after his first day with the GP8. "Today we made some good choices on settings and also some not so good choices, but every change teaches us something more about the bike which is very important. Towards the end of the day we found a set-up that I liked better, even though I don't yet feel totally at ease. We have work to do and I'm not at all worried about that."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007

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