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MotoGP rings the changes as Jerez test opens

MotoGP rings the changes as Jerez test opens

MotoGPs return to Europe for the third test of the 2008 preseason has created almost as much expectation as the initial run at Valencia, with all eyes on Jerez for a day of novelties in the premier class.

MotoGPs return to Europe for the third test of the 2008 preseason has created almost as much expectation as the initial run at Valencia, with all eyes on Jerez for a day of novelties in the premier class.

2007 World Champion Casey Stoner, at 1pm already the fastest rider on track, today debuts the Ducati Desmosedici GP08 with which he will attempt to retain his crown next season. Electing against making the trip to Sepang two weeks ago, the Ducati factory teams only previous run with their new line-up of Stoner and newcomer Marco Melandri was at Valencia following the final race of the 2007 season, although in contrast to today neither was riding the latest development of the 800cc monster.

The only regular rider not to have appeared at either Valencia or Sepang, Valentino Rossi displayed his flair for the dramatic even in the relaxed surroundings of the Circuito de Jerez. The Italian was the last to take to the track in the matutinal run, using the 2007 Yamaha M1 as he got back into the swing of riding and assessed the condition of his recently injured hand.

Rossi himself was, for once, not the centre of attention in the Fiat Yamaha area of pit lane at the start of the day. This final test before the December embargo sees the former five-time MotoGP World Champion sharing a new partitioned garage with rookie Jorge Lorenzo, and using a bike shod with Bridgestone tyres for the first time in his career.

Of those using new bikes, 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa have already tried the new Honda RC212V, although both returned to their 2007 models for further analysis this morning.

JiR Team Scot, LCR Honda, Gresini Honda, Yamaha Tech 3 and Kawasaki Racing complete the regular line-up at the sunny Jerez circuit, with test riders Vittoriano Guareschi, Shinichi Itoh and Niccolo Canepa also on-track.

As of 1pm local time, Stoner had clocked a fastest time of 140.932, ahead of Pedrosa and Colin Edwards.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007

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