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Stoner gets immediate good feeling with GP9

Stoner gets immediate good feeling with GP9

This week´s post-race testing at Catalunya was a positive experience for Casey Stoner, who successfully tried the Desmosedici GP9 for the first time.

A first sample of the Desmosedici GP9 for World Champion Casey Stoner on Monday at the Circuit de Catalunya saw the young Ducati Marlboro star immediately lapping on the pace with the new machine, to his understandable satisfaction.

The evolution of the Ducati prototype is the brainchild of Ducati Corse General Manager Filippo Preziosi and British design consultant Alan Jenkins, with a carbon fibre frame and an updated chassis layout being the main new characteristics of note.

MotoGP title holder Stoner produced some impressive runs on the new bike on Monday, using it to lay down a timesheet topping best lap of 1´41.533. That put him ahead of Valentino Rossi and the rest of regular MotoGP riders in attendance, the time being just 0.347s off the pole-setting lap the Australian recorded in qualifying on Saturday on the GP8, which he is more accustomed to.

Tuesday saw Stoner revert to using the GP8 in order to continue the improvement of his current race package, with factory Ducati rider again heading the timesheet in front of a depleted MotoGP line-up.

`So far things have been very good,´ Stoner told referring to his initial Desmosedici GP9 experience. `We have improved in some areas where we have been struggling a little bit lately and considering we have only changed one thing on the bike from standard set-up we have been doing some pretty decent lap times. So it is definitely an improvement.´

The talented 22 year-old continued, `With the 2008 bike we have arrived at a point where it is difficult to get much more out of it. So to just jump on this new one and go fast straight away means we are very happy with the results so far.´

When asked if his instantaneous good feeling with the GP9 could bring its race debut forward to the current season, Stoner replied, `I very much doubt that. This is a 2009 bike and we basically just needed to get an understanding, so that they (Ducati) know they are going in the right direction, and so that they can keep making improvements for the end of season tests.´

Describing the new features of the Italian firm´s latest prototype, designer and Ducati manager Preziosi explained, `It´s not a change in the direction of development, but another step forward in the same direction. With the 990cc the seat supports and the footpegs were attached to the frame. With the 800cc they are both completely separate and on the GP9 the front part is even more dedicated to support and the dimensions become more limited.´

`The fact we´ve used carbon fibre in the production of the chassis is not the most relevant point, it is more the shape that is different from before.

MotoGP, 2008, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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