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First day of Valencia test gives taste of 2009

First day of Valencia test gives taste of 2009

Success stories from 2008 mixed with a number of novelties on the first day of postseason testing.

The top three times in Monday´s post-race test activity at Valencia went to the podium trio from the Gran Premio Parts Europe de la Comunitat Valenciana, but the main attention of the day was focused on new riders and new rides.

Casey Stoner was the quickest man in the first of two days of MotoGP testing following the season finale, and both he and raceday rival Dani Pedrosa set their fastest laps of the day before 2pm. The Ducati rider clocked a time of 1´32.464 to end the day atop the timesheet, with Pedrosa two-tenths of a second down.

Stoner and Pedrosa were sharing the spotlight in their respective garages, with two of the most eagerly-awaited switches for the 2009 season taking place just metres from the Sunday stars. Stoner was joined in the Ducati garage by Nicky Hayden for the first time as both tested the Desmosedici GP9, Hayden´s decked out in a `Stars & Stripes´ livery for the occasion. The newcomer to the Italian factory recorded a best lap of 1´33.960 on a day in which acclimatisation was the main objective. His replacement in Repsol Honda, Andrea Dovizioso, was eighth quickest in his initial encounter with the pneumatic valve RC212V.

After a hard season and Sunday evening at the annual FIM Awards, Valentino Rossi was in no hurry to get back to work on Monday. The 2008 MotoGP World Champion was the last rider to appear on track, testing the new Yamaha M1 from 3pm onwards. He joined rivals Stoner and Pedrosa in the elite group of riders to go round in under 1´33. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo was also in action, although his troubles at Valencia continued with an afternoon crash. The Spaniard was unhurt in the fall from his 2009 bike.

Home representation was bumped up by the reappearance of Sete Gibernau, riding a Ducati Desmosedici GP8 for the Onde 2000 team. The former World Championship runner up put in a best lap of 1´34.451 as he got reacquainted with the Valencia track and some old foes.

Also riding the 2008 Ducati machines were Niccolo Canepa and Mika Kallio in their first appearances as MotoGP riders, whilst fellow debutant Yuki Takahashi rode his maiden 800cc laps with the JiR Team Scot Honda.

Marco Melandri and Toni Elias both improved on their weekend times in their first encounters with the factory spec Kawasaki and Honda machines, respectively.

Testing continues on Tuesday, with the teams using the remainder of their six sets of tyres per rider. Bridgestone provided medium and hard compounds for their debut test as single tyre supplier.

MotoGP Test Valencia: Day One Official Times

1. Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team - 1´32.464
2. Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda - 1´32.672
3. Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team - 1´32.921
4. Chris Vermeulen, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP - 1´33.142
5. Loris Capirossi, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP - 1´33.325
6. Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Honda Gresini - 1´33.375
7. Jorge Lorenzo, Fiat Yamaha Team - 1´33.550
8. Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda - 1´33.676
9. John Hopkins, Kawasaki Racing Team - 1´33.760
10. Marco Melandri, Kawasaki Racing Team - 1´33.782
11. Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda MotoGP - 1´33.832
12. Nicky Hayden, Ducati Marlboro Team - 1´33.960
13. Toni Elias, San Carlo Honda Gresini - 1´34.129
14. Sete Gibernau, Onde 2000 Ducati - 1´34.451
15. Mika Kallio, Alice Team - 1´34.793
16. Olivier Jacque, Kawasaki Racing Team - 1´34.925
17. Niccolo Canepa, Alice Team - 1´34.995
18. Yuki Takahashi, JiR Team Scot Honda - 1´35.203

MotoGP, 2008

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