Stoner tops post-Catalunya test timesheet on Desmosedici GP9
The Monday following the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya may have given fans time to catch their breath after a spectacular day of racing, but for the majority of the MotoGP riders there was no letting up. Two testing sessions in Barcelona –the last opportunity for the regular field to work in less formal conditions than a race weekend until the visit to the Czech Republic- have been pinpointed as a possible preview of the future of the premier class, due to some new developments placed on the working agenda by Honda and Ducati.
Said developments were the newly-updated RC212V pneumatic valve engine at the disposal of Catalunya race winner Dani Pedrosa and Repsol Honda teammate Nicky Hayden, and the Ducati Desmosedici GP9. Both were put through the paces in the opening five hour session, which kicked off at 1pm local time.
It was Stoner who ended the day as the fastest rider, with a 1´41.533 lap recorded in the final hour of the session. Originally scheduled to wait until Tuesday to get his hands on next year´s Ducati prototype, Stoner instead had a run on the machine a day early. He was joined by regular test rider Vittoriano Guareschi in giving the bike its first test outside of Italy.
In contrast to Sunday, Stoner came in ahead of World Championship leader Valentino Rossi on the timesheets. The Fiat Yamaha man was again working solo, with teammate Jorge Lorenzo still recovering from his Catalunya concussion. After putting in a 1´41.857 time, plus a cool down lap, Rossi wrapped up his day and his visit to Spain.
Honda satellite rider Shinya Nakano recorded the third fastest time of the day, a 1´42.039 lap shortly before 5pm with his San Carlo Honda Gresini machine. The Japanese rider and teammate Alex de Angelis will also be resting up after the Monday run, with their names not appearing on the Tuesday participants list.
The delayed reappearance of the Honda pneumatic valve engine was seen with the Repsol Honda riders, one of the most talked about aspects of the test and indeed the season.
Pedrosa performed 32 laps, combining his workload with stints riding an RC212V with a pneumatic valve engine and a standard machine. It was on a standard bike that he suffered a heavy crash on turn two, which saw him leave the track nursing a back injury.
Missing from the test were the aforementioned Lorenzo, Rizla Suzuki´s injured veteran Loris Capirossi and Kawasaki´s Anthony West, off to do some private testing in Japan to work on his 2008 difficulties.
MotoGP Test Catalunya: Times Day 1
1 Casey STONER, Ducati Marlboro Team - 1´41.533
2 Valentino ROSSI, Fiat Yamaha Team - 1´41.857
3 Shinya NAKANO, San Carlo Honda Gresini - 1´42.039
4 James TOSELAND, Tech 3 Yamaha - 1´42.505
5 Alex DE ANGELIS, San Carlo Honda Gresini - 1´42.699
6 Nicky HAYDEN, Repsol Honda Team - 1´42.721
7 Sylvain GUINTOLI, Alice Team - 1´42.755
8 Randy DE PUNIET, LCR Honda MotoGP - 1´42.775
9 Chris VERMEULEN, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP - 1´42.782
10 Andrea DOVIZIOSO, JiR Team Scot MotoGP - 1´42.818
11 Colin EDWARDS, Tech 3 Yamaha - 1´43.127
12 Toni ELIAS, Alice Team - 1´43.197
13 Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team - 1´43.552
14 John HOPKINS, Kawasaki Racing Team - 1´43.630
15 Marco MELANDRI, Ducati Marlboro Team - 1´44.326
16 Olivier JACQUE, Kawasaki Racing Team - 1´44.927
17 Aoki NOBUATSU, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP - 1´45.011
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