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Stoner and Hayden make strong test starts

Stoner and Hayden make strong test starts

It was a productive first day of testing at Valencia for the Ducati Marlboro team, as Casey Stoner recorded the fastest lap and Nicky Hayden rode well in preparation for the 2010 season.

Casey Stoner set the fastest lap of the first day of the Valencia test, taking his Desmosedici round in a best time of 1’32.660, and the Australian was pleased with the response of his machine.

A crash on the warm-up lap of Sunday’s race – the last of the season – due to a cold tyre meant Stoner was unable to take his place on the grid, but a positive day’s work at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit on Monday left him at the top of the timesheet.

“We tried a new engine configuration designed at improving the rideability of the bike and for the moment it is going really well,” said Stoner. “The feedback is smoother and we improved traction with the same set-up we used over the weekend, so that is positive. We also tried some different forks and in general I am satisfied.”

Stoner set his hot lap on his 22nd of 32 turns, and added, “We didn't do many laps today – just tried to make sure we were working in the right direction. I think we are and I can't wait to get back on track tomorrow, when hopefully it won't be as windy.”

Riding the other Ducati factory machine, Nicky Hayden clocked the fifth-fastest lap of the day at 0.698s off his team-mate’s mark.

“I was really looking forward to getting back out on track today and starting work on next season,” said the American. “We have a direction to work in and loads of work to do but we made a lot of progress already today. We don't have a lot of tyres available and just worked with two sets – a hard one and a softer one – with very similar times on both that were not far off my qualifying time from Saturday.”

He added, “We tried some engine updates on one of the bikes, some forks and a couple of different settings but this is just the start and it is early to say which is best because the lap times have been very similar. Generally it's been a good first day and I'm happy.”

MotoGP, 2009, GP GENERALI DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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