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Stoner Q&A: How to be a good MotoGP™ test rider

Stoner Q&A: How to be a good MotoGP™ test rider

Casey Stoner shares his tips on how to make it as a MotoGP™ test rider in the latest issue of Motorcycle Racer Magazine.

Casey, how do you learn to be a good test rider?
Throughout my career, I’ve found the key to getting the most out of testing is to establish a good relationship with the engineers who are controlling the test. Then you can understand exactly what they want to achieve from the test and no time is wasted.

Best bike tested, worst bike, most interesting?
I always enjoyed testing the RC213V Honda, seeing what the HRC engineers had come up with. It was difficult when the weight regulations were changed at the last minute in 2012 after our bike had been developed, that was challenging, trying to get a good set up on the bike and I feel this ultimately contributed to us losing the Championship. The Suzuka 8hr bike was interesting to ride - not what I expected and I had a lot of fun!

What do you enjoy about being a test rider?
For me, it’s nice to get to ride the bike again without being held back on track with limited sessions such as FP1 etc. I can just go out and ride the bike.

What’s the not-so-good bits?
In hot and humid temperatures, a 7 to 8 hour testing day is exhausting.

How does it feel to see a racer race ‘your’ bike?
It’s not my bike any more. But to see another rider race and win on a bike that you had input on is a nice feeling.

How did you get the job?
Ha ha, It was the product of my relationship with Honda - their interest in having me test and my interest in getting to ride a bike still.

How do you provide feedback – laptimes of course, but what else and how does it work?
It’s all about the technical debrief after each run and then at the end of the day. Explaining how the bike is behaving in certain areas of the track etc. It’s complicated and sometimes difficult to put into words how the bike feels in a way that the engineers can understand.

What motivates you – a fast lap, technical perfection, or would you rather be  winning races?
A fast lap is the product of the rider feeling comfortable with the bike, so finding technical perfection is most enjoyable.

Can a test rider be a successful racer and vice versa – or are they too different?
I like to think so…

Find out how Honda’s Hiroshi Aoyama, Takeo Yokoyama, Suzuki’s Randy de Puniet and Yamaha’s Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Kouichi Tsuji approach MotoGP testing in the latest edition of Motorcycle Racer magazine, which includes Giacomo Agostini as Guest Editor, an exclusive interview with Danny Kent and the latest from the MotoGP tyre tests, on sale now for £4.20 at www.motorcycleracer.com

 

Tags:
MotoGP, 2015, GRAN PREMI MONSTER ENERGY DE CATALUNYA, Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team

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