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Double MotoGP™ World Champion Casey Stoner ended the Sepang test in ninth overall as he made his return to the track on a Ducati.
The world’s media was watching as Casey Stoner returned to Ducati in the capacity of an official test rider during the Sepang test. Stoner took to the track in a private test on Saturday, and then joined in with the other riders on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the official test.
Despite retiring from racing at the end of the 2012 season, he showed he had lost none of the ability that saw him lift the MotoGP™ title in 2007 & 2011 by ending the final day - during which riders were limited to the hard rear tyre after Loris Baz’s crash on Tuesday - in an impressive fifth as he set his fastest time of the test, a 2’01.070. This saw him end Wednesday as the leading Ducati and it was good enough for ninth on the combined timesheets, just 1.490s behind the fastest man on track Jorge Lorenzo.
It was an encouraging return for the Australian and he completed an impressive workload as he focused solely on the GP15, preferring to leave the GP16 to the factory riders Andrea Iannone & Andrea Dovizioso.
The next test takes place at the Stoner's home circuit Phillip Island on the 17th of February, although Ducati have said that he will not take part in the official test.
Casey Stoner: “All in all it’s been a very good few days for us, and I’m surprised myself that I was able to do three days of testing. Physically I feel great at the moment, but I’m sure I won’t tomorrow! It’s been a really positive test, not only because we worked well with the bike, but also because I was able to get back up to speed right away. Today wasn’t too bad, even though we didn’t get to do a lot of laps. Two exits this morning comparing two different geometry settings, but then the rain came so we weren’t able to complete the tests. After the rain we finally got a bit of dry track time but struggled a bit with rear grip and spent too much time trying to find a balance again to move on. But as I said I’m really happy with the way things have gone, and working with Gigi (Dall’Igna) and the team has been really fantastic!”
1 year ago