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Stoner strongest in official Mugello Test

Stoner strongest in official Mugello Test

The current World Championship leader was the fastest rider on Monday, as the premier class took to the Italian track.

In warm conditions at Mugello on Monday more than half the riders in the premier class took to the track for the official MotoGP Test. Current World Championship standings leader Casey Stoner was the fastest rider of the day with a best time of 1’47.326, over six-tenths of a second faster than the lap time which secured him pole for Sunday’s race.

The Repsol Honda rider, who tried out a new swingarm, had a minor lowside crash at Turn 1 in the morning but went on to complete 47 laps throughout the day and was followed on the timesheet by Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini). The Italian, in search of a solution for the grip issue which affected him in Sunday’s race, was the only other rider under 1’48” with a best time of 1’47.422.

Stoner’s team-mate Andrea Dovizioso’s effort of 1’48.061 left him 0.735s off the Australian and in third spot. Along with team-mate Dani Pedrosa the trio all tested various electronic settings and set-ups on their RC212V machines. Pedrosa, who made his racing return from injury on Sunday after three GPs out, rounded off his day before 1pm local time having completed 26 laps with a best time of 1’49.015.

Premier class rookie Karel Abraham overcame a highside at Turn 6 in the morning to complete 46 laps. The Czech rider of the Cardion AB Motoracing team’s best effort of the day placed him fifth in the order, just ahead of Pedrosa, as he worked on front suspension settings and seating positions.

Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki) clocked the seventh fastest time of the day on his GSV-R machine, trying out a new front tyre compound and electronics variations, whilst Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) compared his standard Desmosedici chassis against the updated ‘step 1’ version, as did Mapfre Aspar rider Héctor Barberá who also tried a new fairing. The French and Spanish riders were eighth and fourth fastest in the order respectively.

Hiroshi Aoyama (San Carlo Honda Gresini) was ninth in the timings as he worked on race setting, the Japanese rider still not fully fit due to a crash at Assen, and completing the top ten was Sylvain Guintoli. The Frenchman, who last rode in MotoGP in 2008, was testing the Pramac Racing Desmosedici of Loris Capirossi, who he is in line to substitute for at the next round at Sachsenring if the Italian has not recovered from injury.

Guintoli, whose sole focus was to re-establish a feeling with an 800cc prototype, clocked a best lap of 1’52.398 before handing over to Moto2 rider Andrea Iannone later in the afternoon, as the Italian rode a premier class machine for the first time.

Also on track was Moto2 rider Mika Kallio, although the Finn was on board a 1000cc Suter prototype as the Marc VDS team continued the development of the Swiss manufacturer’s 2012 project. Kallio turned just over 60 laps throughout the day, with a best time of 1’53.668.


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