News 10 Nov 2009

MotoGP: Stoner and Hayden fast in Valencia Monday test


Less than 24 hours after the 2009 season had concluded the Ducati Marlboro Team was back on track at Valencia as Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden completed their first day of testing for the 2010. Warm sunshine and strong winds welcomed the riders onto the track for the afternoon session, with a full day’s work scheduled for Tuesday and another half day on Wednsday, when the track will close at 13:00.

Stoner and Hayden enjoyed a positive day, clocking the fastest and fifth fastest times respectively.

Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team) 1st; 1’32.660 (32 laps)
“We tried a new engine configuration designed at improving the rideability of the bike and for the moment it is going really well. The feedback is more smooth 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. 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.”

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro Team), 5th; 1’33.358: (58 laps)
“I was really looking forward to getting back out on track today and starting work on next season. 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. 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.”

Fabiano Sterlacchini – Pramac Racing Technical Director
“These tests are very useful for our new rider at Pramac Racing, Aleix Espargarò. He has already had the opportunity to run with us for four races, but with the little time available during the race weekend this year, test days will be very important for him. We are very satisfied with its first performances on our Ducati and we are confident that can improve a lot during this first winter as a MotoGP rider. Mika has stepped on the track today to understand where and how we perhaps lost a few seconds yesterday in the race: lap times were good and the eighth best final time confirms that yesterday we could perhaps do something more.”

Mika Kallio – Pramac Racing rider – 8th best lap time in 1’33.726
“Today we have worked hard to understand where we could improve yesterday in the race. It was a very good day with satisfactory timing feedback. There are no major new technical things to try at this time but it will be from the first test 2010 that we will have the new bike.”

Aleix Espargarò – Pramac Racing rider – 11th best lap time in 1’33.878
“It was a good day of work: I am trying to figure out where I can improve on the bike. I often try to hold different positions riding the bike to understand how the bike reacts. Indeed today’s work has paid off as we succeeded in lowering our best race lap time by more than half a second. We must continue to be more competitive at the beginning of next year.”