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|02-03-2016, 01:40 PM||#1|
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Stoner ends Sepang test ninth
The Sepang test ended positively for the new Ducati test rider
DOUBLE MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner ended the Sepang test in ninth overall as he made his Ducati return as their new test rider.
The world’s media and MotoGP fans watched 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 the rest of the MotoGP field on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the official test.
Despite retiring from racing at the end of the 2012 season, the Australian proved he hadn’t lost his skill or ability which helped him lift the MotoGP title in 2007 & 2011.
Stoner finished the final day 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 ninth on the combined timesheets just 1.490s behind the fastest man on track - Jorge Lorenzo.
It was an encouraging return for Stoner as he focused solely on the GP15 preferring to leave the GP16 to the factory riders Andrea Iannone & Andrea Dovizioso.
‘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,’ said Stoner speaking after the Sepang test.
‘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.
The 30-year-old concluded: ‘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!’
The next test takes place at the Stoner's home circuit at Phillip Island on the 17th February. Ducati have stipulated that he will not take part in this particular official test.
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