DUCATI MARLBORO TEAM KICK OFF FINAL TEST OF 2008 AT JEREZ
Jerez de la Frontera, (Spain). The Ducati Marlboro Team began their final MotoGP test session of the year today, ahead of the testing ban that gets underway on 1st December 2008 and runs until 20th January 2009. Recent Ducati signing Nicky Hayden lapped alongside factory test rider Vittoriano Guareschi, with team-mate Casey Stoner watching from pit wall.
The Australian, who has stayed in Europe for the first phase of his recovery from an operation on his left wrist on the 30th October, was keen to link up with the team at the test, albeit as a spectator. An x-ray on the joint carried out in Modena yesterday was positive and Stoner will be able to start light training in around two weeks' time.
Despite bright sunshine in the south of Spain, low track temperatures prevented the riders from taking to the track until lunchtime today. Hayden was still able to rack up 69 laps, improving his feeling with the bike on each outing and ending the day as the 10th fastest rider on track.
Nicky Hayden - 10th fastest - 1'42.098 (69 laps)
"It has been nice to get back on the bike and get on with the job in decent conditions. The new surface is perfect, the bumps have disappeared and the grip improved with every lap. They've done a great job here at Jerez. I'm quite happy with my feeling with the bike. The lap times came down with virtually every outing and that's positive, even though I'm still clearly a good way off the pace. We've got a lot of work ahead but the team is really close and we know that bike has the potential, so all we can do is keep working. Both tyre specs that we tried today worked well, although the softer one was obviously the preferable option in these temperatures. They've got no problem in terms of durability and I'm slowly starting to get used to the feeling the Bridgestones give back. Hopefully the good weather continues tomorrow."
"Yesterday the doctors told me that everything is going okay with my wrist, now I must wait and see. With the new cast they did yesterday I will be able to start some training on a pushbike so that is positive. In a few days I'll be heading back to Australia and it will be nice to be home for a while. It was a very strange feeling to be watching today instead of riding. This is probably the longest period I've gone without riding a bike at all since I was three years old! I'll definitely have a lot of motivation to get back on track in February. It is good to watch the bikes on track together with my engineers and then speak about it with Filippo (Preziosi) and Nicky, to share our feelings and see what we can do to improve our machine for next season."
Jerez Circuit Record: Dani Pedrosa (Honda - 2008) 1'40.116
Jerez Pole Record: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha - 2008), 1'38.189
Unofficial lap times, Wednesday 26th November
01. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1'39.525 (41)
02. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1'40.135 (39)
03. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1'41.163 (51)
04. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1'41.390 (49)
05. Alex De Angelis (Honda) 1'41.468 (53)
06. James Toseland (Yamaha) 1'41.539 (50)
07. Andrea Dovizioso (Honda) 1'41.655 (48)
08. Toni Elias (Honda) 1'41.679 (74)
09. Niccolo Canepa (Ducati) 1'42.074 (50)
10. Nicky Hayden (Ducati)1'42.098 (69)
11. Mika Kallio (Ducati) 1'42.837 (58)
12. Sete Gibernau (Ducati) 1'42.943 (40)
13. Vitto Guareschi (Ducati) 1'43.642 (36)
14. Yuki Takahashi (Honda) 1'44.360 (64)