The Repsol Honda rider was quickest on the first of two days of official testing at the circuit, where preparations for the 2012 season continued.
The Official MotoGP Test got underway at Valencia on Tuesday as a number of riders got their first action on the new 1000cc capacity machines which will contest the 2012 World Championship.
Some had already had their first experiences on board the developing prototypes and were therefore immediately into their rhythm. Repsol Honda pair Dani Pedrosa and Casey were two such riders, having both previously ridden the evolving RC213V. The duo were at the forefront on the timesheet, Pedrosa clocking a 1’32.186 from 40 laps and Stoner a 1’32.322 from 42, as the pair gave further feedback to the Japanese factory on what they had last ridden at Misano.
Ben Spies was back on the Yamaha M1 factory bike and was just over a second off Pedrosa’s pace, as the American took on sole testing duties on Yamaha’s 2012 machine with Jorge Lorenzo unable to ride as he continues to recover from a finger injury. Spies, who finished Sunday’s race in second place, put in 73 laps throughout the day as part of a heavy workload, producing a best time of 1’33.226.
Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Dovizioso both had their first contact with the new M1 and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s 2012 line-up made the most of day one, riding 75 and 49 laps respectively. The Italian makes the switch from Honda and spent some laps adjusting to the 800cc M1 before going out on the more powerful bike once comfortable.
Valentino Rossi bore the majority of the Ducati schedule as he put in just over 70 laps. The Italian’s team-mate Nicky Hayden was unable to ride due to a wrist injury he picked up in Sunday’s race, and Rossi pushed on with the development of the GP12, riding an experimental perimetral chassis along with Test rider Franco Battaini. Héctor Barberá (Pramac Racing) and Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) both tried the GP12 for the first time.
There were 800cc bikes out on track as well on Tuesday, as Randy de Puniet and Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl both went out. De Puniet was on the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R as he worked with the team to aid them with an alternative perspective on the machine’s potential, amassing 55 laps in the afternoon and posting a best time of 1’33.544. Bradl went out on the LCR Honda RC212V in his first MotoGP ride, enjoying just over 60 laps on his debut on a premier class bike.
Interest was also raised by the on-track presence of three CRT machines. Iván Silva rode Inmotec’s prototype with Carmelo Morales on a Suter housing a BMW engine under the Laglisse team banner, whilst Gianluca Nannelli and Federico Sandi shared testing duties of Italian factory Gapam’s machine.