Stoner fastest as Bridgestone concludes 2009 pre-season testing Jerez, Spain - IRTA Test The last pre-season test before the first grand prix in Qatar on 12 April saw both Spanish sunshine and heavy rain showers on the two days of MotoGP...
Stoner fastest as Bridgestone concludes 2009 pre-season testing
Jerez, Spain - IRTA Test
The last pre-season test before the first grand prix in Qatar on 12 April saw both Spanish sunshine and heavy rain showers on the two days of MotoGP action, giving teams the opportunity to test the two compounds of slick tyres that were selected for the test and the single compound of wet tyre in the 2009 specification's first wet test.
Once Saturday's rain subsided, the Spanish sun dried the track by midday. As per 2009 regulations, Bridgestone brought two slick tyre compounds to Jerez, plus a single wet compound. Front tyres were available in medium and hard compounds, and rear tyres offered in soft and medium compounds. Each rider received four sets of slicks on Saturday, and three sets on Sunday. In addition, each rider received four sets of wet tyres over the two days.
Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo, who completed 25 wet laps, was fastest for Fiat Yamaha on the opening day, just over 0.3 seconds faster than the race lap record as set last year by Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa, who was replaced for this test by Kosuke Akiyoshi as he recovers from a knee injury. Valentino Rossi arrived after the rain to complete a Fiat Yamaha one-two whilst Casey Stoner was third for Ducati, the top three separated by just 0.11 seconds.
It was the Australian however who dominated proceedings during Sunday's 45 minute official practice session. Action was brought to a temporary halt with a short red flag period after James Toseland crashed in turn three, before another downpour cut the session short three minutes from the chequered flag. Stoner just beat the downpour to consolidate his control of the session, recording his fastest lap on number 12 of 13 to put himself 0.719 seconds clear of Rossi. Rizla Suzuki's Loris Capirossi completed the official test 0.39 seconds further adrift.
As free practice resumed, ten riders ventured on track to complete a handful of laps each as the rain lifted and the surface dried, before a final downpour at 1800hrs bode a final farewell to the pre-season testing period.
Hiroshi Yamada - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager Motorcycle Sport Unit
"As the sole supplier our aim is to make each tyre suitable for a much wider range of conditions than last year, and I think we have seen over the last two days that we have achieved this so I am very pleased with the result of the test. Casey again looks impressive and it is good to see both Suzukis running well, but I am also pleased for Mika Kallio who was sixth fastest in official practice in his rookie season. Now we have finished winter testing and team feedback on our tyres has been good so we are looking forward to a good first race in Qatar in two weeks."
Tohru Ubukata - Bridgestone Motorsport - Manager Motorcycle Race Tyre Development
"We have had all weather conditions this weekend, and it has been the first wet test for the 2009 specification wet tyre. The slick tyres have been run in cold to reasonably hot conditions this weekend, and both compounds worked well across the range. We have seen that with only two slick compounds and one wet compound offered to each rider our tyres can deal with these conditions with a good level of performance that I am very happy with. I'd also like to thank all the teams for their cooperation in our 2010 development programme, as we have now finalised our 2010 specification compounds."