STONER AND HAYDEN CHASE JEREZ SET-UP IN FINAL PRESEASON TEST Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden made the most of changeable weather in the south of Spain today to complete some important set-up work on their Desmosedici...
STONER AND HAYDEN CHASE JEREZ SET-UP IN FINAL PRESEASON TEST
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden made the most of changeable weather in the south of Spain today to complete some important set-up work on their Desmosedici GP9 machines. With less than two weeks remaining before the opening practice session of the 2009 MotoGP World Championship in Qatar there was anxiety amidst a soaking wet paddock this morning, with torrential rain having drenched the track.
Thankfully the strong Spanish sun emerged before lunchtime to produce acceptable conditions for a worthwhile test in the afternoon, when Stoner consistently featured at the top of the timesheets despite struggling to get maximum potential out of the GP9 at what has proven to be a demanding track for Ducati in recent seasons. Hayden continues to make progress in his adaptation to the bike and Bridgestone tyres but will be looking to make the most of his final day of preseason testing, which takes place here tomorrow.
The climax to the test comes at 2pm tomorrow afternoon, when Stoner will look to repeat his feat from last year by setting the fastest time in a 45-minute televised 'qualifying' session and take home a brand new car as his prize.
CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 3rd fastest - 1'39.906
"Jerez has been our weak point for the last couple of seasons and for some reason our bike just doesn't like it here. There used to be a lot of bumps that unsettled it but to be fair a lot of them were ironed out when they re-laid the surface and now it's hard to put my finger on the problem. I think every Ducati rider is in the same boat -- Jerez is like our kryptonite! So basically we're not working on general set-up because we know the data we get here will be useless everywhere else - the target is to work on finding something that will help us get around this circuit and limit the damage when the race comes around. As far as my wrist is concerned, the hard-braking left-handers are tricky but other than that it is okay and I have no concerns about going race distance."
NICKY HAYDEN (Ducati Marlboro Team) 9th fastest - 1'40.987
"We were lucky today because it looked like the weather was going to be a disaster. This morning we decided to go out and do some laps anyway just to check the performance of the wet tyres on a damp track because we won't have any intermediates this year. When it dried out in the afternoon we found that the bike had improved in some areas but there are other things we really need to work on. We'll speak to Filippo Preziosi this evening, analyse the data and try to do much better tomorrow because it would be nice to be pushing near the front before we go to Qatar."
Circuit Record: Dani Pedrosa (Honda -- 2008) 1'40.116
Best Pole: Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha -- 2008) 1'38.189