STONER GETS EVEN FASTER AS MELANDRI CONTINUES TO ADAPT The second day of MotoGP tests at Phillip Island started out in wet conditions today, with intermittent light showers continuing until lunch at one o'clock. Both Ducati Marlboro Team riders...
STONER GETS EVEN FASTER AS MELANDRI CONTINUES TO ADAPT
The second day of MotoGP tests at Phillip Island started out in wet conditions today, with intermittent light showers continuing until lunch at one o'clock. Both Ducati Marlboro Team riders took the opportunity to try different things, Stoner completing 11 laps on the damp track to confirm the performance of his latest engine spec in these conditions whilst Marco Melandri enjoyed positive feedback from the GP8 as he rode it for the first time in the wet, completing 35 laps.
The sunshine dried the track in the afternoon and the test continued with Stoner in great form, the World Champion breaking the 1'30 mark on race tyres - some four tenths inside the circuit record set in 2005 by a 990cc machine - despite the cold and imperfect track conditions. Melandri was able to resume work on his set-up, concentrating principally on weight distribution as he continues his adaptation to the GP8.
Weather forecasts are better for tomorrow, the final day of the session.
Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team), best time: 1'29.938 (45 laps)
"Today I set my fastest lap on tyres that had 22 laps on them and that is really positive because it means that the modifications we tried on the set-up have had the desired effect, which was to increase tyre durability. This also allows us to consider using softer tyres, at least in the odd race. This morning I went out twice for just 5 laps each to verify engine response, which is now smoother at the bottom end; everything worked brilliantly and I'm really pleased. The track conditions were never perfect but with some changes to the rear suspension we were able to set some fast times, all of them on race tyres. I think it will be possible to repeat those times in the race here too because the new Bridgestones are even better than the ones we used last year. Hopefully the weather is good tomorrow so that we can complete a race simulation."
Marco Melandri (Ducati Marlboro Team), best time: 1'31.478 (80 laps)
"Today was really tough - we did 80 laps in total, 35 of them in the wet. It was the first opportunity I've had to test the Ducati in the wet and even though it was just a case of getting a few laps in to get used to it, I felt really comfortable by the end. In the afternoon, when the track had dried out, we continued with the work we had started yesterday, concentrating on weight distribution. I feel as though the balance of the bike is noticeably improved, on both the front and rear, and I can push harder through the corners. I did a lot of laps on used tyres and the feeling continues to improve. We've been able to confirm that my riding style is completely different to Casey's and I have to work hard with my crew to find the best way forward for me."