STONER FINISHES AHEAD OF SCHEDULE AND MELANDRI IMPROVES ON DAY TWO The MotoGP test at Sepang in Malaysia continued to enjoy favourable weather conditions on the second day, with bright sunshine and a dry track for the entire session. It provided...
STONER FINISHES AHEAD OF SCHEDULE AND MELANDRI IMPROVES ON DAY TWO
The MotoGP test at Sepang in Malaysia continued to enjoy favourable weather conditions on the second day, with bright sunshine and a dry track for the entire session. It provided the platform for an extremely positive day for the World Champion, who was able to clock a time of 2'01.836, inside his own circuit record, on just his second lap of the morning.
The good feeling Casey Stoner has already found with the new GP8 has allowed him to get straight into some serious tyre tests and conduct a long run in the afternoon. Unfortunately the race simulation was interrupted at the halfway point by a small clutch problem that was causing the rear wheel to judder under braking. It wasn't enough to cause the bike to stop but Casey rightly decided to return to the pits and examine the problem. On his return to the track, the Australian suffered cramps in his left arm - the same side as his injured shoulder - and he was forced to end the day early, saving his strength for another important day tomorrow.
Marco Melandri worked hard throughout the day with his team and is confident that he can gradually find the right feeling with his new bike.
Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team), best time: 2'01'638 (33 laps)
"That was much better than yesterday! I felt much more comfortable on the bike from the first lap, so much so that we were able to start some front tyre tests for Bridgestone straight away. We've found some really interesting things and definitely a good base for the season - the Japanese guys are doing a great job. After lunch we starter a long run and everything went great for the first ten laps. I had a good pace together, inside lap record, but then we started to get a strange vibration from the rear that was upsetting the bike in a couple of braking areas. I preferred to stop to try and work out what it was and we found a small problem with the clutch. We went back out again on the same tyres but started to get cramps in my left arm, so we decided it was better not to push it too much and to sit the rest of the day out. When I think that I was still suffering from pain in my shoulder only a week ago I have to be really happy with how things are going. I'm still not 100% but I'm able to ride much better than I expected. Now I know that I can begin making the right preparations to be ready for the start of the season. We'll keep working with Bridgestone tomorrow and give the new qualifiers a try."
Marco Melandri (Ducati Marlboro Team), best time: 2'03.311 (46 laps)
"Today went a little bit better than yesterday. I feel better with the geometry now and we can start to work on the suspension. I'm still not completely used to the power delivery of the Ducati because there is plenty of it but it's not easy to make the most of it with my riding style. We are working on this aspect though and we'll find the best configuration for me. Tomorrow I want to start testing the new Bridgestones and I think they can also help me find something that will allow me to go a little faster. It is proving to be more difficult than I thought but there is no reason why we can't find a solution to the current problems. We'll keep working calmly and I'm sure we'll improve!"