CASEY STONER AND NICKY HAYDEN TAKE THE GP9 ON TRACK IN VALENCIA The first session of a two-day test got underway in hot and sunny conditions in Valencia today, a day full of new things for the Ducati Marlboro Team. At close to 11.00 in the ...
CASEY STONER AND NICKY HAYDEN TAKE THE GP9 ON TRACK IN VALENCIA
The first session of a two-day test got underway in hot and sunny conditions in Valencia today, a day full of new things for the Ducati Marlboro Team. At close to 11.00 in the morning, when the garage doors were opened, the spotlights were all focused on Nicky Hayden and on his 'Stars and Stripes' liveried Ducati, which had its first run at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
Hayden, like new team-mate Casey Stoner, carried out his first run of the day with the GP8 before turning his attention firmly on the GP9. The American continually improved his rhythm throughout the course of the day, stopping the clock with a best lap of 1'33.960.
Stoner, immediately at ease aboard the GP9, as he was during his first and only test of the machine in the post-race test in Catalunya, set the fastest time of the day, dipping under the circuit best lap record that he himself set in Sunday's Valencia GP.
Casey Stoner - best lap 1'32.464 (54 laps)
"The feelings from this first day of testing in Valencia with the GP9 have been definitely good. We tried many things, some worked well, others less so, but this is normal because the bike is quite different in its characteristics and in its reactions compared to the GP8. We still have other things to try but the feeling is already excellent and in fact we were able to lap consistently quickly. I am very happy with the behavior of the engine that seems to me to be more progressive and predictable. The bike is more stable in braking which is really saying something because the GP8 was already very efficient from this point of view. We have to work more on the rear set-up but the potential is good, it is just a question of finding the right set-up. Also as far as the tyres are concerned I am satisfied, above all the specification that we used this morning, with which we were able to maintain an excellent rhythm for thirty laps. A good start from this point of view. I think that Nicky is content with his first day at Ducati, he continued to improve during the day and I am sure that with a few more days with the bike he will find himself in good shape."
Nicky Hayden - best lap 1'33.960 (79 laps)
"It has been a very intense day and full of many things to test and to understand, but it was exactly as I expected it to be. I did just one run with the GP8 and then I switched completely to the GP9. Obviously there is a lot of work to do but I am happy, it was a good day that has allowed me to understand that the bike has good potential and, more than anything, I can say that I really enjoyed myself. This first day has given me an appreciation of the bike and the team. One of the things that really impressed me the most was the acceleration. I found myself pretty comfortable on the bike, and I really didn't make a lot of changes to levers and handlebars. We have not even changed a lot the settings, we have just made some small changes, some mapping settings, a couple of tyres, in order to try and understand the direction of the bike and to feel comfortable on it".
Official record: Casey Stoner (Ducati - 2008) 1'32.582
Pole position: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha - 2006), 1'31.002