Stoner second in Jerez

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Aussie Casey Stoner’s impressive winter testing form continued today as he logged the second quickest time on a first day in Jerez badly affected by rain.

The 21-year-old was just 0.071s slower than Marco Melandri as he clocked his best time on the 31st of his 32 laps run.

It was a much more convincing Jerez display from the 2005 world 250 championship runner-up, who struggled at the Spanish track in late November when Ducati engineers unveiled a new engine management system for the first time on the new GP7 800.

Stoner said: “It feels much better than last time we were here but we expected that because we have plenty of track time since the November test and we’ve made a lot of progress.

"I’m still getting a lot of pumping on the throttle from the rear. It’s not just a small thing either because my legs and feet start to go all over the place. 

"Hopefully we can make some progress on a dry track but I’m pretty happy. I also rode the Bridgestone tyres in the wet for the first time and

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt