MotoGP: Casey Stoner tops first day of 2008 winter testing

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MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner started preparations for the defence of his title in Valencia today, immediately continuing his dominant form that won him 10 races last season.

With Casey Stoner not testing the new 2008 factory until the end of November in Jerez, he experimented with a revised set-up from the one that he used in finishing second to Dani Pedrosa in last Sunday’s Valencia MotoGP.

The Aussie was comfortably the fastest rider on the track on his Ducati GP7, posting a best time of 1.32.348 in 26-laps.

Casey Stoner’s best time was 0.4sec faster than his fastest in the 30-lap race and he said: “We didn’t change a lot from the race on Sunday.

“We just improved the traction control system that we had learned from the race. I also worked on the front forks to get more feeling and we ran exactly the same race tyres and everything seems to be working very well and I was able to run some very fast lap times today.

“It’s a little disappointing we didn’t have these settings for the weekend because I believe I could have fought for the win. Anyway we are now working for next year and this is very important for the future to get everything ready.”

Casey Stoner though was critical of the format for today’s three-hour session, with a host of 250 riders on the track at the same time as the 17 MotoGP riders in action on the first day of winter testing.

Casey Stoner had a couple of near misses while encountering slower riders and he said: “I was a little disappointed today because there were too many riders on the circuit.

“There were too many 250 riders and new 250 riders going very slowly and it is difficult not to hit them.”

He also slammed some of his MotoGP riders too when he added: “Some of the MotoGP riders when they are trying their new bikes are running off the track a lot and when they come back on they make a lot of problems for us.

“I’m very disappointed that some of the people I’ve been riding with for two years now are also making some problems for me.

“But we’ll see tomorrow when everybody is more comfortable with their machinery and we should be able to test a little better.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt