MotoGP Qatar test: Casey Stoner makes dazzling start in night test, James Toseland second

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Reigning world champion Casey Stoner has made an incredible start to the historic first official night MotoGP test in Qatar, taking just 14 laps to smash his 2007 lap record by over one second.

Nearly 90 minutes of the first test under floodlights have elapsed and Casey Stoner is already easily outpacing his rivals, with a brilliant early performance from British rider James Toseland seeing the British rider post the second best time.

Casey Stoner though has stunned the paddock with a 1:55.368 on his 14th lap, which beats his record lap set in the first race of 2007 by 1.2secs!

Stoner’s lap record pace nearly 12 months ago of 1:56.528 was obliterated, with no other rider as yet to lap within two seconds of the factory Ducati rider.

Stoner’s seventh lap was just 0.2secs outside of his lap record, and highlighting just how devastatingly quick he is performing, Valentino Rossi’s seventh lap was a 1.59.754.

Riders have universally praised the mammoth lighting project so far with everybody giving the Musco system the green light, but some have voiced concerns about a lack of heat being generated in rear tyres, with a gusting wind is keeping temperatures low.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt