2009 MotoGP campaign gets underway in Valencia

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Less than 24 hours after the conclusion to the 2008 MotoGP world championship, the paddock kicked off preparations for 2009 in Valencia this morning.

Nicky Hayden has made his factory Ducati debut, while Andrea Dovizioso is riding the American’s 2008 works Honda having moved to partner Dani Pedrosa in the official Repsol squad.

Italian Marco Melandri has also started his career with Kawasaki’s factory squad, while rookies Mika Kallio and Yuki Takahashi have started their MotoGP plans.

Casey Stoner, reverting back to his traditional number 27, is already turning impressive lap times on Ducati’s carbon fibre chassis GP9 machine, while Hayden so far has clocked a best time of 1.34.128. That’s 0.8s outside of his best time posted in his last Honda appearance yesterday as he tries to get to grips with the Ducati and Bridgestone tyres for the first time.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt