Casey Stoner: GP9 is best Ducati yet

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Former world champion Casey Stoner has told MCN the new carbon fibre chassis and swingarm on his stunning GP9 machine has made this year’s factory Ducati the best he’s ever ridden.

The 23-year-old Aussie made a sensational debut on the GP9 in Qatar earlier this week when he hammered Valentino Rossi in the delayed season opener.

Stoner cruised to his 17th premier class victory in the Middle East and has been ecstatic with the performance of the radical GP9, which features a new carbon fibre chassis.

The introduction of the carbon frame has helped Stoner cure some of the chronic pumping problems he previously experienced under hard acceleration with Ducat’s trademark steel trellis frame.

And Stoner says the winter improvements have helped make the new Ducati a better all-round package than the GP7 he dominated the 2007 campaign on, and last year’s GP8.

“The 2007 and 2008 bikes weren’t that different. With the GP8 we stiffened the chassis up at the front and towards the end of the season we got better with the engine in terms of its characteristic.

“But we never got the bottom end grunt that we needed and we have made a big step with the ’09 bike in that area. I think also with this new swingarm and chassis and the way the engine has so much torque it is much easier to ride. It is by far the biggest step we have made and hopefully the most important one.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt