Qatar test: Casey Stoner satisfied with pace and wrist

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Ducati’s Casey Stoner reported positive progress on the recovery of his left wrist after he dominated the second night of testing in Qatar.

The 2007 world champion, who has won 16 out of his 36 races for Ducati, shrugged off tricky track conditions to post the fastest lap of 1.57.139.

That came on the 23rd of his 37-run last night and hammered reigning world champion Valentino Rossi’s best of 1.57.747 by 0.608s.

Stoner, who didn’t even take to the track on an opening night hit by a shock rain shower, said he was happy that his left wrist felt stronger than it did early last month when he topped the timesheets in Sepang, Malaysia.

Stoner aggravated an old 2003 scaphoid injury last season and required major surgery last November, which included a complex and career saving bone graft.

He was unhappy with the lack of progress when he returned after a lengthy lay-off in Sepang, worried by a lack of movement and constant pain from the recovering wrist.
But he seemed much more content in Qatar, despite the wrist still being short of full strength.

The Aussie said: “We have worked well and we’ve made progress with the set-up of the GP9 so it has been a positive day despite the difficult track conditions.

“Pretty much the same goes for the wrist – it’s obviously still not 100 per cent yet but it is better than Malaysia and better than I was expecting for this test, so it’s looking hopeful from that point of view too. In general I am satisfied.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt