Brno Test: Casey Stoner second but no major breakthrough

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Casey Stoner finished yesterday’s rain-hit Brno MotoGP test in second place but remains unsure whether new Ohlins front forks have solved some issues with his factory Ducati GP10.

The 24-year-old only had a new set of Ohlins forks to assess and while he felt some improvement, he wasn’t convinced it was a solution to the front-end problems that have plagued him throughout 2010.

The 2007 world champion hasn’t won a race since last October’s Sepang clash in Malaysia and he was 0.575s slower than Jorge Lorenzo after posting a best time of 1.56.844.

That was still a massive 1.3s quicker than his best time in the Czech Republic Grand Prix in which he scored his fifth successive podium in third.

Stoner, who will join Honda’s official factory team in 2011, started the season on the 2010 spec Ohlins front forks.

But he quickly hit problems and crashed out of the lead in Qatar and then again while in podium contention at Le Mans.

His confidence eroded to a point where he opted to switch back to last year’s front forks at the Italian MotoGP in Mugello and he said: “We had new forks from Ohlins to try but unfortunately they are quite similar to what we started the year on.

"I’m a little bit disappointed with it but at the same time we found a pretty good setting with it and the front end felt pretty good. We just need to really confirm that it works or not.

"It felt great also at the start of the year until I started losing the front a lot. Maybe we have to risk it a little bit in Indianapolis and try to use them and see how we go.

"With the front working quite well we tried to get the rear working better but after one run it started spitting with rain and it was game over.”

Stoner explained that the latest spec Ohlins front forks helped his factory Ducati GP10 absorb bumps better.

He added: “It is a little smoother over the bumps. It holds a line just a little bit better but it won’t make any difference if we can’t improve the rear. We wanted to try a few more things but we got no time to do it with the rain.

"What we did find with the front end wasn’t too bad but I need to confirm it and make sure it is not going to be the same feeling like I had at the start of the year.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt