Casey Stoner thrilled with Honda debut

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Casey Stoner could barely contain his delight after he made a sensational factory Honda debut in Valencia today.

The 2007 world champion set the second fastest time with a 1.32.775 to finish nearly 0.2s clear of new team-mate Dani Pedrosa and close to 0.8s ahead of Italian Andrea Dovizioso, both who have vast experience of the factory RC212V machine.

The Australian finished 0.763s behind Yamaha rival Jorge Lorenzo but he was ecstatic with his own form and quick adjustment to the RC212V. 

Stoner only used the 2010 V4 and didn’t try a 2011 machine that Pedrosa and Dovizioso spent time evaluating. Honda has two new chassis to test in Valencia.

Stoner said: “I only wanted to test the 2010 bike just to get comfortable. It’s hard for me to come out and say I want this and that when I have no real experience. It is just getting time on the bike so I can get comfortable and then I can understand the changes and what difference it makes to the bike. I was very happy with the Honda today. 

"It felt great to me and I had just great feedback from it. I was able to run quite a lot of laps and we found some excellent feedback. I had a lot of fun with it to be honest.

"At the beginning I had very progressive power delivery and we were trying to make it stronger in the early part of the throttle so I had more control in my hand rather than the engine, so we slowly brought the engine power and we got the feeling better with control in the hand then everything started to feel more comfortable for me. 

"The engine is extremely smooth, it is like glass."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt