Casey Stoner kicked off his preparations for the 2012 MotoGP world championship in Jerez yesterday (Tuesday) when he completed his first day of testing on board Honda’s new 1000cc machine.
Fresh from his emphatic victory in the French Grand Prix at Le Mans on Sunday, Stoner completed 50 laps on the new bike, which was given its shakedown test at the Suzuka circuit in Japan last month by Shinichi Ito and Kousuke Akiyoshi.
The Aussie declared his debut a success and said: "Everything has gone very well, very positive. It's just nice to ride the 1000cc again, to feel the engine and the power. I had a lot of fun, I enjoyed it because everything we've tried seems to be working, so no complaints. We didn't focus on anything special, just tried to understand what the bike is doing, how it reacts on the brakes and things like that, also considering some the issues we have with the 800cc right now.
"The braking point seems to be stronger, stability in the front going into the corner seems to be very good, and of course we want to understand how the power delivery is, and it is very smooth so no problem. In general, we haven't changed too much from the set up we have on the 800cc right now and the feeling is very similar, so it's pretty good."
Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa was also scheduled to test the new 1000cc four-cylinder machine but was ruled out after breaking his right collarbone in a controversial incident with Marco Simoncelli in Le Mans.
And Stoner said his absence was a big blow for Honda with the Spaniard’s input being vital for the development of the new project.
The 2007 world champion added: "The biggest disappointment is that Dani is not going be here to test as he is important to the development of this bike. I hope that soon HRC can get his input as well because we need as much data as possible, in order to be ready for next season."