Casey Stoner: Hard to judge Ducati potential

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Reigning MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner says it is difficult to gauge the potential of Ducati’s new factory GP12 ahead of the start of the new 1000cc era in Qatar next week.

Ducati has rolled out a radically revised concept this season including a new engine position and conventional aluminium twin spar chassis to try and improve front-end performance with the GP12 model.

But an understeer issue that hampered Rossi in 2011 remains and the Italian finished almost a second adrift of Stoner at the end of the final test in Jerez last weekend.

That followed Rossi being beaten by Hector Barbera at the second test in Sepang earlier this month. The Spaniard isn’t riding the latest spec GP12 and he is currently competing on the Desmosedici Rossi rode at a test session in Valencia last November.

Aussie Stoner, who has dominated winter testing for Repsol Honda and topped the leaderboard in all three sessions, told MCN: “It is impossible to see what is going on and where is the level when there is different rider in the top position at every test and the gap is different from the front.

“Everything is still a little new and they are trying find their limits, so we will see at the first race.”

For more on Stoner’s thoughts heading into the new MotoGP season, see the April 4 issue of MCN.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt