Casey Stoner showed today that he is a quick rider in all conditions with the Ducati Desmosedici GP7, even in the cold and wet conditions that greeted the MotoGP riders the day after Sunday's Spanish GP at Jerez.
The young Australian, determined to make use of the conditions and time available to test tyres and wet-weather set-up, put on his leathers and helmet late in the morning to notch up a best time of 1m51.736s in his 21 laps.
His Ducati Marlboro team-mate, Loris Capirossi, did not take part in the test as he returned to Monte Carlo on Sunday evening immediately after the race to be close to his wife Ingrid for the expected birth of their first child, Riccardo, in the next few days.
Test-rider Vittoriano Guareschi lapped with Stoner and in the hope that conditions will improve, the Ducati Test Team will remain at Jerez for the next two days in order to continue development work on the Ducati.
The MotoGP Championship now takes a three-week break before the Turkish GP race scheduled for April 22 at the Istanbul Park Circuit, the first track where there has been no winter testing and where as a result the new 2007 rules limiting the number of tyres will be put to the test.
Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team), 1m51.736s (21 laps);
"When I woke up this morning and saw that, like in Qatar, we were unable to test in normal conditions, I tried to look on the bright side of things: I've only tested the Bridgestone wets once and this was a good opportunity to do some more laps. For sure it would have been better to test in the dry but at least the day wasn't wasted. We worked on the tyres and the electronics without trying to go for a quick time. I'm pleased with the way things went and I think it will be useful for races with similar conditions. Now I'm going back to Monte Carlo for a day or two and then back home to Australia, where I'll start to train for the Turkish GP, a race that I like a lot".
Nicky Hayden - Best lap time: 1m 52.632s - 67 laps;
"The weather was pretty wet today so we took advantage of the track time to try learn more about the bike. A lot of the same issues we're having in the dry we're having in the wet too so the feeling was mixed, but I was able to get faster as the day went on and collected a lot of useful data. Hopefully tomorrow we'll get some better weather and make some further progress."
Dani Pedrosa - Best lap time: 1m 53.240s - 51 laps;
"Today was useful because I haven't ridden this new bike in wet conditions very much during winter testing so it was good to be able to get a feeling for how the bike behaves in the rain. I also tried a few types of Michelin's wet weather tyres. The conditions were quite variable today so the lap time does not mean so much - still I'm glad to have gained this experience."
Toni Elias (1'52"198, 56 laps):
"We would have preferred to test on dry conditions. Anyway it was a positive day because we could test on wet, working on the set up, compared to last time I tested here on wet, today the feeling was a lot better even if there is still room for improvements. Tomorrow we need dry conditions for an important tyre testing".
Marco Melandri (1'52"842, 45 laps):
"It was the first time that we tested with Bridgestone tyres on wet conditions. We worked on the set up and the feeling was good. Today we were supposed to work on the front of the bike and test qualifying tyres but we couldn't because of the rain. I hope that the weather improves for tomorrow".
"Though the conditions were pretty bad I feel satisfied about the work we did today. It was my first time on the wet with this bike so I tested some tyres trying to gather important data for the next race including some chassis and engine regulations. Basically we planned to test some parts in dry conditions but this day has been very productive anyway".
Shinya Nakano - Rider, Koica Minolta Honda (Total laps 54 - 1' 52.212");
"It has been a very interesting and positive test in these wet conditions. Rain tyres of different brands can have a completely different character and feel, so after many seasons on Bridgestones, it was good to try the Michelins. Although I prefer to ride and race in the dry, I enjoyed riding today in the wet very much and could feel the grip from both the front and rear. As a result, I could get some really good lap times in, which has been very good for my confidence. The feeling I had from the bike and the tyres in the wet was very good and that's the sort of feeling we're after from the bike in dry conditions, too. Once I have found a setting to give me the same feeling then I know we will go much faster. Today we compared both the 2006 and 2007 Michelin wet tyres so that was a very useful exercise in itself. Obviously for the conditions our settings at both the front and rear are much softer for the wet, but we did try many different settings and combinations to analyse and give us some ideas of what we could try for the dry. We still have a small chattering problem from the front-end, but I'm more confident thanks to being near the top of the timing sheets for most of the day."
Alex Barros (1'52.132 - 37 laps):
"Despite bad weather, I'm happy for the results we got. It was the first time I tried the DUCATI GP7 in the rain and at the beginning I had some troubles. My Team did a good job and finally I succeded in driving with confidence, and I got the right feeling with this kind of conditions that made me riding fast. Today we made some job trying two different types of Bridgestone tyres, but we focused manly on the rear. I'm very satisfied because my laptime was good and I'm confident that in case of rain, we have a solid base to start."
Alex Hofmann (1'52.610 - 58 laps):
"Today I hoped we could find a good weather, because after my bad Sunday we have t o try a lot of things, but I could only get down on track with rain setting. Neverthless I'm pleased with this day, because it was the first time I rode the DUCATI GP7 800cc with Bridgestone rain tires, and I got a good feeling . In this afternoon we worked a lot on mapping trying to get a more smooth engine character, and trying to achieve the best balance; then we changed different types of tires finding a satisfying one. After this test I got again the right feeling to go on, and I hope to run an exciting race in Istanbul."
Conditions: wet. Temperatures: air 13 Celsius / track 12 Celsius.
- 1. Olivier Jacque (Kawasaki) 1'51.422 (52 giri)
- 2. Randy De Puniet (Kawasaki) 1'51.502 (59)
- 3. Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki) 1'51.536 (27)
- 4. Kenny Roberts Jr (Kr-Honda) 1'51.567 (30)
- 5. Casey Stoner (Ducati) 1'51.736 (21)
- 6. Carlos Checa (Honda) 1'51.827 (44)
- 7. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1'51.899 (41)
- 8. Alex Barros (Ducati) 1'52.129 (36)
- 9. Toni Elias (Honda) 1'52.198 (56)
- 10. Shinya Nakano (Honda) 1'52.212 (53)
- 11. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1'52.637 (67)
- 12. Marco Melandri (Honda) 1'52.842 (45)
- 13. Alex Hofmann (Ducati) 1'52.904 (55)
- 14. Colin Edwards (Yamaha) 1'53.104 (36)
- 15. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1'53.240 (51)
- 16. Silvayn Guintoli (Yamaha) 1'55.992 (44)
- 17. Makoto Tamada (Yamaha) 1'57.917 (38)
- 18. Akiyoshi Kousuke (Suzuki) 1'58.635 (36)
- 19. Vittoriano Guareschi (Ducati) 2'00.291 (33)