Sepang MotoGP Testing Final
The third and final day of 2008 MotoGP tests ended early at Sepang for Casey Stoner, who only completed 27 laps.
The third and final day of MotoGP tests ended early at Sepang for Casey Stoner, who completed his 27th and final lap of the Malaysian circuit with his GP8 at precisely 12:26pm. With his test programme complete and some extremely fast laps under his belt – clocking a best time on race tyres of 2’00.964 and a 2’00.660 on qualifiers – the World Champion and his team decided to draw a line under the first session of 2008 and also give Stoner’s recovering shoulder a well-earned rest. Marco Melandri started the day with a good pace, improving almost immediately by around half a second on yesterday, before trying a variety of new ideas, none of which came up with the desired result. The Italian youngster is, however, developing a good feeling with the team and remains confident that the solutions to his current difficulties will be resolved with continued hard work.
Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team), best time on race tyres: 2’00.964; best time on qualifiers: 2’00.660 (27 laps)
"We couldn’t have started the year better! My shoulder feels better every day and now I know I can get back to full training. This morning we tried some qualifying tyres on only our second run out. We set a good lap time although I think if we’d have tried them a little later, when the track was warmer, we could have broken the two-minute mark. In fact, at the end of the morning we set a 2’00.964 on race tyres, which is over a second inside the lap record we set in September. It shows that we are working well and that both the bike and tyres are improving. I’m leaving Sepang feeling really happy – partly because my shoulder hasn’t given me too many problems and partly because I feel even more competitive than last season. Now we have to focus on this season and on getting the best possible start, so I can’t wait to continue testing at Phillip Island. I also want to send my best wishes to Dani! I’m sure this injury won’t affect him too much. Back in 2006 I missed most of the winter tests and I still started the season competitive so I’m sure he will too because he was looking really strong out here."
Marco Melandri (Ducati Marlboro Team), best time: 2’02.725 (58 laps)
"This morning we started out on the right foot and my lap times weren’t bad. Then we decided to experiment with a few new avenues to try and improve my feeling but we got a bit lost! It’s a shame but at least I’m getting to understand the bike and the way the team works more and more each day. I feel really comfortable with my chief engineer and I’m sure that we’ll find the solutions to the problems we’re having right now. I didn’t use a qualifier because if you’re not ready for them there’s no point. I did try a new race tyre though and in my opinion it’s a good step forward. I can’t say I’m happy but we’ll keep working to find the best way forward for me."
Circuit Record: Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2007) 2’02.108
Pole Record: Valentino Rossi (Yamaha – 2006) 2’00.605
Unofficial lap times 24/01/2008
1. Nicky HAYDEN (Honda) 2:00.326
2. Casey STONER (Ducati) 2:00.660
3. Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha) 2:00.766
4. Colin EDWARDS (Yamaha) 2:01.179
5. John HOPKINS (Kawasaki) 2:01.198
6. Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha) 2:01.425
7. Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Honda) 2:01.447
8. James TOSELAND (Yamaha) 2:01.745
9. Chris VERMEULEN (Suzuki) 2:01.748
10. Loris CAPIROSSI (Suzuki) 2:01.778
11. Randy DE PUNIET (Honda) 2:01.873
12. Shinya NAKANO (Honda) 2:02.032
13. Alex DE ANGELIS (Honda) 2:02.198
14. Marco MELANDRI (Ducati) 2:02.725
15. Anthony WEST (Kawasaki) 2:02.978
16. Toni ELIAS(Ducati) 2:02.995
17. Olivier JACQUE (Kawasaki) 2:03.030
18. Sylvain GUINTOLI (Ducati) 2:03.628
19. Niccolo CANEPA (Ducati) 2:03.703
20. Tamaki SERIZAWA (Kawasaki) 2:04.354