Casey Stoner is returning to MotoGP at Phillip Island. Unfortunately, he won’t be there to race as a wild card in the Australian Grand Prix as some of his fans hope. No, instead the recently retired two-time MotoGP Champion will be riding a lap of honor alongside fellow Australian champions Wayne Gardner and Mick Doohan […]
Rain Puts a Damper on Ducati MotoGP Test
Wet conditions limited Ducati factory riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden to just 18 laps each on the second of three days of MotoGP testing in Malaysia.
Though there is a lot of work to be done for Ducati to be competitive, the heavy rainfall plus Hayden’s still-recovering shoulder limited track time for both riders.
They used what time they did have to work on the Ducati Desmosedici GP12‘s electronics including new traction control software.
Hayden posted the fifth-fastest best lap time at 2:01.748, cutting more than a second off his Day One results.
The weather hasn’t been kind to us. With my condition, maybe I wasn’t going to be able to do many more laps anyway, but we have a lot of stuff to try. It was definitely cooler today, with more rubber on the track, and we went faster. We made a couple of small steps and I would say today was the most competitive I’ve been all year. I like the changes to the electronics, especially at the first touch of the throttle. We talked about going out in the rain, but the risks seemed to outweigh the rewards. I look forward to tomorrow. Hopefully we can put together all the pieces we’ve learned and do some good lap times. – Hayden
Rossi was also faster on the second day but failed to crack the 2:02 mark to sit seventh with a time of 2:02.130. Rossi was also slower than Pramac Ducati satellite rider Hector Barbera who set a time of 2:01.989.
Another day practically lost, which is really a shame because for us it’s very important to ride as much as possible, and today’s track conditions were much better than yesterday’s. Given that we knew rain was predicted for the afternoon, we tried to focus as much work as possible in just the first twenty or so laps this morning. Using both bikes, we tried the new traction control, some software updates with the wheelie control and other small details that have to do with the seating position. I had good impressions with all of those, so we put it all into the setup of just one bike and put on a new tyre, only for it to start raining. Game over. On the plus side, I had a good feeling with all of the new stuff, so I hope we can work a little longer tomorrow. – Rossi