Casey Stoner made his first appearance as a test rider for Ducati, riding he 2015 edition of the Desmosedici at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit ahead of the official MotoGP test.
Stoner signed on with Ducati last November after ending a similar test riding arrangement with Honda. The last time Stoner rode a Ducati was 2010. Much has changed since then, so the two-time World Champion had to get reacquainted with a Desmosedici, completing 54 total laps in a private test. Stoner was originally scheduled to do another day of private testing but Ducati decided to let him ride in one of the three official testing days this week with Ducati riders Andrea Iannone, Andrea Dovizioso and the rest of the 2016 MotoGP grid.
“I need some time to get back to speed and get the feeling back, because I haven’t ridden a MotoGP bike for one year and any bike at all for six months,” says Stoner. “It was a very productive first day, we got comfortable with the bike and the tires a lot more quickly than I thought I would. We’ve got a lot of things to test and get myself a little bit more acquainted with the bike but generally I’m very happy.”
For a guy who hasn’t ridden for half a year, Stoner did pretty well. On his final lap, Stoner clocked in a lap time of 2:02.1. That time would have put Stoner seventh overall in this morning’s first session of the official test, just ahead of Marc Marquez’s 2:02.278.
“The Desmosedici GP has a lot of potential, hopefully we can give the right input and help the two Andreas to try and achieve something great this year,” says Stoner. “I’m pretty happy and surprised with my lap time to be honest, hopefully the next day we can be a bit more comfortable after sleeping on it.”