Casey Stoner kept his Ducati upright long enough to set the fastest time on the first day of winter testing at Valencia yesterday.
After a disappointing end to his season when he crashed his bike on the warm-up lap last weekend, Stoner bounced back with a best time of 1m32.660s, 0.025s clear of the rest of the field.
Jorge Lorenzo finished the day second fastest with the Spaniard just over 0.1s off his Sunday qualifying time on his factory Yamaha machine.
Valentino Rossi, who rounded off his championship-winning season with his 13th podium of the campaign at the weekend, rolled out a new prototype M1 on which he completed 37 laps, recording a best time which left him just 0.166s down on Stoner’s time.
Fresh from his race win over the weekend, Dani Pedrosa ensured it was the championship top four occupying the same spots on the first day. The Spaniard is testing two Honda bikes, one with the Showa suspension with which he started the season and one with the Ohlins system, which has been incorporated into the Repsol Honda package over the course of the season.
Within a second of Stoner’s time was his Ducati Marlboro team-mate Nicky Hayden, as was Ben Spies whose first outing for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 was a productive day as the Texan completed 50 laps.
Andrea Dovizioso, also testing the Ohlins suspension on his Honda RC212V, Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) Randy de Puniet (LCR Honda) and Marco Melandri (San Carlo Honda Gresini) all also recorded top 10 lap times.
Experiencing their first tests on MotoGP machines were Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini), Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP) and Héctor Barberá (Aspar Team), with newly-crowned 250cc World Champion Hiroshi Aoyama testing a Honda.
Simoncelli was the fastest on Day 1 of the test (best of the 250cc graduates), completing 51 laps with a best time just over 2.5s off Stoner.