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Stoner defies pain to go quickest

Casey Stoner continued to shrug off the effects of his wrist surgery as he moved to the top of the timesheets following the second day of pre-season MotoGP testing at Sepang.

Having admitted to being in 'a lot of pain' yesterday, Stoner put his physical ailments to one side to assume his place at the front of the field with a lap time that undercut Loris Capirossi's benchmark from day one.

Also quicker than Dani Pedrosa's pole position winning time from the 2008 Malaysian Grand Prix, Stoner was able to go quickest on the new Desmosedici GP9, despite being forced to complete just a handful of laps at a time. Indeed, Stoner was the least active of the field, managing just 29 laps as he attempted to conserve energy.

Nonetheless, it was still enough to resist the efforts of Capirossi and Valentino Rossi, who slotted into second and third place.

Providing further evidence that Suzuki could be a force to be reckoned with in 2009, day one pace setter Capirossi kept both himself and the team well in contention in second position, less than a tenth adrift of Stoner.

He in turn was followed closely by Rossi, the Italian managing more laps than yesterday and going quickest during the morning session, even if he would find himself two tenths off the leaders by the end of the day.

Making it four different manufacturers' inside the top four, Pedrosa regained his status as Honda's leading representative having been out paced by Toni Elias on day one, the Spaniard the only other rider to slip beneath 2mins 2secs, four tenths behind Stoner.

Maintaining Suzuki's strong start to the year, Chris Vermeulen closed the gap to the leaders in fifth position, while Elias clung onto the role of best privateer aboard the Gresini Honda in sixth.

Having featured as high as fourth earlier in the day, Tech 3 Yamaha's Colin Edwards would eventually slip to seventh, although that was still enough to out pace three factory riders, the American ahead of Honda's Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati's Nicky Hayden and Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo.

Just outside the top ten, Sete Gibernau was almost two seconds off the leading pace, but was capable of edging out Alex de Angelis and fellow Ducati rider Mika Kallio.

Of the remaining riders who will compete in 2009, Niccolo Canepa, Yuki Takahashi, Randy de Puniet and James Toseland rounded out the final positions - the Englishman sore after his heavy opening day accident.


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waz - Unregistered

February 06, 2009 1:14 PM

twoddle, you know as well as I do that in 2009, when Casey wins a race, YOU'LL be the one saying it was the bike/technology, and if he loses, YOU'LL be the one saying it was the rider. With the reverse applying when Valentino wins. do we really have to put up with another year of moronic stoner sledging from people like yourself? yes, he made a **** of himself in 2008, but please let's start afresh. i have just had surgery myself that compared to casey's is extremely minor, and more than a week later it is still killing me at times ... so please give someone who was to wrestle a 300kph bike the benefit of the doubt.

damo - Unregistered

February 06, 2009 1:52 PM

Layton Keske Do you really need to ask why Stoner is out there with a problem wrist?? Because its his job! Ducati sorely needs feedback from an established GP9 rider, and realistically that has to be Stoner if they are to have any chance at all. Not rocket science really..



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