Casey Stoner is confident he will be back to full fitness for the next MotoGP pre-season test at Losail in a month's time after completing day three at Sepang on top once again.
Although pain from his wrist has hampered his progress over the course of the three days, Stoner has remained quick throughout and was once again the man to beat as the test drew to a close.
While he was again one of the least active riders on track, Stoner did manage a full 38 laps on the Ducati GP9, while his best lap of 2mins 01.043secs came on the very final effort of the test.
Reiterating that he is yet to be fully recovered from surgery on the offending wrist four months ago, Stoner was nonetheless delighted to end the test with the quickest time.
“Today wasn't bad! The more I ride the GP9 the more we understand how to improve the set-up of the new chassis and today we made a big step forward with improving grip and feel with the new bike. Considering that I have recently had an operation and my wrist has still not fully recovered, to be the fastest rider here is a dream to be honest.”
With a month to go before the next test in Qatar, Stoner has vowed to concentrate on his physical condition so he can capitalise on a bike that he is otherwise very pleased with.
“Now I have to work hard on improving my physical condition and recovering the level of movement I need to ride the bike properly without pain. Now I know that I can step up training on my arm and hopefully the situation will have improved for the Qatar test. The GP9 is a good bike and in every test we've done with it we've come out on top.
“That doesn't mean to say that we can afford to relax, though, and we'll keep our heads down and keep working. I set pretty much the same lap time on both tyre compounds and I actually prefer the harder one. The fact we've gone to a single tyre rule doesn't seem to have an adverse effect on the performance of the Bridgestones - they're doing a great job, as usual.”