Just two days after winning his second MotoGP race of the season at Le Mans, Casey Stoner returned to the track at Jerez to have his first run out on Honda's 2012 1000cc MotoGP prototype.
Following on from Ducati's debut with their 1000cc prototype, Honda rolled out their base 2012 entry, which HRC says has been created around the concept of the current, three-time race winning 2011 RC212V.
HRC test riders Kosuke Akiyoshi and Shinichi Ito have previously tested the bike at Suzuka, though this was the first chance for the Repsol Honda race riders to get on board. Even so, with Dani Pedrosa unable to test due to his collarbone injury, Stoner was the only contracted race rider present.
Completing 50 laps of the circuit using both current Bridgestone tyres and prototype tyres for 2012, the Australian was impressed with the bike's early characteristics.
"Everything has gone very well, very positive,” he said. “It's just nice to ride the 1000cc again, to feel the engine and the power. I had a lot of fun, I enjoyed the first day because everything we've tried seems to be working, so no complaints.
“The biggest disappointment is that Dani is not going be here to test as he is important to the development of this bike. I hope that soon HRC can get his input as well because we need as much data as possible, in order to be ready for next season.
“We didn't focus on anything special, just tried to understand what the bike is doing, how it reacts on the brakes and things like that, also considering some the issues we have with the 800cc right now. “
“The braking point seems to be stronger, stability in the front going into the corner seems to be very good, and of course we want to understand how the power delivery is, and it is very smooth so no problem . In general, we haven't changed too much from the set up we have on the 800cc right now and the feeling is very similar, so it's pretty good".
HRC had planned to complete two days of testing at Jerez, though weather concerns and Pedrosa's absence may prompt them to save one of their allocated eight days of 1000cc testing.
Repsol Honda's third rider, Andrea Dovizioso, was not present at the test.