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Stoner back on top at Brno test.

Having crashed out of the lead of Sunday's Czech Republic Grand Prix, handing Valentino Rossi the race victory and a 50 point title lead, Casey Stoner began rebuilding his confidence in the best way possible back at Brno on Monday - by smashing the lap record during the first day of testing.

Riding alongside almost a full line-up of MotoGP riders, plus three additional test riders, Stoner completed 55 laps on race tyres, carrying out a variety of set-up and tyre tests and maintaining a consistently quick pace - well inside the circuit record he set in Sunday's race.

The Ducati Marlboro rider's best lap was a scorching 1min 56.261secs, which put the reigning world champion 1.071secs clear of nearest rival Rossi and almost one second under the new official lap record he had set prior to his seventh lap accident in Sunday's race.

"It has been a really positive day," stated Stoner. "We didn't have too much to test - a couple of new tyres and that's about it - but we managed to find a new setting to improve on what was already a very good situation. I managed to drop my lap times by almost a second on yesterday and that's really positive.

"Unfortunately my physical condition on Friday and the rain on Saturday meant that we didn't head into the race in the best possible shape. In any case I'm happy because the things we've improved today will be useful for the upcoming races. Hopefully the weather's good to us again tomorrow so we can finish the job off with Bridgestone," he added.

Rossi and Kawasaki's John Hopkins (18th fastest) were the only riders not to lap quicker than they had in Sunday's race, while another Ducati rider on top form was Alice's Toni Elias.

The Spaniard proved that his second position in Sunday's race was no fluke by lapping just 0.125secs behind Rossi and joined Stoner in dropping his best race lap by almost one second.

Shinya Nakano matched his race finish of fourth on his factory RC212V, the San Carlo Honda Gresini rider finding half a second from his best race lap with further track time on the official machine, while Chris Vermeulen was an impressive fifth on an early version of Suzuki's 2009 GSV-R.

After its Czech GP nightmare, Michelin brought revised front tyres to Monday's test. Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa said they made little difference, quit testing after just eleven laps, cancelled a planned appearance on the pneumatic RCV and will not return tomorrow.

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Da Rock

August 19, 2008 4:34 AM

Saran you are so full of Saying this proves Rossi is in Stoners head is so baseless and fictional. I think Rossi is in your head, especially when you have your private times by yourself with a tube of lube and a box of tissues.

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