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Stoner and GP9 lead Valencia test.

Casey Stoner, winner of Sunday's season-ending grand prix at Valencia, joined almost all his 2009 rivals in returning to the track for the start of a post race test on Monday - and continued to dominate, this time on next year's Ducati Desmosedici GP9.

The 2007 world champion, who will undergo bone graft surgery on his injured wrist on Thursday, won Sunday's race by a comfortable 3.4sec over Dani Pedrosa, with newly crowned six time world champion Valentino Rossi a further nine seconds behind in third.

Those riders and positions were replicated on Monday, when Stoner's second ride on the GP - which features a carbon-fibre chassis - ended with the Australian having ducked under his fastest race lap on the GP8 by 0.118sec, as all riders began work with the new, wide operating range, 'single tyre' spec Bridgestones.

"The feelings from this first day of testing in Valencia with the GP9 have been definitely good," said Stoner, who first rode the GP9 at the post-race test in Catalunya.

"We tried many things, some worked well, others less so, but this is normal because the bike is quite different in its characteristics and in its reactions compared to the GP8. We still have other things to try but the feeling is already excellent and in fact we were able to lap consistently quickly.

"I am very happy with the behaviour of the engine that seems to me to be more progressive and predictable. The bike is more stable in braking which is really saying something because the GP8 was already very efficient from this point of view. We have to work more on the rear set-up but the potential is good, it is just a question of finding the right set-up.

"Also as far as the tyres are concerned I am satisfied, above all the specification that we used this morning, with which we were able to maintain an excellent rhythm for thirty laps. A good start from this point of view.

"I think that Nicky [Hayden, twelfth fastest] is content with his first day at Ducati, he continued to improve during the day and I am sure that with a few more days with the bike he will find himself in good shape," said Stoner of his new team-mate.

Pedrosa, riding with some new parts on his factory Repsol Honda RC212V, lapped 0.208sec slower than Stoner as he also trimmed a little time off his ultimate race lap. The same was true of Rossi, who only began testing at 3pm, but was able to put a prototype version of the 2009 YZR-M1 0.154sec under his best lap on this year's machine.

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October 28, 2008 4:07 PM

No times as far as I know......seems to be raining. Nice comments from Stoner regarding Hayden. I can't remember the last time I've heard a rider mention their teammate.

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