Casey Stoner may be unable to ride a MotoGP machine until next year, due to recent wrist surgery, but that didn't stop the 2007 world champion being present at Jerez on Wednesday.

The Australian has remained in Europe for the first phase of his recovery from an operation on his left wrist on the 30th October, and was keen to link up with his Ducati team at the test, albeit as a spectator.

An x-ray on the joint carried out in Modena yesterday was positive and Stoner will be able to start light training in around two weeks' time.

"Yesterday the doctors told me that everything is going okay with my wrist, now I must wait and see. With the new cast they did yesterday I will be able to start some training on a pushbike so that is positive," said the 2008 title runner-up.

"In a few days I'll be heading back to Australia and it will be nice to be home for a while. It was a very strange feeling to be watching today instead of riding. This is probably the longest period I've gone without riding a bike at all since I was three years old! I'll definitely have a lot of motivation to get back on track in February."

While at Jerez, Stoner went trackside (pictured) to watch new Ducati Marlboro team-mate Nicky Hayden and factory test rider Vittoriano Guareschi in action.

"It is good to watch the bikes on track together with my engineers and then speak about it with Filippo [Preziosi] and Nicky, to share our feelings and see what we can do to improve our machine for next season," said Casey.

The 2008 Spanish Grand Prix was a tough event for Stoner and Ducati, the Australian qualifying seventh and finishing eleventh after several off track moments. Stoner still finished as the top Desmosedici rider, although he was only ranked eleventh in terms of fastest race lap.

Alice's Niccolo Canepa was the fastest Desmosedici rider on Wednesday, but was only ninth out of the 14 riders and 2.5sec behind fastest man Dani Pedrosa. Hayden was tenth.

Stoner will return to MotoGP action during the first test of 2009, at Sepang from February 5-7.



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