MotoGP: 2009 Jerez test results

Stoner wins BMW M Award

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Mar. 30, 2009
Casey Stoner recorded the fastest lap in the final pre-season MotoGP test, March 28-29 in Jerez, Spain.

The Ducati Marlboro rider set his top time of 1:38.646 during the BMW M Award showdown on Sunday to win a special edition BMW 135i.

“I really don't know where that fast lap came from, especially at this track where I’ve never even been on the podium before,” says Stoner. “It’s been something of a bogey track for myself and the Ducati. The last two races here were difficult, but we definitely found something yesterday afternoon and that made us feeling more confident about Jerez.”

Stoner topped the time sheets in all three pre-season tests, in Sepang, Malaysia, Doha, Qatar and now in Jerez, and appears to be close to full health following off-season wrist surgery.

Casey Stoner (right) recorded the top time while teammate Nicky Hayden had problems with his clutch.

“It’s a great start to the year, but the real work now begins in Qatar (for the season opener),” says Stoner. “Now I need these two weeks to come better physically, just fitness. The wrist is coming better and better all the time and the arm is getting stronger and it doesn’t effect me when I ride so now I can use these two weeks to train a lot more and try to get ready for the beginning of the season. We look forward to it.”

Valentino Rossi says team sponsor Fiat might not have been too keen on him winning a BMW.
Chris Vermeulen and his Rizla Suzuki teammate Loris Capirossi have posted competive times in all pre-season tests.

Stoner’s top time was 0.719 seconds faster than Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi who recorded the second-best time. Rossi was also second-fastest in the Sepang test and third in Qatar, but he says finishing runner-up to Stoner at the final test isn’t a concern.

“Really I was aiming for second place because I don’t think our sponsor Fiat wanted me to win the prize of a different car,” says Rossi. “Joking apart though, I am happy enough about this test because yesterday and this morning we worked very well, made some good progress and most importantly we were fast.”

Rossi’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo was fourth fastest and he says he is still struggling with adapting to new spec tire provider Bridgestone’s qualifying rubber. Lorenzo had an impressive start last year in his rookie MotoGP season taking the pole position in the first three rounds. Lorenzo says it will be harder to repeat the feat in 2009 due to the switch from Michelin to Bridgestone tires, as well as changes to qualifying tire rules.

“I think that the qualifying this year is going to be quite hard without the special tires, which always suited my riding style quite well. I was quite a specialist with the qualifying tires and now I don’t have that advantage, so I have to learn to adapt,” says Lorenzo. “My riding style is better with the harder Bridgestone tire and so it will be quite difficult for me to be as good in the qualifying sessions this year I think.”

While the Ducati and Yamaha teams are expected to continue their recent history of success, the Rizla Suzuki duo of Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen may have shown the greatest improvements during the off-season. Riding the new Suzuki GSV-R, Capirossi set the third fastest time while Vermeulen was fifth on the time sheet. The two riders have been in the top six in all three pre-season tests and look poised to improve upon their 2008 results which saw Vermeulen finish eighth and Capirossi tenth overall.

To help save money, Ducati Marlboro hired Nicky Hayden and Casey Stoner out to pump gas for sponsor Shell.I guess the time between Loris and me proves that the whole Rizla Suzuki team has lifted things and that Suzuki has done a great job in the off-season,” says Vermeulen. “It’s the closest we’ve both been to the front in a qualifying session for a long while and hopefully it’s a sign of what will be coming this year – if that’s the case it's going to be a good year for us.”

American riders Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden struggled in the test session, with neither able to break the 1:40 mark. Edwards had the tenth-best time for Monster Yamaha Tech 3 while Ducati Marlboro’s Hayden was eleventh.

“Casey has shown the package is good and to be honest I’d hoped to be closer to him by this stage but it’s time to go racing now so we’ll go out to Qatar, work hard and see what happens,” says Hayden.

Meanwhile, Edwards’ teammate James Toseland suffered a concussion after a serious crash during the BMW showdown. Toseland underwent precautionary scans at a hospital in Cadiz, Spain, but was cleared to return to the paddock later in the day.

The 2009 MotoGP season kicks off April 12 under the lights in Qatar.

2009 Jerez pre-season test results
Pos. Rider Team Points
1st Casey Stoner Ducati Marlboro Team 1:38.646
2nd Valentino Rossi Fiat Yamaha 1:39.365
3rd Loris Capirossi Rizla Suzuki 1:39.757
4th Jorge Lorenzo Fiat Yamaha 1:39.829
5th Chris Vermeulen Rizla Suzuki 1:39.848
6th Mika Kallio Pramac Ducati 1:40.149
7th Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda 1:40.168
8th Sete Gibernau Francisco Hernando Ducati 1:40.228
9th Toni Elias San Carlo Honda Gresini 1:40.266
10th Colin Edwards Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:40.305
11th Nicky Hayden Ducati Marlboro Team 1:40.401
12th Marco Melandri Hayate Kawasaki 1:40.405
13th Randy De Puniet LCR Honda 1:40.646
14th Yuki Takahashi Scot Honda 1:40.814
15th Alex De Angelis San Carlo Honda Gresini 1:40.869
16th James Toseland Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:41.425
17th Vittoriano Guareschi Ducati Factory Test 1:41.485
18th Niccolo Canepa Pramac Ducati 1:41.551
19th Kousuke Akiyoshi Repsol Honda 1:42.206