We've already mentioned Stoner's Ducati test at Valencia but as the time ticks on, we're receiving more details which speak volumes about the Australian rider's abilities. Test rider we should say, as that's the role he's had in recent years.
Casey, despite only getting on the MotoGP for around ten days a year, is still perfectly capable of riding it to the limit. As these are private tests, there is no official timekeeping but we can reveal that, during the afternoon, Stoner set a best time of 1’31”89.
There were different track conditions compared to last year's GP but with today's time Stoner would have started on the third row or, if you prefer, he lapped around 7 tenths from the track record.
The Australian wasn't going for outright performance, focusing instead on bike development, starting out in the morning with soft tyres before moving to the mediums. During the morning, his pace was around 1’32”5, while in the afternoon, when the wind picked up, he was one or two tenths slower in terms of overall rhythm.
He did suffer one small setback, with a crash at turn 10 - Casey was unhurt but it did put an end to his day.
Ducati wasn't alone at Valencia, as Aprilia also took the opportunity to move forward with development of the RS-GP with official riders Espargarò and Lowes. Aleix began the day with a crash, but was then able to complete around 50 laps, setting a best time of 1’32”15. Sam focused particularly on pace, with 80 laps completed by the end of the day, the fastest of which in 1’33”.