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GP Week : Issue 25
Stoner dominant at Brno tests > Moto GPnews > CASEY Stoner bounced back from his gravel experience – crashing out of the lead in the Czech Republic GP – to dominate two days of testing at the sweeping Brno circuit. Stoner was fastest on both days, almost as quick on race tyres as on qualifiers, and bettering his own fastest race lap (his best of the weekend) by more than a full second. His fastest time of 1:55.855s was on a qualifier on the second day, after which he said: “I could have pushed harder.” Rossi, next best overall, was seven tenths slower. Stoner cited setting changes found on Monday for a general improvement in balance of the machine, that should strengthen his hand at the remaining races. He also tried an experimental new tyre construction, and a new qualifying tyre. “Bridgestone are doing a great job,”he said. “But more than anything I’m pleased with this new set-up, which has improved all areas of bike performance. “A big change”might have saved his race crash, where he basically just leaned right over the edge of the tyre. He had been scraping the footpegs, he told Pressmen. “We took out that factor by changing the setup and the overall geometry. Now we can ride more on the bigger part of the tyre, which is safer and should give us more feedback,” said Stoner. With Colin Edwards and Tady Okada among other Michelin riders to leave the tests after one day, and with Hopkins hurt and de Angelis absent, there were only 11 riders left for the second and faster of two sunny days. The Suzuki pair, testing a new chassis as well as engine parts, were third and fourth fastest, Capirossi ahead of Vermeulen, with Nakano’s Honda just a tenth slower as the veteran gets to grips with the factory-spec machine. They had found a good base setting, he said, adding: “I think we can give Bridgestone the right information to develop tyres for this bike.” Lorenzo was sixth and the fastest of two on Michelins, with Toseland setting eight- best time. In between them, Ducati factory tester Niccolo Canepa continued to impress. Kawasaki tester Olivier Jacque, Marco Melandri and Anthony West were next, more than three seconds down. 15