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GP Week : Issue 31
Stoner would have missed home GP CASEY Stoner surprised his fellow-Australians after the race when he revealed it was not his home GP that meant he had kept on racing with his injured wrist – but the need to test the 2009 Ducati Desmosedici on the day after the final GP of the year. “We need to get some test time on next year’s bike, and I’ll do that after the Valencia GP,” he said. “Then I’ll have the operation, and take three months to recover. “I’ve ridden the new bike once, and it’s fixed a lot of the problems we had,” he said. Now he felt it essential to test the updates, to give the factory the full winter to finalise the design. “Nicky (Hayden, his new team-mate) will be getting used to the bike, so it’s necessary for me to ride it to give them some input,” he said. The satellite Ducati teams will also all have riders new to the bike. Stoner is the only chance for continuity of development. His chance of a successful title defence this year had slipped away more or less as the left wrist injury – dating back to and imperfect fix in 2003 – re-emerged. “We lost the championship when I crashed at Brno and Misano,” he said. He would have had the surgery directly, if not for the focus on 2009. 34