by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 39
T HE Jerez dash for the car was the first official contest of the year, after two test sessions at Sepang and Qatar. The car is awarded for the fastest time set in a televised shoot-out planned to last 45 minutes. But the session was first interrupted when James Toseland crashed heavily, then cut short when Saturday morning’s rain returned with some 10 minutes to go. It is the 2007 World Champion’s fourth such prize in the past two years, equalling Valentino Rossi’s record in a series that began in 2003, with two cars up for grabs each year. Last year he gave the Z4M roadster to his parents in law, but kept the M3 Cabrio that he won at the end of the season for the fastest qualifying performance. This year, he hadn’t decided: “I can’t split the car nine ways, and give the wheels to one person, the engine to another …” he smiled. More pleasure came from the fact that he had won at 40 something of a bogey circuit for himself and the Marlboro Ducati … last year he was 11th at this race. “I learned last year not to be too confident after one test,”he said. He had placed a close third on the first of two days of testing, but was far from satisfied: “We really needed to improve, but this morning we found something that was a big step,” he said. “I did a time that never in my life I’d expected. And then in the afternoon we went faster again.” But his lap time, 1m38.646s was well inside the race record lap, but half a second slower than Jorge Lorenzo’s absolute record, set last year. Stoner set his time using the new carbon-fibre swing arm, that he said had improved the Ducati’s rear pumping problem on corner exits. He also said that wrist problems that had shaded the first two tests were now all but over: “It’s still painful and a bit stiff, but it’s no problem on the bike, and in the last weeks I’ve been able to start training fully. I still