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GP Week : Issue 72
CASEY closed out the old season and started the new in the same style as in the final three races, heading the time sheets on two out of three days of testing, and going home with the advantage. But not a very big one. Lorenzo and Pedrosa were both within five hundredths of his time and, if Rossi was more than half a second away, he had already gone home early before the final and fastest day. Nicky Hayden also enjoyed the latest Ducati upgrades including a revised-spec engine, and was in the top five every day, and third on the last one. Fellow American Ben Spies continued to impress; placing fourth fastest on the second day with a time that put him a close eighth overall. Most teams had at least something new to test. Both Rossi and Lorenzo said they were pleased with the prototype for the 2010 bike. Each mentioned improved rear traction, with Rossi adding: "I was faster straight away." Honda had not only a new chassis and swing-arm, but Pedrosa also switched to the Öhlins suspension Dovizioso has been using for some races. It gave him an improvement of almost one second in lap time, and he was hoping for more. "It is a very different feeling -- we are still learning it," he said. Suzuki's biggest change was new rider Alvaro Bautista, making a cautious but not unimpressive start, running lap times less than a second off those of new team-mate Capirossi. Marco Melandri was welcomed back to the San Carlo Gresini Honda team after two years away, and was seventh-fastest, just shy of Dovizioso's factory machine. STONER DOMINATES IN OLD YEAR/NEW YEAR SHOWDOWN Footnote: Hector Barbera (Aspar Ducati) was narrowly fastest of the 250 upgrade riders on their first MotoGP outing, with a best time less than a tenth faster than Marco Simoncelli, making a promising acquaintance with his San Carlo Honda. Bautista was four tenths down, Hiro Aoyama (Honda) over a second slower over the three days. Moto GP news >> Wanna join the GPWEEK team? GPWEEK is looking to spread its (advertising) sales net in 2010, and is interested in hearing from UK/European-based professionals who believe they can develop the unique advertising opportunities o ered by GPWEEK. Contract will be on a freelance, commission basis. We are looking for an established, successful operator, looking to expand an already successful business. Is this you? Then email us, in con dence, at email@example.com 15