Author: Oli Rushby Pics: Gold & Goose Posted: 02 Feb 2016
Casey Stoner has said he has no intention of racing in MotoGP despite lapping competitively during today’s testing in Sepang.
The Aussie set the ninth fastest time of the day, just a second from pacesetter Danilo Petrucci, on just his second day testing with Ducati.
Having missed the second day of Ducati’s private test at the weekend, Stoner returned to track today alongside the rest of the MotoGP grid for the first time since he retired in 2012.
Despite enjoying his time on track with the others, he says he has no intention to line-up alongside them on the grid any time soon.
“I have no intention of racing,” Stoner said abruptly. “It was nice to be back on track with the guys today, mainly to get the data, but I think I’m still going to enjoy staying on the side of the track watching the race than being involved.”
Ducati’s factory riders have debuted the new GP16, or ‘Desmo GP’ as Ducati are calling it, this week but Stoner has solely worked on last year’s bike to learn the new generation of Ducati.
The Desmosedici has seen huge strides in development since Stoner last rode a Ducati in 2010, and the Aussie admits the sensation was weird at first…
“I’m impressed with the GP15,” he continued. “In the beginning it was a little strange, of course, it’s a new bike, new tyres all in one go. It was my first time back on a bike since the crash in Suzuka too. We got acclimatised to it quite easily and everything has been very positive so far. Every step we make we can feel positives and negatives and that allows us to move into another area, another zone. It’s very clear each step we make which direction we want to go in. Many of the comments between myself and both Andreas seem to be very similar, so we are working towards one goal.”
Prior to his Ducati debut on Saturday, Stoner hadn’t ridden a MotoGP bike in 12 months and he hadn’t even ridden a bike since Suzuka in July; so he was a little rusty at first.
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“The feeling is slowly coming back,” he said. “I don’t want to push or make any mistakes, I don’t even think I ran wide today. We’re just slowly and surely hitting those sort of lap times to get some really good data. Everything was really positive, I still feel really good whereas after Day 1 I was pretty rough but today I feel a lot better.
“I won’t be putting a soft tyre in to get a lap time. When you’re competing you feel you need to crush the competition but I do not feel that at the moment.”