Casey Stoner ended the final day of MotoGP testing this year by going fastest at Valencia. The Ducati rider, who also set the pace on Monday, tried out revised front suspension forks and a new engine configuration at the circuit, and ended up setting the best time of the week at 1:31.900.
"We were able to understand the bike a little better today and the fantastic weather conditions certainly helped," said Stoner. "I'm satisfied with this three-day test and with the new characteristics of the bike, in particular the extra traction in corner exit. It is still difficult to figure out exactly the best time to open the throttle but we're getting there, and it is a case of more practice and improving the setup. It is nice to be going into the break in good physical shape, without any injuries to get over like in the past two years, so that we can formulate a physical training program to be in the best possible shape for next season."
Dani Pedrosa put his Honda second on the time sheets, just half a tenth slower than Stoner's mark. The Spaniard continued to get used to the feel of his bike on Ohlins front forks. Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovisizio made it two Ducatis and two Hondas in the top four, while Marco Melandri had his best day yet back with the Gresini Honda squad in fifth place.
The Pramac Ducatis of Mika Kallio – who was using an aluminum swing-arm – and the impressive Aleix Espargaro were next up, ahead of veteran Loris Capirossi on the best of the Suzukis.
Only 12 riders were on track, with the factory and Tech-3 Yamaha squads having packed up after Tuesday's running. The slowest of those on-track was 250cc champion Hiroshi Aoyama, who continued to acclimatize to his Honda, which will run under the Interwetten Team banner next year.
Pos Rider Team Time
1. Casey Stoner Ducati 1m31.899s
2. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m31.944s + 0.045s
3. Nicky Hayden Ducati 1m32.804s + 0.905s
4. Andrea Dovizioso Honda 1m32.825s + 0.926s
5. Marco Melandri Honda 1m32.935s + 1.036s
6. Mika Kallio Ducati 1m32.988s + 1.089s
7. Aleix Espargaro Ducati 1m33.275s + 1.376s
8. Loris Capirossi Suzuki 1m33.588s + 1.687s
9. Hector Barbera Ducati 1m33.786s + 1.887s
10. Marco Simoncelli Honda 1m33.857s + 1.942s
11. Alvaro Bautista Suzuki 1m34.163s + 2.264s
12. Hiroshi Aoyama Honda 1m34.812s + 2.923s