Casey Stoner: Sepang 'makes no sense' as MotoGP test venue

Two-time MotoGP champion Casey Stoner says it "makes no sense" for the series to have pre-season testing at Sepang

Casey Stoner: Sepang 'makes no sense' as MotoGP test venue

Ducati's Stoner was one of several test riders that took part in the three-day private test that precedes the start of official pre-season running on Sunday.

Sharing duties with fellow Ducati tester Michele Pirro, the Australian was originally scheduled to ride on Wednesday and Friday, but weather conditions meant he ended up riding on Thursday and sitting out Friday.

The Malaysian Grand Prix venue was resurfaced back in 2016 and now takes longer to dry out than it in the past, with modifications made in July last year to try to combat the issue.

"One of the conclusions we have drawn after this test is that these track conditions make such a mess of things," Stoner told Autosport.

"The required time to dry out after the rain is too much.

"The work done here has been less than effective.

"Previously, we would come to Sepang during the pre-season because if it rained, the track would dry out in 20 minutes.

"With these conditions it makes no sense to test here."

Stoner was more complimentary about Ducati's GP18, declaring it has "no negatives" after trying it for the first time.

Stoner was the first rider to try out the GP18, the bike that factory riders Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso will campaign this year as Ducati chases its first MotoGP title in over a decade.

He said the Italian manufacturer has succeeded in mitigating the weakest points of the 2017 machine: a lack of mid-corner speed and engine management.

"We've done some steps forward in terms of chassis and some things regarding the engine. So far everything is positive, we haven't found anything negative," he said.

"I think it is very difficult to satisfy the requirements of a MotoGP rider, but I must say that we are going in the right direction. From now on, it's a matter of getting more experience and start going forward.

"I can't wait to know what Jorge and Dovi think about the new bike after trying it. Improving the weakest points of the past will be a huge step."

Lorenzo and Dovizioso will get their first taste of the 2018 bike on the first day of official testing on Sunday, having run with a modified 2017 bike at Valencia and Jerez last November.

shares
comments
Suzuki MotoGP launch: Iannone, Rins reveal 2018 GSX-RR
Previous article

Suzuki MotoGP launch: Iannone, Rins reveal 2018 GSX-RR

Next article

Sepang MotoGP test: Dani Pedrosa quickest on opening day

Sepang MotoGP test: Dani Pedrosa quickest on opening day
Load comments
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Plus

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Plus

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Autosport’s pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Plus

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Plus

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Plus

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Plus

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence Plus

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Plus

The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021