Stoner breaks lap record in Mugello test
5 July 2011 – Championship leader Casey Stoner led the way on Monday in the latest official MotoGP test session at Mugello. The test marked the final non-race weekend outing for the company’s 800cc bike of 2011, with all three works riders experimenting with a new swing arm before switching to their own individual programmes.
Stoner’s day began with a small accident before the Australian duly set a lap time of 1:47.326 - some seven tenths quicker than Saturday’s pole position for the race. He also trialled a new Bridgestone front tyre as well as rectifying several smaller issues.
Andrea Dovizioso worked on engine braking whereas Dani Pedrosa – still in pain from his right shoulder and feeling tired as a result – completed a series of short stints before leaving the venue with what has been described as a ‘positive feeling’ after 26 laps.
Behind Stoner on the timesheets was the Gresini Honda of Marco Simoncelli, with Dovizioso managing third spot. The Cardion AB Motoracing bike hit trouble, with Karel Abraham suffering a huge highside at Turn 6 in the morning but still managing a total of 46 laps across the day. Also on-track was the 1,000cc Suter prototype, ridden by Moto2’s Mika Kallio who was able to complete just over 60 laps and produce a best effort of 1:53.668.
“This morning the track was very dirty and I had a small incident going into Turn 1, but nothing major,” Stoner explained. “We tested a new swing arm and had positive feedback, we found more traction and some more grip delivered a little earlier, so I don't need to pick up the bike so much. In general we didn't test so much, the bike was very similar to the race day setup; we also tried something small on the rear suspension and this was also a small step forward.”
Honda will be using its 1,000cc bike of 2012 for the next post-race test at Brno on Monday 15 August.