Despite leaving roadracing four years ago, Casey Stoner was still able to set the fastest pace yesterday, at the first 2017 MotoGP test.
Everyone knows Stoner is still fast, but plenty of people were surprised to see the Ducati test pilot top the timesheet on the first day of the Malaysian test. After his extended vacation from competition, Stoner posted a 1’59.680 time, and laid down 32 laps.
Next-best on the day was another Ducati rider; Andrea Dovizioso laid down a 1’59.797 lap, good enough for second place; he ran 29 laps in total. (In case you wondered, his new teammate Jorge Lorenzo managed a 2’01.349 lap in his first time aboard the Ducati).
After Stoner and Dovizioso, next-best was Maverick Viñales , with a 2:00.129 lap. Alvaro Bautista ran his Aspar Ducati to a 2:00.134 time, good enough for fourth, and fifth went to Andrea Iannone, posting a 2:00.489 time aboard the factory Suzuki. Top Honda for the day was Cal Crutchlow, who managed a 2:00.569 lap on the LCR Honda.
The day was disrupted by rain, with precipitation arriving two hours before the day’s sessions were supposed to end, although some riders ventured out in the wet.