The 2009 season has started. Well…sort of. The champagne only stopped flowing moments ago for Valentino Rossi, but work for the 2009 season waits for no man. With more rider and team shakeups than the Sunday morning Times word search, the 2009 MotoGP teams (sans Tech3) have begun shaking out their new bikes, and for some, their new riders.
Read more after the jump.
Nicky Hayden joins Casey Stoner and the Ducati Factory team. Nicky was hard to miss while he made laps around Valencia on his Stars & Stripes painted Italian made corner scraping horse of fire and brimstone.
Yeah…I said it.
Replacing Hayden at Honda is Andrea Dovizioso. Dovi rode the pneumatic valve Honda around the course in a respectable 1´33.676, making him the 8th fastest man of the day. It should be no surprise the the top three fastest men, were the top three fastest men from yesterday.Podium finishers Stoner, Pedrosa, and Rossi (in that order) were the only men to break 1:33.00 for the day.
Marco Melandri didn’t have anything good to say about the Ducati Factory team after jumping ship yet again, this time to Kawasaki. Citing numerous problems with the 2008 Ducati in the way it handles, feels, and responds, Melandri called it a bike with complete counterpoint to the Honda and Yamaha (except not as eloquently). Marco was able to show that he was up matching teammate John Hopkins’s time around Valencia, off his pace by only 2 thousandths of a second.
Last, but not least, Sete Gibernau made started his MotoGP comeback tour on the Onde 2000 Ducati team. As the 14th fastest man on the grid (out of 18), we’re sure it had something to do with Rossi starting late in the day after a night full of wine, women, and…more wine and women. Don’t worry Sete, we still think you complain less than Max.
MotoGP Test Valencia: Day One Official Times
1. Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team – 1:32.464
2. Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda – 1:32.672
3. Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team – 1:32.921
4. Chris Vermeulen, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP – 1:33.142
5. Loris Capirossi, Rizla Suzuki MotoGP – 1:33.325
6. Alex De Angelis, San Carlo Honda Gresini – 1:33.375
7. Jorge Lorenzo, Fiat Yamaha Team – 1:33.550
8. Andrea Dovizioso, Repsol Honda – 1:33.676
9. John Hopkins, Kawasaki Racing Team – 1:33.760
10. Marco Melandri, Kawasaki Racing Team – 1:33.782
11. Randy De Puniet, LCR Honda MotoGP – 1:33.832
12. Nicky Hayden, Ducati Marlboro Team – 1:33.960
13. Toni Elias, San Carlo Honda Gresini – 1:34.129
14. Sete Gibernau, Onde 2000 Ducati – 1:34.451
15. Mika Kallio, Alice Team – 1:34.793
16. Olivier Jacque, Kawasaki Racing Team – 1:34.925
17. Niccolo Canepa, Alice Team – 1:34.995
18. Yuki Takahashi, JiR Team Scot Honda – 1:35.203
Welcome back Mrs. Gibernau, we really look forward to seeing you next season. P.S., I love you.