‘Du­cati mis­read a rule pre­vent­ing fac­tory teams test­ing two weeks be­fore an event’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

A dis­ap­pointed Casey Stoner has been forced to sit out his first planned out­ing on Du­cati’s new Gp16-spec ma­chine in a pri­vate test at Qatar af­ter an er­ror from the Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer.

Mis­in­ter­pret­ing a rule that pre­vents a fac­tory team from test­ing at a cir­cuit two weeks prior to a Mo­togp event, the com­pany in­cor­rectly be­lieved they had two weeks from the race it­self and not the be­gin­ning of free prac­tice on Fri­day.

That rul­ing forced the aban­don­ment of a planned two-day out­ing for both Stoner and Du­cati test rider Michele Pirro, sched­uled to get un­der­way on Sun­day. To add in­sult to in­jury, the rul­ing only came to light while the Aus­tralian was al­ready en-route to Qatar, only find­ing out he would not be test­ing af­ter he ar­rived.

And while Mo­togp or­gan­is­ers are able to give dis­cre­tionary per­mis­sion for a man­u­fac­turer to test it was not granted this time.

Ad­mit­ting that the mis­cal­cu­la­tion was wholly an er­ror on their part, how­ever, Du­cati have also con­firmed that Stoner will be given an­other op­por­tu­nity to test the GP16 bike soon.

Only run­ning last year’s GP15 bike when he rock­eted to third place at the Sepang test last month, the dou­ble world cham­pion is re­port­edly keen to see the new model’s pro­gres­sion.

With a busy pe­riod com­ing up for Mo­togp in the com­ing weeks, it could well be af­ter April’s USA round at Austin and the re­turn to Europe be­fore Stoner gets a chance on the new bike.

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