STONER SITS OUT TEST
‘Ducati misread a rule preventing factory teams testing two weeks before an event’
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.