At a venue where he has not been 100% comfortable on the Ducati Desmosedici in the past Casey Stoner felt he had made a breakthrough at Jerez on Saturday.
Returning to riding at Jerez for the first time since his difficult 2008 Spanish Grand Prix race, Casey Stoner again pointed out his troubles at Andalusian venue on Saturday, noting his third place finish on the timesheets as a marked improvement on previous results.
Stoner missed the November test at Jerez, where he was eleventh in last year’s race having run off track and was eighth fastest overall in last year’s MotoGP Official Test visit to the Spanish track.
Although his ability at riding so well in the rain helped him to last year’s BMW M Award in the timed showdown session, Jerez is clearly not the 2007 World Champion’s favourite venue and he was philosophical about lapping just behind Fiat Yamaha pair Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi on Saturday’s timesheet.
"The rhythm was not so good because we are trying to get used to this circuit on the new bike and for some reason we are always struggling on this track," he commented. "But it has been a very positive day and we are not far from the front. I think with a little bit more time we can get the setting better, although I’m not sure we can be faster than everybody."
He continued, "However at this circuit it has been a big step for us because over the past two years all the tests and the races I have never been able to have a good result here on the Ducati. I am hoping that this year we can pick up the pace and be a little bit more competitive."
Asked about the condition of his left wrist which required surgery at the end of ’08 he replied, "Things seem pretty good. At the last test in Qatar I was really happy with the way things were going and the pain was decreasing. I’m slowly getting movement in the direction I need. It is now five months since the operation so it has been a long time, but I think everything should be ok for the first race."