MotoGP Test: Stoner Pulls Muscle on Day 1

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2012 MotoGP Tests, Sepang I

Many were anticipating to see Casey Stoner pilot the Repsol Honda RC213V with the number one plate Tuesday at Sepang, but the Australian wasn’t on the track.

The 2011 MotoGP Champion reportedly pulled his back while stretching in the morning hours before the first official tests began Tuesday.

Stoner received treatment from a physiotherapist, and rested throughout the day, hoping to get on the new 1000cc Honda prototype on Wednesday, the second of the three-day test.

Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “I was stretching this morning for a good twenty minutes preparing to go out on track for the first time and then all of a sudden my back just locked up on me, I couldn’t move or do anything. I had to call someone to come and help me move into a position that was less painful! Then I had some physio on it straight away trying to get it better for this afternoon but it’s wasn’t feeling good.

“I had some more physio after lunch but it still wasn’t easing up, I felt I could have gone out on the bike in the afternoon but we all agreed it would probably make it worse for tomorrow. We have two more days testing here in Sepang, we know the track well and we are getting to know the bike, we just need some time to test the new parts we have here to give feedback to HRC.

“I think tomorrow the track conditions will be better and as long as my back improves overnight we should get back on schedule with our testing program tomorrow.”

While Stoner was resting, HRC Kosuke Akiyoshi performed four laps on the RC213V donning the number plate, and Stoner’s teammate was setting some quick laps.

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The Spaniard posted a fastest lap of 2:02.003 Tuesday, 0.346 of a second behind the leader, Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing).

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V MotoGP) says: “Today was good, for the first laps I think it was important for me to come back and just ride again. Of course, the first day I was a little bit stiff, not totally smooth on the bike, but we completed some laps and they were good.

“Today was mainly a test for myself, to get used to the bike again, recover the feeling, feel the throttle and the brakes after a long time off. The whole day I stayed with the same bike that I tested in Valencia in November and tomorrow the real test will start for us, we will work on the set up and probably try a modified chassis that Honda has brought here according to our requests after Valencia.”