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Stoner and Ducati Leave Sepang on Top

With every rider aboard Bridgestones this year, early MotoGP testing couldn’t be more interesting. With tires no longer a factor, will the pecking order change? Apparently, not.

After three days of testing, Ducati’s Casey Stoner (pictured above) left with the quickest lap time, despite nagging pain and mobility issues associated with recent wrist surgery. As we mentioned after the second day, Stoner is still unable to put together more than a few laps at a time, but his speed is still there.

For the most part, the “usual suspects” were quick. Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi was just behind Stoner, but there were a few mild surprises.

Colin Edwards, aboard a satellite Yamaha, left his long association with Michelin this year, and has really been quick with Bridgestones. Also, Suzuki has surely found something in the last few weeks, because Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermuelen were also very fast.

American Nicky Hayden is surely adapting to his new Ducati better than Marco Melandri did last year, but he still needs to improve. Hayden left with the 10th quickest time.