Ducati Corse General Manager Gigi Dall’Igna wants more from Casey Stoner in 2017 in a bid to win the MotoGP championship. With Jorge Lorenzo now signed to Ducati, the team has a new drive and Dall’Igna wants Stoner to add a technical consultancy to his current role as test rider. “I’m really happy that Casey […]
Tagged: Casey Stoner
Casey Stoner seems to be enjoying being back in the spotlight with Ducati. Since signing up as a MotoGP test rider for the Italian brand, Casey has been involved with plenty of activities both on and off the track and is rapidly becoming the face of the Ducati marketing machine. He was one of the […]
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Ducati has unveiled its most technically advanced Panigale yet – the 1299 Panigale S Anniversario. Former MotoGP champion and current Ducati test rider Casey Stoner, along with Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali, unveiled the bike to the crowds at World Ducati Week last weekend. Ducati says the bike is the pinnacle of road-going superbike development and has been built to celebrate the company’s 90th anniversary. It will be built in strictly limited numbers with only 500 available worldwide, and will cost an estimated AUD $43,000 based on leaked European prices. While the bike is based on the current 1299 Panigale S, a host of technical and electronic upgrades put its specification level between the top of the range road going Panigale and the Panigale R, and as close as possible to the factory World Superbike. The engine is basically unchanged and good for 205 bhp (151 kW), but Ducati have fitted it with uprated EVO versions of the Ducati Traction Control (DTC) and Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC) systems. The electronic control systems will allow riders to drift the bike under power and use the throttle to steer the bike while still preventing the bike from crashing. The bike also has Bosch cornering ABS, Ducati Quick Shifter (DQS) for bi-directional clutchless gear changes, Engine Brake Control (EBC) and Öhlins Smart EC semi-active suspension that helps to reduce pitch under brakes and squat under acceleration. Ducati says the new electronics is the most advanced currently available for a road going bike. The front end geometry can also be adjusted with a steering head insert, bringing the front wheel forward 5mm to match the geometry of the Panigale R. Weight has been reduced by 2.5kg by using a special lightweight lithium battery, carbon-fibre heelguards, hugger, and a different rear shock unit. The new black, white and red colour scheme has clearly been inspired by the MotoGP bikes, and gold-painted wheels with a hint of gold in the Akrapovic exhaust visually set the bike apart from anything else in the range. Also spotted at World Ducati Week is what we believe to be the new 939 Supersport S. The bike is very much a project at the moment but rumours are that it will be shown at Milan in November and available from the middle of 2017. It is expected to be more road focussed than the Panigale range and a step down in performance from the 959, but still have three rider modes, 8-level traction control, and fully adjustable suspension.
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Casey Stoner has made his on track debut as a test rider for the Ducati MotoGP team, beginning preliminary testing in Sepang this weekend. It was the Australian’s first outing on a Ducati since the Valencia GP in 2010. Casey completed 54 laps of the Sepang circuit on last year’s Desmosedici GP15, acquainting himself with the new machine and the vastly different Michelin tyres and control ECU. His best time of 2:02.1 was set during his last stint of the day. Whilst that time is significantly slower than previous test times and the official race lap record of 2:00.6 (Jorge Lorenzo/Yamaha), temperatures were reaching about 40°C and track conditions were not ideal. And given the changes to the ECU and tyre supplier for this year’s season, there are no other times to realistically compare Stoner’s lap time to around the Malaysian track at this time. Casey was happy with his performance but admits he is not yet at his peak. “Lap times for me were surprising. A lot better than I expected”, he said in a post-test interview. “I still need a little more time to return to a competitive level and find the right feeling because I haven’t ridden a MotoGP bike for a year and haven’t been on a race bike for six months.” Stoner admitted the bike felt very different from his past Ducatis, but said “The Desmosedici GP has great potential and I hope to be able to give the right feedback to Gigi and the Ducati engineers to help the two Andreas get some good results this year.” Fellow test rider Michele Pirro debuted the GP16 and focused on testing fuel consumption, but it is not yet clear if Stoner will test the GP16 in Sepang. Stoner is expected to complete two days of testing, and there have been conflicting reports that he may ride at some point during offical pre-season testing which starts on Monday. Casey Stoner is Ducati’s most successful MotoGP rider, winning the championship in his first year with the Ducati factory team in 2007 and taking 23 wins by the time he left the team to join Honda in 2010. His role at this stage is as a test rider, but speculation continues to mount on whether he will compete in the 2016 season as a wild card entry.