Stoner to Test with Ducati in January, Rossi Looking Forward to Keeping the Pace

Ducati MotoGP bike 1 photo
Photo: Ducati
Even though the winter break may sound like a time dedicated to rest and relaxation, the activity behind the closed doors of the MotoGP teams' garages doesn't exactly come to a halt. Winter is the season of the test riders as they are the first ones to come into contact with the next year's bikes.
Casey Stoner, who was recently confirmed as the new brand ambassador and test rider for Ducati, is going to get busy. Ducati's Davide Tardozzi has confirmed that the factory will take part in a private test ahead of the first official one of 2016, and most likely Stoner will be the only rider in it.

No exact information has been revealed as to when Stoner will arrive in Italy, but Tardozzi remembered that the Australian rider still has a house in Switzerland and that his daughter has two passports. This helps a lot Stoner's situation over the period he tests with Ducati, Tardozzi says, as he can be close to his family and also enjoy some skiing.

Ducati is adapting the Desmosedici GP-X to Stoner's stature

Most likely, Stoner could arrive in Italy even before Christmas, as Ducati has to make sure everything is adapted perfectly to their new rider. Overall bike ergonomics, leathers, controls, bars and all, everything has to suit Stoner and his style.

In fact, Stoner was the first to put adhesive rubber pads like bubblewrap on his tank, to help him control the bike better. The solution was then picked up by other manufacturers as well.

The new Ducati bike is still referred to as GP-X and Tardozzi has confirmed that it will retain the winglets. He has also said that Stoner will be joined by Michelle Pirro, the other test rider after Ducati and Aussie regain confidence in working together as a team. No word on a wildcard appearance so far, anyway.

Rossi: "I can try to continue like this in 2016, then I will make a decision"

Things are far from being over between Rossi and Marc Marquez, as the nine-time World Champion admits that the issue is still a hot one. He also says the relationships with both Marquez and Lorenzo are compromised anyway, so focusing on his performance is the smartest thing to do.

Some believe that taking a break during the winter may also help Rossi at least forget about what happened at the end of the 2015 season. Still, the Doctor says that this will simply not happen. Au contraire, the whole Sepang incident is a good motivation to keep fighting.

Rossi says that his goal is still to win another championship, and he is determined to improve his performance to chase the tenth title. 2016 is the 21st GP season for Rossi, and there are only several months left until we're back in MotoGP action.

Until then, check out these MotoGP machines we shot at EICMA 2015.
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