Riders full of praise for headline-stealing Stoner

He's been retired since 2012, but Casey Stoner clearly still has the goods after dominating MotoGP testing at Sepang on Monday.

The Australian is only a test rider these days, but that didn't stop him from upstaging all the big name riders preparing for the new season in 2017.

Stoner's best time on Monday was a full quarter of a second quicker than the fastest dry lap time set at this circuit during the 2016 grand prix weekend, evidence he could easily still be competing at the highest level.

Other riders were quick to praise the former champion. 

“I saw his time and I'm not sure why he's not racing,” said Maverick Viñales.

“It's very good that he don't race!” joked Valentino Rossi.

As for Stoner, he didn't speak to the media afterwards, but Ducati provided a press release with some quotes from the Australian.

“Today was positive and the best thing about it was that we got a lot of dry track time," it read. "It's been hanging in the balance really with the weather because the track takes so long to dry and if it rains at all within twelve hours, you're going to get very little track time. 

“It's great that we got out there straightaway this morning and started putting in some good laps, reconfirming what we felt earlier in the week. We got a lot of comparisons done today so it was really good to get a feeling and direction with the bike. 

“We still have a lot more work to do, it was disappointing that it rained but hopefully on Wednesday when we come back on track we can pick up where we left off and move this bike further forward, especially in the chassis area.” 

While Stoner was thriving, Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo was struggling. Heading out earlier, the Spaniard could only finish the day in a distant 17th – 1.669s off the test rider's pace.