A factory tour and a 488 Spider for the two-time World Champion from Australia
Two-time MotoGP champion Casey Stoner stopped by Ferrari for a visit. He was welcomed by Scuderia Ferrari driver, Kimi Räikkönen, who was in Fiorano for racetrack activities. Kimi accompanied Casey on the track and dined with him at lunch. Among other topics, the two discussed that magical year, 2007, in which they were both world champions.
Behind the wheel. The Australian rider was allowed to use a Ferrari 488 Spider, which Stoner drove along the local roads and all the way to Bologna: “It's extraordinarily easy to handle and incredibly responsive, with hardly any turbo-lag and power even at low revs. The vehicle has excellent grip and is extremely pleasant to drive. I found it thrilling both when accelerating and when strolling along like a tourist". After returning to Maranello and before driving onto via del Mugello, Ferrari's own racetrack and the setting of the MotoGP Italy Grand Prix, the rider was given a special tour of the factory.
Seeing the heart of the company. Casey Stoner visited the engines department, the Atelier, New Mechanics and the assembly lines before strolling over to the Ferrari Classiche workshop where, among other things, he was able to see some of the vehicles that participated in the Mille Miglia and in the Concorso d'Eleganza at Villa d'Este. In each department he posed for a great number of photographs with Ferrari people and signed countless autographs.
Mind-boggling power. The winner of 38 MotoGP Grands Prix then continued his tour with GES and the hangars where the F1 Clienti single-seaters and the incredibly powerful vehicles of the XX Programmes are housed. Stoner was surprised by the incredible power of the new FXX K EVO, which achieves 1060 hp thanks to an aspirated V12 engine and a Formula 1 derived hybrid Hy-Kers system, but he also spent an extended amount of time studying the wheels of the single-seaters. "They are inevitably more complex than the controls on our race bikes," the Australian said, "both Formula 1 vehicles and our MotoGP bikes are packed with technology but the steering wheels of these single-seaters is decidedly more complex. We should also note that it's easier for a driver to interact with the steering wheel; riders have to deal with rigid gloves and have very little time to make adjustments even on a straightaway. In fact, even when moving along a straight line, riders have to deal with the tendency of the front wheel to lift off the pavement, and they absolutely must focus on the signs that the mechanics display along the wall, since these often contain very important information. All this means that the time available for a rider to look at the display and make changes is extremely limited".
Farewell. Before leaving for Tuscany, Stoner expressed his admiration for what he had seen: "It's incredible to me that this company is able to combine extremely cutting-edge technology with precise artisanship as it creates its vehicles. There's no doubt that I'll return to Ferrari, it's a truly unique place".