Casey Stoner reckons he needs more critical testing time before he’ll be able to show the potential threat he could pose as a factory Ducati rider in the 2007 MotoGP world championship.
The 21-year-old Australian will make his third appearance for the Bologna factory in Sepang on Monday when testing resumes after a seven-week lay-off.
Speaking at Ducati’s traditional team launch at a skiing event in the Italian mountains at Madonna di Campiglio he said: “‘Every team would have had their small problems up to now. We’ve only had two tests and we’ve already made big steps in improving the bike. The last couple of days in the last test at Jerez we got some good results. I think in the tests ahead we’ll get good times and be ready for the start of the season.”
Working in tandem with the vastly experienced Italian Loris Capirossi to develop Ducati’s new GP7 800cc machine, Stoner added: “‘We haven’t swapped data as such but we’ll go in different directions to try new things and we’ll speak to work out what we like and what we don’t like. I just need a few more tests on the bike before I’m completely ready.”
Stoner said clinching the shock switch to Ducati at the end of last season had been a major boost after his crash strewn rookie year with the LCR Honda squad.
“I don’t think I could be much happier at this point in my career. It’s only my second season in MotoGP and I’ve been given this great opportunity to work with Ducati."
“I’ve been getting stronger every year and with the Bridgestone tyres I think we’ve got a really good package, “said the 2005 world 250 championship runner-up."
Aside from his deal with Ducati being clinched, Stoner has had plenty to celebrate recently having tied the knot with long-term partner Adriana earlier this month.
Asked why he had got hitched at such a young age he said: “‘I didn’t want to lose her, she eases the stress and we get on."
See full interview with Stoner in the January 24 issue of MCN.