Casey Stoner says he’s not worried about Jorge Lorenzo’s healthy points lead in the MotoGP world championship after the Australian saw his quest for a 20th successive podium end in Catalunya yesterday.
Chatter and a lack of grip with his hard compound Bridgestone rear tyre selection left the reigning world champion in fourth position.
It was the first time in his Honda career when he has finished a race that he’s not been in the top three and after failing to overhaul Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Andrea Dovizioso with a last lap attack, Stoner now trails race winner Lorenzo by 20-points.
But he said he’s not overly concerned to have given Lorenzo the upper hand in the title race, with the Spaniard in brilliant form having won three of the opening five races.
Lorenzo has already won as many races in 2012 as he did in the entire campaign last year but Stoner said: “I'm never concerned about the championship until later in the season. At the moment I’m going all out to get as many points and as many race wins as I can. It didn't work out for us but I still got some good points. If the championship was 12 rounds maybe it would be a big gap but there are 18 rounds and a long way to go and in one race this gap can disappear.”
Stoner also said he wasn’t fussed about losing his impressive run of podium finishes, which had stood at 19 prior to the 25-lap race.
He added: “ I'm not interested. It was fantastic to do 19 but I could always say it could have been better if something else didn't happen. I go for the best result in every race and here it was worse than some others but not much worse."
Stoner also said that despite his stunning charge to last year’s world title with 10 victories, the Yamaha has been the package to beat in recent years.
He added: “They have won a lot of championships and no matter how much they complain the Yamaha is always the bike to beat. Last year we did something fantastic but I don't think we had a big advantage. They have a few points where maybe they are not as strong as last year but now it is a little more balanced in some areas, so it equals out."
This week’s MCN includes seven pages of coverage from the Catalunya Grand Prix and exclusive news and views from the Isle and Man TT.