Stoner goes back to basics

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Aussie Casey Stoner has denied he and Dani Pedrosa have a significant advantage in the new 800cc MotoGP era that kicks off this weekend in Qatar.

Stoner and Pedrosa are freshest out of the 250 class, with Saturday's much-anticipated first race at the Losail International Circuit the start of only their second season in the premier class.

With the 800s requiring a higher corner speed riding style, many thought it would play into the hands of Stoner and Pedrosa.

But factory Ducati rider Stoner said: "Last year everybody was saying with the 800s coming that me and Dani would be competitive unfairly. On the 990 Dani and I were standing the bike up more than most people were last year which is a typical 500 MotoGP style which was quite funny. We have got a little bit of an advantage having 250 experience from not so long ago but at the same time we adapted our styles to the MotoGP bikes and now we've got to adapt them back to these. I think everybody is doing the same but the other guys have ridden 250s or smaller bikes in the past so they still know what to do. The style I rode the 990 was a little more on the brakes, stand it up and get on the throttle quite hard. I never really had too many problems with grip and towards the end of races I was always quite competitive with the traction."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt