Cecchinello proud to help Stoner career

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Honda team boss Lucio Cecchinello has said he is proud to have played a part in helping Casey Stoner emerge from youthful prospect into one of the world’s top MotoGP riders.

The 21-year-old Australian finally justified the hype surrounding him when he claimed a superb premier class debut win in the season’s opening race in Qatar.

Now with the factory Ducati squad alongside Loris Capirossi, Stoner spent his debut MotoGP campaign in 2006 with Cecchinello’s LCR outfit on a satellite Honda RCV 990cc machine.

Cecchinello’s LCR squad was Stoner’s first team in world championship racing when he was a raw 16-year-old, and he rode for the Italian for four years in all three GP classes.

Having witnessed his former rider making a brilliant start to the new 800cc MotoGP era, Cecchinello said: “I always believed that Casey was able to win in MotoGP.

“Everybody realised from the beginning that Casey has an incredible talent. We did a lot of things for him but also Casey did a lot for us.

“I am in MotoGP with Honda and Michelin which is one of the best packages, and I still this is thanks to Casey. I’m proud to have been able to work with him and proud to be able to help such a talented rider.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt