Stoner laughs off Ducati speed advantage

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Qatar GP winner Casey Stoner reckons his factory Ducati will be a serious threat even at tight and twisty tracks where the Bologna factory’s new GP7 won’t be able to maximise its top speed advantage.

Stoner’s Ducati career got off to a dream start last month when he won the season’s opening race in Qatar.

The main feature in his maiden premier class victory was the huge top speed advantage he held over Valentino Rossi’s factory Yamaha YZR-M1.

But Ducati’s straight line speed advantage was diminished in the Spanish GP at Jerez where sixth gear is only used for 1.5s.

Stoner though proved the new GP7 is likely to be a front-running threat on tighter tracks, even though he only managed a disappointing fifth place in Jerez.

Despite his failure to claim a podium, he was the fastest rider on track in the latter stages of the race and speaking exclusively to MCN, Stoner said: “Jerez is a track we have struggled at the most all year right back to November when we first tested the Ducati there.

“We knew we were still going to be competitive there and just needed to iron out a few problems.

“Everybody was saying that tight and twisty tracks would be no good for us but I’ve said it was a whole load of hogwash and I was able to prove that in Jerez.

And the 21-year-old added: “Jerez hasn’t given me anymore confidence for other tighter tracks because I knew what the bike was capable of, but I suppose it’s shut everybody else up.”


Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt