Stoner talks Turkey

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Casey Stoner is confident he can repeat his 2006 podium finish in Istanbul this weekend to keep the pressure on early MotoGP world championship leader Valentino Rossi.

Istanbul was the venue of Stoner’s solitary podium in his rookie premier class campaign when he claimed second in a thrilling 22-lap clash won by Marco Melandri.

And after a brilliant start on board Ducati’s new GP7 800 machine, the 21-year-old heads to Turkey in bullish mood about his chances of adding to his superb debut premier class win in Qatar.

Stoner is confident Bridgestone will have taken a big step with tyres for the spectacular Istanbul track, as the Japanese factory struggled 12 months ago, with best finisher Loris Capirossi only sixth.

“Last year there seemed to be a couple of problems but Bridgestone have been improving all the time.

“It was a good track for me last year and it was a good track for Ducati and I think we can have a pretty good result there. We are reasonably confident for the next two races, “said Stoner, speaking exclusively to MCN.

Stoner said it is hard to gauge how the new generation 800s will perform at the undulating 3.311 miles circuit, which features the awesome 150mph Turn 10 – the fastest corner on the world championship calendar.

“To tell you the truth each track we go to it sort of surprises us in the way you have to ride the bike at that track. It’s hard to say how it’s going to be, “added Stoner, who is currently tied for second place with Dani Pedrosa on 36-points.

Asked what he thought about the prospect of tackling the Turn 10 right-hander on an 800 machine, Stoner said: “Because we are going to be coming out of a small uphill corner from that right before it will take a little bit of speed and power away compared to the 990s.

“By the time we get to that fast sweeper it’s probably not going to be much backing off involved. On a 250 you could go through there flat-out reasonably easy and the 800s won’t be far off it.

“On the 990 you rolled off at the beginning just to make the bike turn a bit and you rolled the power on just as you started to tip into the corner before the apex.”

Stoner said he anticipated the 800s will still be too powerful to attack Turn 10 at full throttle and added: “I think yes, but they seem to be turning well and reacting well to how we want them so you never really know, if somebody has got the balls you might be able to do it.”


Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt