MotoGP: Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi agree on bike swap

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It might be pure fantasy to imagine a scenario where Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi switch bikes for a Grand Prix weekend, but at least the world’s top two riders would be willing to give it a go.

Newly-crowned MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner and seven-times world champ Valentino Rossi were asked if they could, whether they would swap bikes for the final round of the 2007 series in Valencia next month.

Aussie Casey Stoner, who has won nine races to giveDucati its first premier class world crown, said he wouldn’t have any issue with letting Valentino Rossi have a go on a bike which has dominated the new 800cc era.

And Italian Valentino Rossi, who has won just four times on Yamaha’s underpowered factory YZR-M1, said he’d be willing to switch out of curiosity.

Not surprising given the 28-year-old has made several references this season to the top speed and Bridgestone tyre advantage Casey Stoner has held.

“For sure it would be interesting to try,” said Valentino Rossi, who has lost two world championships in a row for the first time in his career after a crushing defeat to Casey Stoner this year.

“Unfortunately it is just in the imagination because of contracts. I don’t think Yamaha would be very happy if I ride a Ducati and Ducati wouldn’t be very happy if Casey rides a Yamaha.

“But maybe it is a good idea but not possible. For me I’m ready to try one time.

“I’d be interested to try the Ducati one time because it is so fast. But I think it is difficult,” added Valentino Rossi, who looks certain to dump Michelin and join Casey Stoner on Bridgestone tyres in next season.

Casey Stoner, who held lengthy talks with Yamaha about joining Valentino Rossi for 2006 and 2007 before he clinched a Ducati deal, said he too would be willing to swap.

“I’ve changed bikes almost every season in my career in GP so it would be no problem for me. He (Rossi) can have a look,” said Casey Stoner, who is bidding to take his 2007 victory tally into double figures at this weekend’s Malaysian MotoGP in Sepang.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt