MotoGP: Casey Stoner unflustered by Valentino Rossi’s possible Bridgestone switch

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MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner said he won’t be distracted by the prospect of fighting Valentino Rossi on the same tyres in his retain the premier class title in 2008.

Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi is moving closer to clinching a deal to run Bridgestone rubber on his factory YZR-M1 next season in a move the Italian believes will help him pose a more potent threat to Casey Stoner’s domination.

But Stoner said he won’t let the intense speculation about Valentino Rossi ditching Michelin distract him from his main priority of ensuring Ducati continues to hold sway over its Japanese rivals next season.

“We have to see. It’s not my job to worry about what everybody else is doing. We have to concentrate on our job and what our development is for next year and try and find the best tyres from Bridgestone to suit our bike.

“The Kawasaki and the Suzuki use different tyres to us and we have to make the perfect tyre to adapt to our bike.

“This year has been perfect and we need to continue this for next year and not to worry about what other people have unless they are a lot faster than us,” said the 22-year-old, who has won nine races so far in 2007, including a brilliant home win in Phillip Island last weekend.

Ducati's Casey Stoner has faced a barrage of questioning about the tyre situation in recent weeks, firstly because of Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta’s controversial proposal for a one-make tyre rule in 2008.

That is likely to be axed this weekend in Malaysia, but with that issue buried Casey Stoner has now had to contend with questions on Velentino Rossi’s potential Bridgestone switch.

Asked if he was getting sick of all the talk about tyres he added: “I’m getting used to it.

“There’s a constant argument or discussion and I just have to stay focused on what our package is.

“We are doing a good job at the moment and that’s what I’m here

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt