Estoril MotoGP: Casey Stoner hoping Chaz Davies gets 2008 MotoGP chance

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MotoGP world championship leader Casey Stoner has told MCN that he hopes close friend Chaz Davies gets the chance of a full-time ride in the 2008 MotoGP world championship.

The Australian attended the first of a two-day test session completed by Davies at the Mugello circuit earlier this week when the British rider rode a Ducati GP7 test bike.

Stoner was on hand to offer advice and went out on track to watch Davies in action, with speculation that he has emerged as a shock late candidate for one of the D’Antin Ducati rides in 2008.

Stoner, who could clinch his first premier class world title in Estoril this weekend as he holds a commanding 85-point lead over Valentino Rossi, said: “He’s been a good friend for a lot of years and it was no problem for me to go and have a look while he was doing the test. It was quite interesting to be at a track without any stress and I could just sort of cruise around and watch. It was very enjoyable and I hoped Chaz had as much fun as what I did.”

Stoner said the decision on Davies’ future was in the hands of Spaniard Luis D’Antin, who has a long list of candidates for next season, including Shinya Nakano, Sylvain Guintoli and Alex de Angelis.

Stoner added: “You’d have to ask D’Antin. I don’t think it’s a lot to do with Ducati’s decision anyway. It’s more to do with D’Antin. I think it was very good that he had the opportunity to test and to prove himself again. From what I hear he did a good job and from what I saw, considering he hasn’t had much time on the bike, he was still roughly doing similar times to the other riders. We saw in Laguna Seca when he was on the bike and the tyres for the first time out he was very impressive and I think he can only improve on this.”

Davies is waiting to find out whether he has landed a full-time ride with Ducati next season, though he is also in the frame for a test rider role with the possibility of selected wild cards.


Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt