Brno MotoGP Reaction: Casey Stoner vows to carry on fighting
Casey Stoner has vowed to carry on fighting to retain his MotoGP crown, despite conceding that a rare mistake in today’s Czech Republic race seriously dented his title prospects.
The Aussie, who was starting from pole position for the sixth consecutive race, looked like producing another demolition as he scorched into a commanding lead after just one lap.
But as series leader Valentino Rossi began to hound him down, the reigning world champion made a shock error when he crashed out on lap seven.
Stoner escaped unhurt but his factory Ducati was too seriously damaged to continue, with today’s race the first time he has not made the chequered flag in 30 races for the Bologna manufacturer.
The blunder left Stoner 50 points adrift of Rossi with only six races remaining, and he said: “Obviously we are all disappointed with this result because our pace in practice was good, everything went very well this morning and we felt we could push out in front.
"Things were going according to plan until the crash. I was doing the same lap time over and over and I was quite happy with the pace I was running. The crash came out of the blue, that corner was an easy one but I lost the front and it happened very quickly, very suddenly and I didn't manage to save it.
"It's a hard one to explain and we will look at the data but sometimes this kind of crash happens at this level of racing and it was my mistake! We knew that we needed to win this race - and more - in order to close down Valentino's advantage so this makes the championship very difficult for us. Anything can happen in racing but fifty points is a big gap against such a strong and consistent competitor.
"Anyway I never throw in the towel, nor does anybody at Ducati, and we will keep fighting until the end. Misano is a home race for the factory and there will be lots of Ducatisti there, so my main thought now is to stay positive and bounce back with a good show for them in two weeks' time".