Ducati vow to push Valentino Rossi

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Ducati believe that Casey Stoner is still in with a shout of making a successful defence of his MotoGP world crown in 2008.

Heading into this weekend’s Misano GP in San Marino, the Aussie trails Fiat Yamaha rival Valentino Rossi by 50-points after his costly crash out of the lead in Brno earlier this month.

But Stoner’s factory Ducati team boss Livio Suppo reckons the 22-year-old still has big part to play in the title race, which has six races to run.

“I have a huge respect for Casey and we have to understand that Brno was the 30th race for us and it was his DNF. It happens and that’s racing. Already it was difficult before Brno, so now we don’t even have to think about.

"In the last five races since he got the new evolution of the bike he has won three out of fives and he was second in one and leading the other, so he has the potential to win all the races remaining. This is Casey’s real potential and he can win every race. So it is not crazy to think he could win the next six races.

"At the moment there is no one who can be between Casey and Valentino. If he doesn't win then he can at least fight for the wins like he has in the last five races. We can’t complain about anything he is doing now and probably now Valentino is the best he has ever been on the track.

"And if you look at what Casey and Valentino are doing it is embarrassing for the others. And at the moment only Casey can fight with one of the strongest riders of all time.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt