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Casey Stoner not worried about possible Ducati upheaval

Published: 16 July 2008

Casey Stoner reckons he won’t let the potential upheaval caused by factory Ducati Marco Melandri’s struggles have any impact on his own performance.

Melandri could be sacked after this weekend’s American GP at Laguna Seca after the Italian reached an agreement over the early termination of his two-year deal.

Melandri has told Ducati bosses he wants to ride until the end of the 2008 campaign, but he has already agreed to split from Ducati only halfway through a two-year deal.

As part of a deal thrashed out after last month’s British GP, Melandri won’t face a hefty penalty clause for leaving early. At the same time, if Ducati sack him before the end of the season. Bologna bosses won’t have to cough up compensation.
Melandri’s dire performance on the GP8 will be assessed again after this weekend’s Laguna Seca clash, with many predicting he will get the axe having recently tried to manoeuvre a deal to ride Kawasaki’s factory ZX-RR while John Hopkins is out injured.

There have been rumours that Spanish veteran Sete Gibernau will step out of retirement to take Melandri’s place in the Czech Republic GP at Brno on August 17.
But one man not letting the issue distract him is Stoner, who has forced his way back into world title contention with three successive dominant wins.

Asked about the possibility of having a new team-mate after the summer break, the reigning world champion said: “My side of the garage is the one to worry about and it is not a big worry who is my teammate. If he’s faster than me I need to figure out how to go faster and improve our package.”

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