Casey Stoner confident of Laguna repeat

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Reigning world champion Casey Stoner believes he has a golden opportunity to repeat his 2007 Laguna Seca domination today after a virtuoso qualifying performance.

Stoner obliterated his own pole position record and Valentino Rossi was nearly half-a-second behind in second place as Stoner chases a fourth straight win to bolster his hopes of retaining the MotoGP crown.

The Aussie said: “I’ve always kind of enjoyed this track since the first year I came here. We were quite fast straight out of the box in 2006 and you know I’ve always got along with this track quite well. I think because it’s quite different.

"It’s not your average kind of circuit. With the ups and down and the bumps and it’s quite a slippery circuit, so it tends to suit my style a little more.

"I’m just really happy with the way the whole weekend’s gone. We’ve slowly but surely improved our set-up as the weekend’s gone on and we’ve got to a point now where we’re very happy. We’re confident going into the race.”

As well as his brilliant qualifying display, Stoner was able to reel of a series of fast and consistent laps on race tyres and the 22-year-old added: “I'm happy with how we're looking in race trim and with the fact we're on pole again.

"I didn't manage to get the most out of the first two qualifiers because the front tyre, which is working perfectly with the race rear, was a bit too soft for the qualifying and I wasn't confident enough to push it 100 per cent. With the third one I gave it my best shot and we've come out with another pole.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt