Jerez MotoGP Reaction: Disaster for Casey Stoner

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Reigning world champion Casey Stoner suffered his worst result in 20 appearances for Ducati as he twice ran off track on his way to 11th in an eventful Spanish GP.

The Aussie made a great start from third row of the grid to claim third on the first lap.
But a mistake on the brakes for the Curva Dry Sack cost him nine seconds and dropped him to last place.

He produced a rousing surge back through the field and was on the brink of seizing ninth with a move on Shinya Nakano and Chris Vermeulen when he ran off track at the same corner on lap 22.

He didn’t lose any places but 11th is his worst result for Ducati, and extends his shocking run of form at the Jerez track where he has never claimed a podium in any class.

The 22-year-old, who has started the defence of his crown in superb fashion with a win in Qatar, said: “Today wasn't my day - I suppose it wasn't my weekend!

”We never found the set-up here that would let us make the most of our potential.

”Normally braking is one of the strong points of our bike but here I just didn't have the feeling with the front.

”I wasn't quite on the limit when I ran off track the first time but I couldn't get the bike stopped so it took me by surprise because we weren't doing anything differently.

”After that I had to really push to get back into the race and I was pretty happy once I caught the group.

”Just when I was passing Nakano he let go of the brakes and touched my wheel, so I had nowhere to go but the gravel.

”I think I could have finished fifth, which I would have been happy with, but instead it was a bit of a disaster.

”The tyres weren't perfect but they weren't bad either so I can't blame it on that.

”I'm not happy but it's not the end of the world - there are plenty of other tracks and other races, starting with Portugal, where we went well last year and finished on the podium, even if we had some little problems, and where this year we will try to fight for victory."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt