French MotoGP: Casey Stoner happier after claiming second

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Casey Stoner declared himself much happier with the performance of his factory Ducati machine after he posted the second fastest time in today’s opening free practice sessions.

The reigning world champion has endured a slump in form since he won the season’s opening race in Qatar, but he was only 0.049sec slower than current series leader Dani Pedrosa today.

Stoner, who returned to the podium in Shanghai earlier this month, said: “We haven’t really been that competitive in the last three races but it’s good to start a GP in the right way again. This morning was going quite well but the setting wasn’t quite right to show what we could really do and then this afternoon we had a small problem with the engine on my number one bike.”

Stoner had to switch to his spare factory Ducati GP8 but he said: “The setting on the second bike wasn’t perfect but we made some changes and I could seventh-tenths quicker.”

Stoner though was still having some troubles in the final section of the track and he added: “Like last year we are struggling a bit in the last section.

“We need a little more acceleration coming onto the straights and it’s a bit difficult for us in those tight but long corners. We just need to compensate for it by making our strong points even stronger.”


Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt