Yamaha still wary of Casey Stoner threat

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Yamaha bosses insist Casey Stoner can still play a pivotal role in deciding the destiny of the 2008 MotoGP world championship.

The reigning champion’s 16th place in a disastrous Le Mans MotoGP in France saw him fall 41-points adrift of Fiat Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi with just five races completed.

But Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha team boss Davide Brivio reckons it would be foolish to write Stoner off despite his poor run of results since dominating the season’s opening race in Qatar.

Stoner is also 38-points behind Spanish duo Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, but Brivio told MCN: “I think it is still a four rider fight for the world championship.

“I was thinking before Le Mans that sooner or later a DNF had to start coming for somebody, or a race where somebody scored no points. Casey was the one, which is bad for him but this can happen to anybody.

“We had this in 2006 and 2007 so we know what it is like. It is not easy but in two or three races things might go well for Casey and bad for the others.

“It is more difficult for him now because he has three riders in front of him, so it is not only one or two he has to beat. You have to be much better than three riders to gain points and that could be difficult.

“But maybe one of three can have a problem so I still think he can be involved. When Casey is competitive he is always there and very strong.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt