Casey Stoner eager to begin preparations for 2009

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Former world champion Casey Stoner reckons he can’t wait to get the last two races out of the way to begin testing Ducati’s 2009 MotoGP contender in Valencia.

The Aussie, who turned 23 today on the eve of the Sepang GP in Malaysia, will delay crucial surgery on his left wrist injury to take part in the two-day test session in Spain immediately after the final race.

Stoner, who won his last race with a brilliant performance in his home GP at Phillip Island earlier this month, first rode the GP9 back in June at a post race test session in Catalunya.

And he said: “I’m really focusing on that test now. I really want to get those two days done and get as much information on the bike as we can so that during the test ban period the changes we need to make we can get them ready for the beginning of next season.

"We believe we are going to be strong again next year, at least to try and fight for the championship. To do that we need to start as soon as possible and if I had had the operation I wouldn’t have been ready to test until the start of next year.”

Talking about his wrist operation again today in the Far East, which requires a bone graft to repair the scaphoid bone he first damaged back in 2003, he added: “The operation will be in Italy the week following the Valencia.

"I’ll have to have a cast on between a month and six weeks and it could take two to two-and-a-half months to heal and then I should be able to start using it properly again.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt