Casey Stoner vows to mount victory assault

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Former world champion Casey Stoner is confident he will be able to mount a victory charge in Malaysia tomorrow, despite missing the front row of the grid in Sepang today for the first time since the beginning of June.

The Aussie will have to start from seventh place on the third row of the grid having missed the chance to improve his position after a small mistake by his factory Ducati crew.

“We had a couple of mistakes earlier in the session changing tyres and that cost us just over a minute. With this I missed getting around for my final lap by twenty seconds. That extra minute would have got that lap in and it would have been perfect", said Stoner, who believes he could have snatched pole position.

“I’m normally pretty good on qualifying tyres now. I had one qualifying tyre and did that lap so I don’t think it would have been a problem to reach the little bit extra we needed.

"The first qualifying tyre the track was still wet, the second one was just to get the feeling, and when I was coming around for the third one it was a lot drier and I was sure I’d improve by quite a lot", said Stoner, who believes he will be in contention for his sixth win of 2008 in tomorrow’s 21-lap race.

He added: “The situation for the race is very good, I struggled a little yesterday but this morning in the dry I improved a lot. We slowed the pumping up and the bike is reacting a lot better to how I want it to do and for the race we are quite confident. I need to make sure I get a good start and see what happens.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt