Qatar MotoGP: Casey Stoner refusing to single out Valentino Rossi challenge

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Casey Stoner has refused to single out Valentino Rossi as his big title threat ahead of the first MotoGP clash of 2009 in Qatar this weekend.

Aussie Stoner has been in scintillating form during winter testing with his new carbon fibre chassis Ducati GP9 catapulting him to the fastest time in all three tests in 2009.

But the 23-year-old is refusing to be drawn on what most people expect to be another titanic battle between himself and Italian Rossi.

The pair have dominated the 800cc era of MotoGP with 29 wins in the 36 races and as Rossi goes in search of an eight world title, he looks odds on to pose the most serious threat to Stoner again.

But Stoner said: “I expect nothing and just have to fight my way through. Whoever is going to be my toughest rival is on race day, if it’s everyone it’s everyone but if its one in particular you just have to beat them. 

” just need to do the best job I can and try and get my fitness back to its peak and understand the new bike and start the season strong like last year but this time keep it going.

“We really fell off the pace for a while and had bad luck with an engine failure and it would be nice to stay in with a fight instead of trying to chase it down.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt