Qatar MotoGP: Casey Stoner confident in carbon fibre gamble

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Former world champion Casey Stoner is confident that he can show Ducati’s gamble on radical carbon fibre chassis technology can be a major success when he starts the new MotoGP season in Qatar this weekend.

Ducati’s GP9 contender features a carbon fibre chassis and swingarm and the Aussie has been delighted with its impact on his performance as he’s topped the timesheets in all tree ’09 pre-season tests.

Carbon fibre technology though has never proven to be successful at the highest level of motorcycling, despite previous attempts by Cagiva and Bimota in GPs and World Superbikes.

Stoner though has backed Ducati to buck the trend going into the new season and he told MCN: “I’ve seen before that nobody has ever really been able to make the carbon fibre chassis be extremely competitive.

“A lot of people have tried and it has never worked but we have proved that it is fast enough. We’ve still got a few things to iron out with this package. We still need more traction on the rear.

“We are finding that it has made things so smooth but maybe too much because we losing grip now. But I am confident.”

Stoner denied Ducati had taken an unnecessary big risk in pursuing the carbon fibre avenue, given its lack of success.

“In 2007 everyone thought they were going in the right direction with their bikes and everybody thought Ducati had gone the wrong way with the engine type and they completely proved everybody wrong and made things work that nobody else has.

“I’m proud to be part of that and I’m proud that this carbon fibre chassis has worked because if it didn’t a lot of people would be laughing. But Ducati people know what they are doing.

“I’m happy too that the information I’ve been able to feedback over the last couple of years has led to this bike, and I hope it can be a successful bike running at the front in all different conditions on all different types of tracks,“ Stoner told MCN.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt