Casey Stoner is title favourite, says Randy Mamola

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American Randy Mamola reckons factory Ducati rider Casey Stoner is a red-hot favourite to win his 2009 MotoGP battle against reigning world champion Valentino Rossi.

Stoner started his quest to win back the world title in dominant fashion in Qatar earlier this month, defeating by Fiat Yamaha rider Rossi by close to eight seconds in the delayed first race. 

American Mamola, who backed Stoner’s title tilt before the first race, believes Stoner will provide formidable opposition for Rossi again and he told MCN: “It’s obvious that Casey is the guy to beat. Some people will disagree, but Valentino knows what he is up against and he knows how strong Casey is and he needs all the track time to be able to fight.

“Casey has got to take the fight to Valentino because Valentino is the world champion. But right now, for me Casey has the advantage, but Valentino always pulls a rabbit out of the hat. It didn’t happen in 2007. Are we faced with that situation where Casey is that much on top? Has Ducati improved much more than Yamaha? I don’t know, but it is between those two guys.

“Casey is wonderful to watch and unfortunately TV doesn’t show the talent as much as what it takes to do it what he’s doing. He’s an outright winner and Casey has found out that by leading the race in the first couple of laps by two seconds it takes Valentino eight laps to catch him if Rossi can be a couple of tenths quicker.

“If Valentino makes mistakes riding at the level needed then there is nothing you can do, so the races are won by putting your head down from the start. You can’t relax.

Do you agree with Mamola? Post a comment below.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt