Motegi MotoGP: Casey Stoner ready to ram home early advantage

1 of 1

Factory Ducati rider Casey Stoner is confident he can ram home his early advantage at this weekend’s Japanese GP.

The 23-year-old made the perfect start to 2009, dominating the opening race in Qatar to humble chief title rival Valentino Rossi.

And heading to the Far East for Sunday’s 24-lap race, Stoner believes the new carbon fibre chassis GP9 will be tough to beat after crushing its Japanese rivals in Qatar.

The Aussie told MCN: “We had a good race there last year but I haven’t really had too many good races in Japan. I’ve always been quite fast and I think now’s the time to start performing a little bit better.

“And hopefully I don’t lose points like I did at the beginning of last year. This would be the best idea, so I can try to have some better races throughout the season instead of just at the end.”

Stoner is also confident that he won’t be troubled by his recovering left wrist the Twin Ring Motegi circuit, which was designed, built and is currently owned by Honda.

The circuit is one of the toughest on the calendar for hard braking points, with several second gear turns linked mainly by fast mini-drag strips.

The character of the circuit will certainly provide Stoner’s wrist, which needed a bone graft on a damaged scaphoid bone in November, with its toughest examination to date.

But the 2007 world champion, who is bidding for his 18th victory in his 38th race for Ducati, added: “I think in Motegi I shouldn’t have a problem with the wrist. Maybe one month ago, the hard braking points could’ve been a problem.

“But the situation with the wrist is getting better and better all the time now. And the amount of riding I’m doing, I’m 98 per cent sure that I won’t have any issues.

“So I’m pretty sure we can just get down and race.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt