Jerez MotoGP: Casey Stoner expects strong Jorge Lorenzo challenge

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Aussie Casey Stoner is expecting another strong challenge from Japanese GP winner Jorge Lorenzo when the European leg of the MotoGP campaign gets underway in Jerez this weekend.

Fiat Yamaha rider Lorenzo will start his home race this weekend as the series leader after he notched only his second MotoGP victory at the Twin Ring Motegi last weekend.

The Spaniard is a single point clear of team-mate Rossi and three-points clear of Ducati rival Stoner, who could only finish fourth in Japan because of a front brake vibration issue.

And Stoner said: “Jorge is always very solid, very consistent and we know he will be strong in Jerez.

"With a victory like in Japan it was obvious he was able to find a setting a little more comfortable us. From what I saw, watching the race from a long way back, I saw Valentino struggling a little bit so maybe his setting was not perfect.

"Dani looked like he had quite a good setting so it was just luck of the draw and unfortunately we had to take a big gamble before the race for the setting.”

Lorenzo’s win certainly limited the damage for Stoner, who only lost seven-points of reigning world champion Rossi after his front brake.

He added: “It doesn’t matter when you win during the season, it’s the end of the season position which matters when you have all the points.

"For us to be in a much closer position and points than last year this is a better situation for us.

"We have a long season and lot of races ahead of us and there are a lot of circuits that suit us a little bit better than the earlier one’s, so I think we have a lot to look forward too.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt