US MotoGP: Casey Stoner hopeful of trouble free Laguna

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Casey Stoner has told MCN that he’s confident he won’t be dogged by the chronic stomach problems that have severely hindered him in the last two races during this weekend’s Laguna Seca clash.

Stoner, who was defeated by Valentino Rossi in a classic American MotoGP race last year, will take a course of vitamin supplements and tablets in California this weekend to help cure some of the stomach cramps that he suffered in Catalunya and Assen.

Stoner was dry retching during post race TV interviews in Holland last weekend and admitted he was still not feeling 100 per cent during a pre-weekend chat with MCN yesterday.

“Between Catalunya and Assen I felt good and then I had the same problem as Catalunya in Assen. But from Assen to here I haven’t fully recovered and I definitely don’t feel 100 per cent going into this weekend.

“I’m doing as much as I can and doing all the preparation I hope will help and if I can perform a little bit better than in the last two races then we should be a little bit more competitive. I’ve just got to try and last the weekend.

“In Catalunya I was having cramps but in Assen it was just vomit. It was two different kinds of symptoms but I was left with no energy and we’re trying to understand why that is. I’ll be taking a few things this weekend and if it helps then I’ll know we’re on the right track and maybe to have an understanding of why it is happening, “said the 23-year-old, who has salvaged two third places in Catalunya and Assen.

Stoner confirmed he would be taking medication during this weekend to help improve his condition and he added: “ We will be taking stuff to try and get my energy levels to last a bit longer and also something for my stomach just to settle that down and keep it calm.

“It’s not the best time to be sick when there are back-to-back races but we just have to see how we go.” The Aussie confirmed that unless he sees a dramatic improvement in his condition this weekend that he will undergo a series of detailed checks on his arrival back into Europe next week.

The 2007 MotoGP world champion added: “If we don’t find an improvement this weekend we’ll have to try and get back to Europe and get as many tests done as we can. I’ve been sick plenty of times before but never like this and it’s strange.

“I don’t feel sick during the weekend but as soon as my heart rate goes up or I’m out of breath just a little bit, my energy levels just deplete quicker than I can blink. It’s a very strange situation and now I know it is a problem and not just a one-off thing in Catalunya we’re going to try and fix it.

“The only symptoms I’ve got are if my heart rate goes up I lose my energy really quickly. Up until that point I don’t feel like there is anything wrong, but when it starts I go straight over the other side of the hill and down.

“Nobody has really got a proper idea of what it is yet, but we’ve got some ideas.” Stoner said he has only been riding his factory Ducati GP9 to his own limit recently rather than pushing his V4 to its limit.

“Maybe for one or two laps I can ride it to the bikes limit and that’s all about I can do. The bike wasn’t as good in Assen as it was in Catalunya but it was still plenty good enough to keep up, but it was me who couldn’t.

“This is something that’s disappointed me because I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I’ve been able to run fast lap times at the end of the race if I need to. But the way things are the moment I can’t even do it on lap three.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt