Assen MotoGP: Sickness strikes Casey Stoner again

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A repeat of the severe stomach cramps that blunted his challenge in Catalunya earlier this month struck Casey Stoner again in Assen today as the Aussie had to settle for a distant third behind dominant Fiat Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

The 23-year-old needed immediate medical attention after the podium ceremony with Stoner on the brink of collapsing.

He was placed on a drip in the circuit medical centre as the 2007 world champion looked severely weakened and pale immediately after the 26-lap race.

Stoner, who told MCN that he’d vomited twice in his helmet during the Catalunya race, was almost sick behind the podium this afternoon as illness cost him the chance to challenge Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

Stoner, who is now nine points adrift of Rossi in the title chase heading to Laguna Seca next weekend, said: “I've been feeling fine all week but started to feel run down again on Friday and I've just got worse as the weekend has gone on.

"I've taken every kind of supplement and vitamin tablet you can think of but nothing seems to have worked, so it is obviously something we need to have looked at closer because I can't keep going like this and it is costing us points.

"Thankfully I had a fantastic bike underneath me again today and I owe the team for that. Unfortunately we don't have much time to get fit for Laguna but we'll see what we can do."

Nicky Hayden had his best day for Ducati in a troubled campaign, the American finishing eighth after he was involved in a titanic midfield scrap that featured James Toseland and Loris Capirossi.

Hayden revealed afterwards that he’d coped with a loose handlebar for most of the race and said: “I was having great fun but unfortunately the left handlebar came kind of loose about halfway through the race and cost me a lot of time - that's when a lot of the guys got past me.

"I know I'm coming out with a lot of excuses this year but a loose handlebar at that speed is pretty scary!”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt