Valencia MotoGP: Casey Stoner stunned by warm-up lap crash

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Casey Stoner could not hide his frustration and disappointment after the Aussie crashed out on the warm-up lap of yesterday’s Valencia MotoGP race.

Starting from pole position, the 24-year-old was a red-hot pre-race favourite to clinch his third successive victory after bouncing back superbly following his summer illness absence.   

But a crowd of close to 95,000 were stunned when the 2007 world champion suffered a massive high-side exiting the second corner on the warm-up lap.

A cold rear Bridgestone tyre was blamed for his shock exit as Stoner cruised on the warm-up lap to conserve fuel for the 30-lap race. 

The 2008 Valencia GP winner said: “Obviously this is a frustrating and disappointing way to finish the season. There have been plenty of highs and lows throughout the year and we have ended on a low, but with another lesson learnt for next season.

“We have had this strategy for two years and not had a problem until today so I guess it is better it happened here than in the first race of next season in Qatar! The important thing is that after back-to-back wins in Australia and Malaysia we have shown our pace here at Valencia and we know we have everything in place to be competitive next season if we do the job right over the winter.

“Now I am looking forward to working on the bike over the next three days and then spending a couple of months building up my physical fitness, which I haven’t been able to dedicate myself 100 per cent to for such a long time.

“We know it will be hard next year but we are confident that we can be back and fighting again.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt