Qatar MotoGP: Casey Stoner talks flying start

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Aussie Casey Stoner looked as unbeatable as ever on the Losail International Circuit in Qatar tonight after dominating the opening practice session of 2010.

The 24-year-old has an incredible record at the Doha circuit and has won the opening race every year since 2007 on board Ducati’s factory Desmosedici. 

Stoner was quickest at the recent night test under the Losail floodlights and he was in unstoppable form again tonight to dominate the opening hour-long session.

Riding the new Big Bang GP10 motor, Stoner clocked a best time of 1.55.500 in a 17-lap stint to finish a convincing 0.526s clear of closest rival Jorge Lorenzo.

Only Lorenzo and Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi were able to lap within a second of Stoner and the 2007 world champion said: Everything started off very well tonight. I got a quite good feeling with the bike early on and when we changed the setting I didn’t prefer the feeling of that setting but the lap time was better. So now we are trying to get a little more balance in the bike and trying to get an understanding of it and still be able to do those lap times. 

“I’m quite happy with where we are at the moment but I believe everybody will catch up over the weekend, so we definitely need to up our game and try and improve. I found similar rhythm to the test here but tonight the lap times were coming a little bit easier so this was a very good point. The track didn’t feel perfect but not too bad but in general the lap times were fast so we are happy about this.”

Despite his phenomenal record at the Losail International Circuit, Stoner again denied that it was one of his favourite places to race.

He added: “I don’t believe this is a special track for me but even though I’ve had some quite good success here but in general I try to do the same at every race. There are some circuits during the season at which I struggle more than others and this is one at which I struggle less.

“But the most important thing is to come out with good points. I don’t want to destroy a season at one race. I just want to come out of here with good solid points without risk and then start the season.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt