Brno MotoGP: Casey Stoner satisfied but not happy

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A fifth consecutive podium finish left Casey Stoner satisfied rather than happy as his winless streak extended to 11 races in Brno.

Stoner took third from Ben Spies on lap nine but by that time Spanish duo Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa were well clear as the Australian once again failed to mount a serious victory challenge.

The 24-year-old has now gone nearly 11 months without a premier class win and he said: “It doesn’t seem to matter how the weekend starts out it always ends the same.

"We lost quite a lot of time on Friday and pretty much rode round on something I wasn’t happy with. Saturday morning we made some good steps but every step we made in qualifying seemed to be in the wrong direction.

"We put too much weight on the rear and too much weight on the front and we couldn’t really find a nice balance. It wasn’t until the closing stages of qualifying that we actually felt that we had a bike that was working pretty well.

"The wet warm-up put us on the back foot and in the race we started out with a bit too much weight on the front and I was closing the front in a lot of corners and I was running wide in a lot of places.

"It wasn’t until about the halfway stage that I started feeling better with the bike. When Andrea went down I knew everybody was having the same problems with the front, but it wasn’t until half race at least that the front felt better and I felt I could push into some corners and get some feedback.

"I’m satisfied but not happy with third place.”

Stoner denied he’d come close to striking Italian Dovizioso after the Repsol Honda rider’s early blunder at turn nine.

He came to a rest in the middle of the track but Stoner said: “It wasn’t real close because I was that slow and he kept going the same speed as me.

"He went down and was on his elbow and kept sliding and sliding and sliding and I think I even passed him before he finished crashing.  It went and went on forever. 

"I looked up at the screen and saw his bike in the middle of the track.  That happened about half a lap after I lost the front, which is when Dovi came past me. And then he loses the front and goes down."

Explaining why he was unable to match the early speed of Lorenzo and Pedrosa, the 2007 world champion added: “That's where i seem to be struggling a lot more recently, we have some extra weight in the front which doesn't help us too much and I don't know its because of M2 or not because in Laguna everyone struggled more and more as the weekend went on and by the time we get to the race everyone is folding he front for no reason. 

"There is something strange and would be nice if we could get to the bottom of it but its not M2 because we had the same problem in Laguna. Just look at how many people have lost the front at the last few races."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt