Estoril MotoGP: Fuel consumption worry for Casey Stoner

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Casey Stoner reckons fuel consumption will play a massive role in Estoril tomorrow if the Grand Prix of Portugal is staged in dry conditions.

Stoner will start the penultimate round of the season from fourth on the grid after this afternoon’s qualifying session had to be cancelled because of torrential rain and strong winds.

Grid positions were decided on combined practice times which left the Australian, winner of three of the last four races, just off the front row.

Most expect a wet race tomorrow with a continuation of the atrocious conditions that have severely disrupted the Estoril weekend.

But factory Ducati rider Stoner said a crucial aspect if conditions are dry will be fuel consumption, with the wet weather preventing any team from making fuel calculations.

Stoner, who is trying to claim second place from Dani Pedrosa in the championship, said “I'm sure some people will be confused on which tyre selection to make for the race but I think the biggest confusion will be fuel consumption if it is dry.

"That has got to be just about killing every technician. If it's dry tomorrow not one person has any idea how much fuel we are going to use and if there is not a lot of grip and spinning you will be using more fuel than normal, so it will be a catastrophe. 

"Maybe quite a few teams will play the safety switch, so maybe people won't have the power they want because the mapping will not be done properly.

"Everyone will be making sure they can finish the race because you could take a big risk and it will bite you. When it’s like this and without a lot of rubber and a slippery track with more wheelspin there will be a lot more consumption.

"I don't think anyone has got a handle on it so they won't know what restrictions to put on the engine to finish the race. It is going to be complicated. Even if we had one dry session or just a few dry laps it would be better."

Stoner said it was the correct decision to cancel qualifying with conditions deemed way too dangerous for the session to commence.

Standing water sat on large sections of the track and the 2007 world champion said: “There was no way I was going around that track. There was no point going out there because there would have been crashes on the main straight.”

Stoner had a crash this morning at the final corner and he told MCN: " It bit me this morning and Jorge (Lorenzo) in the same spot.  You never know when you are going to go down and it won't be anyone's fault. I hit a wrong patch of tarmac.

"You are not even getting on the gas and you are at about 10 or 20 per cent of throttle because that corner is so slippery.

"But it just came around so quickly there was no way to save it. The tyres weren't pushing because they were already scrubbed in.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt