Misano MotoGP: Crash no issue for Casey Stoner

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Casey Stoner shrugged off another front-end crash this afternoon after he qualified on the front row of the grid for the Misano MotoGP race.

The Australian lost control of his factory Ducati GP10 machine with 20 minutes of qualifying completed after he opted to ditch the 2011 spec Ohlins front forks he’d used in practice yesterday.

Stoner instead reverted back to the 2009 forks he’d used since Mugello before gambling on running next year’s front suspension after a test in Brno last month.
Stoner crashed out of the top six in Indianapolis while using the new forks and after logging a best time of 1.34.397 he ended third quickest.

He was 0.449s behind Dani Pedrosa but just 0.141s slower than world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo and the 24-year-old Aussie said: “We struggled a little bit with qualifying in Indianapolis but today I felt quite confident.

"We didn’t have the best set-up on Friday but today we definitely improved it and as the day went on we got better and better.

"This morning we went back to the old fork and immediately knocked a second off the lap time. I got a bit more feeling with the front-end and even though I crashed it is nothing to worry about.

"I was just seeing the time from the lap before and feeling a bit more confident and trying to go a bit quicker. But obviously it was too much and I lost the front. For the race I’m feeling more confident than I have been.

"I’ve said that a lot this year and I’ve slowly getting closer without really cracking it. We’re feeling confident. The second bike I crashed on I felt a lot better and more confident on and we might be able to hang in there with Dani and Jorge.”

The 2007 world champion hasn’t won a race since the Malaysia clash in Sepang last Octoher and he said he wouldn’t go gung-ho in Ducati’s home race to end his barren run.

He added: “I’ve been desperate to win all year but I’m learning to deal with it. It’s been too long basically and I’m definitely not going to go crazy for a win.

"If I feel fast enough to go for it, I will, otherwise I’ll score as many points as I can. I’m still trying to fix some problems from this year and in some ways we are getting close to solving them.

"But we’ll keep fighting for these last races and see what happens.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt