Aragon MotoGP: Casey Stoner to try radical new set-up

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Casey Stoner has told MCN that he will experiment with a radically different set-up on his factory Ducati machine in the first Motorland Aragon MotoGP this weekend.

The 24-year-old hasn’t won a race for nearly a year since he triumphed in Sepang last October and has failed to find a confident feeling with the front-end of his factory GP10 machine throughout this season.

Stoner said recently he would experiment with some ‘crazy’ settings in a bid to challenge Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa’s domination of the 2010 world championship.

The Spanish duo have won 11 out of 12 races so far with Pedrosa chasing a third successive win at the impressive new Motorland Aragon track.

And he said he would run one bike with a radically revised setting and told MCN: “We’re changing quite a few things on the bike for this weekend. We’ve changed the geometry where the balance of the engine is.

"We’ve shortened the swingarm and lengthened the front to try and get it working. We’ve also changed the rider position. One bike will always be what I like and what I feel comfortable with.

"But with the other bike we’ll try something new to see what we can come up with.”

Stoner has a best result of second place in Laguna Seca back in late July and he is locked in a five-rider fight for third place overall in the rankings.

He is currently nine-points behind Repsol Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso and the Australian confirmed he will continue to use a set of 2009 Ohlins front forks in Aragon this weekend having used next year’s 2011 spec forks at the last two races.

The 2007 world champion said: ““We’ve had a look at this track and there seems to be quite a lot of bumps on the inside of the corners from the cars and there’s quite a few rippled.

"At speed they’ll feel a lot worse on the bumps so we’ll stick with the old forks because they are a little better for feeling on the bumps.”

Stoner got his first taste of the new Motorland Aragon track today when he completed laps on his paddock scooter.

Giving his first impressions he said: “It looks a little bit slow to me but until we get out there tomorrow it is hard to tell. Riding around at scooter pace it looks fast and flowing but there are a lot of tight chicanes where you won’t be able to use all the track.

"There’s a lot of hard braking and I think for MotoGP it will be a bit stop and start. The track layout but in some places it doesn’t flow well with the hills that are here but in other places it does it extremely well.

"The riders I’ve spoken to who have been here have said it is okay but nobody has been raving about how great it is.”

Several riders including Lorenzo, Pedrosa and reigning world champion Valentino Rossi have tested at the track on a streetbike, but Stoner said he had never felt it necessary to familiarise himself with the track prior to today.

He said: “I don’t think it is necessary. It doesn’t give you any advantage. You don’t get any set-up data. Superbikes are too far from what our bikes are. 

"If you were on a factory superbike it maybe would be okay but a streetbike to the bike we ride is black and white. It might be better to ride a Moto2 bike than it would be on a standard streetbike.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt