Casey Stoner revelling in career best podium run

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Casey Stoner says he’s revelling in the best form of his MotoGP career in 2011 having extended his podium streak to eight successive races in Laguna Seca last weekend.

But the Australian admits his brilliant 2011 campaign could have been even better had it not been for Valentino Rossi’s blunder in the second round at Jerez.

Stoner was fighting for the podium in Spain when Rossi took him out after a mistake on the brakes at the first corner, otherwise the 2007 world champion would have almost certainly had a 100 per cent podium record this season.

Speaking to MCN about his brilliant form after his fifth win of the season in California five days ago, the Repsol Honda rider said: “I should have had another podium as well at the start of the year and I would have been in better position than I am now, which is hard to believe. My worst result was Mugello. I had no fight left in the end and for me that was down to an incorrect tyre pressure at the start of the race. In Germany I knew we would struggle with hot tyre temperatures, so we had to balance it out but to be fair Jorge beat me in the last corner.

“I went to cover my line and he went in deeper and harder and took a huge risk and it paid off for him and he beat me. I’m pretty happy where I am and the Honda is working so well that even a bad weekend is still pretty good.”

Stoner said 2011 was turning into a ‘dream’ season after his struggles to make the Ducati Desmosedici a consistent winner last season.

“I think you can always dream up better ones but being realistic this is a fantastic season for me and no matter how it ends up we have done a great job. And I’m still learning the bike. I couldn’t understand why we were struggling so much in the past couple of races but Cristian (Gabbarini – Stoner’s crew chief) said to me these guys have been on their bikes for years and when things go bad they have a feel for the direction to go in. But when things go bad for us we go shooting off in the dark to see if something works. When things are going bad we learn more about the bike and hopefully this will help us for the future,” said Stoner.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt