Casey Stoner unfazed by Yamaha’s early pace

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Casey Stoner says he’s not worried by the improved level of competitiveness from Yamaha’s new YZR-M1 1000cc machine, as he bids to capture an elusive first win in Jerez this weekend.

The Australian got the opportunity to gauge the level of performance of Jorge Lorenzo’s factory Yamaha when the pair were dicing for a historic first 1000cc win at Qatar earlier this month.

Lorenzo eventually prevailed after Stoner dropped out of victory contention with a severe arm pump problem in his right arm seeing him fade to third place at the Losail International Circuit.

But 26-year-old Stoner said he saw nothing to suggest that Yamaha had a performance advantage over his factory Honda RC213V machine.
Speaking exclusively to MCN, the double MotoGP world champion said: “I saw the Yamaha and how it was working and I actually see it quite similar in the way it works to the way the Honda does.  That is making it a lot easier for us to race. When we see similarities it is a lot easier to get closer in some points and overtake. I learnt that the acceleration point is very similar to the Honda. The way Jorge was riding is very similar to the way Dani (Pedrosa) and I ride our bikes. He didn’t have quite the corner speed he had in the past but he had a little more acceleration. He was going in on the brakes a little harder, more like a 1000 than an 800. And he had a little less mid-turn speed and little more acceleration and no chatter!  That is one thing I did notice about the Yamaha that it had no chatter. We’ll have to see what the future brings at different tracks and how the bikes react. They (Yamaha) looked unstoppable in Qatar as they built up pace but at the same time we just made ourselves look worse than what it really was.”

“The fact we were up there for the race was very positive but I think we can take a little of data of what we saw from the Yamaha and try and fix some issues and then it will be great. We have a lot of work to do to make our bike better but even with a bike that wasn’t perfect I was still in a position to win the first race and you should not be hugely afraid unless there is a massive gap. Then you’d be afraid for the championship. With the way the bikes are at the moment the Honda, Yamaha and Ducati, I don’t think there are huge differences.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt