With 106 points and two victories each from six races so far this season, the three gladiators that stand together at the top of the MotoGP World Championship stood side by side on the podium at Catalunya today, each having written their own page in another thrilling chapter of motorcycling history. Whilst Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo fought a fantastic battle for victory to the final corner, Casey Stoner had to fight his own battle against illness to secure a priceless third place.
Ducati Marlboro Team rider Casey Stoner will start from the front row of the grid in tomorrow’s Catalunya Grand Prix, with Nicky Hayden starting in thirteenth place despite a late crash that denied him a potential second-row start.
Ducati Marlboro Team riders Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden both enjoyed a positive first practice session at the Catalunya Grand Prix, with the American joining the Australian at the top end of the time sheets on an encouraging opening day: Stoner lapped third fastest, Hayden clocked the sixth fastest time.
A small crash towards the end of the session did little to dent the confidence of Stoner, who reported improved corner speed and turning from his machine at a circuit where he celebrated victory on his way to becoming MotoGP World Champion in 2007.
After two consecutive flag-to-flag races for the first time ever in MotoGP, blazing sunshine was a welcome relief for the FIM World Championship paddock as they gathered at Montmeló on Thursday for the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya build-up.
Basking in both the sun and the glory of his favourite football team’s recent success, Jorge Lorenzo provided the first media event of the day with the unveiling of a special livery and helmet. The only Spaniard in MotoGP not to hail from the Barcelona area, Lorenzo is nonetheless a big fan of the city’s football club, and showed off the F.C.
With an exceptionally close situation at the top of the FIM MotoGP World Championship standings, the premier class riders could be forgiven for focusing exclusively on their immediate rivals. However, Mugello is a special track for the 800cc competitors and merits added attention from them, as they explained on Thursday ahead of the Gran Premio d’Italia Alice.
The pre-event press conference for the Italian round brought five riders out of the pleasant sun present at the track and inside to face the gathered media.
When Casey Stoner dropped down the ranks from second to seventh in the early stages of the MotoGP race at the Grand Prix de France on Sunday it was obvious for all to see that he clearly had a problem onboard his Desmosedici GP9.
The Australian star cited a lack of grip for his woes with wet tyres on the drying race surface but he had to play it safe and only switch onto slicks when the track was dry enough.
Revisiting the track where he suffered a 16th place nightmare last year, Casey Stoner anticipates another big challenge this weekend at Le Mans.
Securing his best ever result at Jerez last time out Casey Stoner this weekend arrives at another ‘bogey’ track, determined to improve his record on French soil.
Stoner’s third place finish at the 2007 Grand Prix de France is his only podium in any class of racing at Le Mans and last year he came home 16th.
Casey Stoner is confident as he arrives at Jerez, whilst his new Ducati colleague Nicky Hayden is looking for improvements after a difficult start to the year. Following a highly successful visit to Jerez earlier this year as the winner of the BMW M Award at MotoGP Official Test, Casey Stoner goes into the third race weekend of the season determined to hit the podium at the Gran Premio bwin.com de España.
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Looking forward to the second round of the season in the pre-event press conference at Motegi on Thursday the 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner spoke of the track’s unknown quantities as he previewed the weekend’s action.