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Casey Stoner – 1000cc Q&A

As one of the most successful riders of the 800cc MotoGP era, 2011 MotoGP World Championship leader Casey Stoner expresses his thoughts on the imminent return to 1000cc.
Casey Stoner talks about the imminent return to 1000cc in MotoGP, discussing the different techniques and riding styles he will need to employ from 2012 onwards…

Can you explain, using a specific corner, the difference in cornering technique with the Repsol Honda RC212V and next year's machine?

It's really hard to explain, because there's basically no two corners in the world that are the same. So to ride them in the same way, I think, may be what sets me apart sometimes from other riders, is the fact that I'll attack each corner the way it needs to be ridden. There'll be different patches, different surfaces in different areas. And sometimes the ideal line won't be the ideal line on that particular corner, so it's adapting yourself to each part of the track, whether you can use part or you can't. How you've got to get through each corner is quite difficult. At each track you go to you can't just ride in the method that you know and you've actually got to ride it to the way it needs to be ridden. It sometimes can be a bit tricky. With the 1000 I think it's going to be a little less dependent on that sort of riding, because you're going to be able to make up a little bit of power. But at the same time, just concentrate more on getting out of the corner, rather than getting through it quite as fast. It's still going to very dependent on getting through the corner, but I think more in getting into the corner and getting out of the corner than those lines in that particular area than we had on 800s on the way through the corner. It'll change the way people ride a little bit.

Will it change the way the race is run?

Yes and no. I'm not really sure. I think the way 1000s were beforehand, there was still a tyre battle and there was a tyre battle for the first part of 800s, which produced some great races and passes back and forth and all the rest of it. Now with 1000s, it's not going to be a lot of difference. I've ridden the 1000 again and I went from 1000 to 800 and there wasn't huge differences. The main thing you notice is in the higher gears, fourth, fifth on the 800, you basically don't have a lot of power to spin, so when you spin you've got to be on the edge of the tyre. But with the 1000 you're still able to spin, even when you pick the bike up it's still trying to spin a little bit. That part will be slightly different when you're riding in the wet in different situations. I also think the way you control wheelies is going to be a little bit different. The 1000 is going to want to pop wheelies through more gears rather than what the 800 does, in second and third, sometimes fourth. But a 1000 will want to pull a wheelie in just about every gear, so you're going to have to control that a little bit more. But other than that, riders will adapt to the way it needs to be ridden. The people that are up at the front are there for a reason and they'll adapt quickly.

Some riders believe that with more torque, you may be able to make a pass off a corner. And also with more top speed it'll change the brake markers, and most of the passes are done on the brakes now. Will it open up passing opportunities?

I think it's not the bikes that are reducing the passing, I think it's just become such a professional sport that riders don't make mistakes like they used to. Everyone has to train their butts off now just to ride these bikes. In the past, if you go back long enough, people were smoking before they got on the grid and they weren't tired at the end of the race. These bikes physically take a lot more out of you. And I think the level of rider, in comparison with another era, has just picked up, because everyone knows what you need to do now. And so you're not seeing people run wide and other people duck up in the inside. They're making the line, they're hitting their points, and they're not having the problems like they used to. So, I don't really think it's going to change a lot. Even Dani (Pedrosa) on the same bike as me is able to out-accelerate me just because of the way he rides. So that strength is his. But then he's got some weaknesses in his way of riding. So there's a lot of different ways to ride, different techniques to use, but I think racing in general was always going to develop and go in this direction. Even in motocross, you're struggling to see people pass each other anymore. There seems to be one line in motocross. Everyone's getting it that right. You have to go out on a limb to pass and do something and take a line that no one else can do or hasn't tried or is unexpected. But it's a big risk. It's the same in MotoGP. You have to take a big risk to get past now, because motorsport has just gone that little bit further. The way people ride has become that more developed that I think it's just the way to the future. Younger kids than us will come through and do stuff that we hadn't even dreamed of, so it's going to be the same sort of thing.

How does the 1000 compare to the 990 from 2006?

It's more or less the same, I think. It's got more grunt. Like I said, when I went from 1000 back to 800, I didn't notice a huge difference, just a slight difference, especially in the taller gears, because you couldn't put that power done quite as much anyways, but the 800's still got plenty to spin up and there's only so much you can put down. So, yeah, getting back on the 1000 was very similar to what I had. You're carrying that speed a bit more down the straight, you're able to say run a taller gear, because that you got that much torque down the bottom. So you can ride it in a few different options. Rather than with this option, you can still run it in those options, but in the higher gears you'll be able to play around with it a bit more.

You seem to be able to get on the gas sooner than most riders. It was noticeable in the first turn in Qatar, where you could get off the gas and back on faster than anyone else. Is that one of your strengths?

I have no idea, to be honest. It's difficult to know unless you're looking at data what your strengths and weaknesses are and that of other people. I very rarely or ever look at data unless my team tell me I can do something a little better here or there. If I feel that I don't know where I'm losing the time, then they'll show me. But we basically never do that. I always know where I need to improve, where I need to get better. Turn one in Qatar, I don't know. I normally feel quite good on that corner. Since being with Honda, I've got a lot more feedback than what I had with Ducati and I immediately felt better. And, yeah, I was able to crack the gas open quite early I guess and, yeah, that helped me drive through the corner rather than try and take the big wide line, and wide sweep through it.


Tagged as: Casey Stoner , Repsol Honda

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stoner, Mugello MotoGP Test 4th July 2011
Stoner, Mugello MotoGP Test 4th July 2011
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Marquez`s Honda exhaust, Qatar MotoGP test, March 2017

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July 09, 2011 1:26 PM
Last Edited 2090 days ago

. .this interview felt like a good insight into Caseys attitude on track. He metes out a critical self-analysis on his performances and is quite clearly his own biggest critic! Its actually really interesting to read this as most people seem to think he blames everyone else but himself when things go pear shaped but he comes across as a straight talking, no-bull sh!t, determined individual. An admirable, and understandable attitude for a career in ascension!!

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