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Casey Stoner - Q&A

A Repsol Honda generated interview with reigning MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner
Following his dominant performance at the Sepang test at the beginning of this month, Casey Stoner has returned to his European base in Lausanne, Switzerland, where Stoner has enjoyed the first few weeks of fatherhood with wife Adrianna following the birth of his first child, Alessandra Maria Stoner.

With almost a month's rest under his belt, reigning MotoGP champion Stoner will return to Malaysia for the next test on the 1000cc RC212V as the countdown to the opening race of the season at Losail in Qatar on April 23 continues.

Specifically, how is the 1000 different from the 800 on corner entry, mid-corner, exit?

Casey Stoner:
Well, the only thing I think, not so much from the 1000 to 800, but just an improvement that we've made with Honda, is braking stability. The wheelbase is maybe a little different and when we go on the brakes we've, of course, got a bit more stability as we're going into the corner. The rear's not wanting to hop up as much. So we can actually sink our hands into the brakes a lot harder. So it's actually changing the braking points by a little bit less than what we'd expected, because our bike has improved quite substantially in that point. I'd say corner entry is exactly the same. Everything from that point on is very similar. I think it's mainly just chassis-wise that we've improved. The weight of the bike is exactly the same, the way it's going to react is very similar, if not the same.

Is the weight of the RC213V the same?

Casey Stoner:
Now we've gone four kilos, but that was quite recently that they decided to add that. The bikes were designed and built and then they go, Ah yeah, we're going to add four kilos. So I don't think that's really the right way forward. And I hope they fight it. I hope they fight it and win because you don't make rules and change it at the last minute when the bike's already developed. So I think the extra four kilos isn't changing anything like that anyway. It's more or less the same weight. If it was 20 kilos difference in the bike, it might be a bit of difference. At this point it just feels very similar to the 800. The only thing that's different for us is the way the chassis feels. Like I said, I think we've made some improvements with that. And just corner exit, we're able to use that power a lot better, we're able to get a more torque out of the engine, have a lot more control with the engine because it's not so peaky. And actually I've found a lot more traction. Because of the extra torque and control, it wants to drive out of the corner a lot longer before it spins.

Can you be less precise with the 1000 and still get away with it?

Casey Stoner:
I'd say no. In a small way I think maybe, because of that extra torque you've got you can just square the corner off then and shoot it out. But the 800s already had a lot of power. And especially by the end of their time they already had a quite substantial amount and too much. You're still spinning up everywhere. So I'd say, no. I think you've still got to ride them in a very similar way. Try to ride them very accurately and everyone's just trying to massage out the bugs at the moment.

If you make a mistake, is it less forgiving than the 800?

Casey Stoner:
No, I think it's very similar. The 800s, maybe you were carrying a little bit more corner speed. Because you didn't have the same power on the 800s then you didn't have the same problems with wheelies. The 1000s, of course, especially on a small track with a short gearbox, is just going to want to wheelie quite a lot, so that's going to be something you'll have to think about. So they did turn a little bit harder and you keep a little bit more throttle in the middle of the turn really. But such a minute amount. You can still ride them in exactly the same way. I was watching some of the lines out there of everybody today and looking at some of the black marks. They're using the whole track still. I'm using less and less of the track, because I'm happy with that extra bit of torque. But in general you can still ride them in both ways.

You've said that having a child is going to give more meaning to your life. When did you come to this realisation?

Casey Stoner:
Four years ago, I'd say. I've always known there's more to life than just racing for a long time. But when I finally decided this isn't going to be me for the rest of my life I started looking for things that I can do away from racing, that's my fishing and things like that I really enjoy. And spending as much time with friends as I can. Things I've just missed out on because this championship doesn't permit you to do that. And all my good friends race in other championships, so we're all busy on opposite weekends and we just never get time together. And you miss those things and you learn that you're supposed to appreciate the time that you've got together and try and spend as much time as you can.

You've won a title before. Is it harder to win a title or defend a title?

Casey Stoner:
I think there is no defending a title. You don't go into a season with a points advantage over anyone. So I don't think it's ever a title defence. I think you've got a different number on your bike, if you choose so, but everyone starts at zero again. Especially this year; we're going from 800s to 1000s, so there's nothing similar to the past year except we're running tyres on bikes and we're doing the same kind of championship, but a completely different category you could call it now. So, I don't think you ever go into a season trying to defend your championship. I think you're going out trying to attack for another one.

The year after you won your championship you had a number of problems, which made keeping the number one plate more difficult.

Casey Stoner:

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speedtrip84 - Unregistered

February 21, 2012 11:01 AM

That pass at Laguna was one of the greatest passes I have ever seen. Declaration, I'm a Aussie... but you have to admit, going around the outside to pull that move took b***s!

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