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Stoner happy with set-up.

Despite leading all three track sessions at Qatar this weekend, winning at the Losail circuit for the past two seasons and securing pole position for the 2009 event by 0.473sec, Casey Stoner is taking nothing for granted.

As well as the ever-present threat of reigning six-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi, who will start second on the grid, question marks remain over the changeable weather and track conditions ahead of Sunday's night's season-opening race. Not to mention Stoner's unraced wrist, following winter surgery.

Racing at Qatar will not take place if it rains, due to the glare from the floodlights.

"It rained a little bit at 'lunchtime' between the two practice sessions today but it was gone as quickly as it arrived and we were relieved that we were able to ride at all,” admitted the Ducati Marlboro star.

“There is a little bit of dust and dirt that seems to come down with the rain here so we knew the track conditions would be slick and the lap times wouldn't come down much. The reality was that there was so much dirt out there that the softer compound tyres worked virtually like a qualifier and only lasted for a couple of laps.

“Even on a race tyre it is hard to predict whether your set-up is going to work because the conditions are different every time we go out so we're going to have to wait and see what tomorrow brings,” Stoner insisted.

“It's impossible to guess what could happen in the race but generally I'm happy with our set-up and the main thing for us at this early stage is to pick up points, keep working on our weaknesses and make sure we don't make the same mistakes as last year by getting to the middle of the season with problems to fix,” he insisted.

Stoner won last year's race by over five seconds from Jorge Lorenzo, with Rossi fifth on his Bridgestone debut.

Stoner's new team-mate Nicky Hayden injured his back in a huge accident at the end of the session and is 'doubtful' for the race (see separate story).

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stoner and Rossi, Qatar MotoGP 2009
Stoner, French MotoGP 2017
Stoner, Tardozzi, French MotoGP 2017
Stoner, French MotoGP 2017
McPhee, Mir, Martin, Moto3 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Mc Phee, Moto3 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
McPhe, Moto3 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Mir, Moto3 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
MArtin, Moto3 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Mir, Moto3 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
MArtin, Moto3 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Nakagami, Oliveira, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Edgar Pons, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Isaac Vinales, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Schrotter, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Cortese, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Quartararo, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Pawi, Moto2 race, Qatar MotoGP 2017

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The Morgue

April 12, 2009 1:10 AM
Last Edited 2998 days ago

They should stop with this stupid night racing ASAP, Ezpeleta and Ecclestone are trying to defy nature and that will bite them in the hindside. Racing in a desert where everybody with a little sense knows the temperature drops drastically after dark because of the lack of vegetation, the added bonus of sand on the track and the risk of rain making racing impossible alltogether. And for what? pleasing the tv stations and advertisers.

Clint - Unregistered

April 12, 2009 11:34 AM

Blah, Blah, Ahaa Are we interested in bike racing or wanting to push our own views about saving the panet? Bit hypocritical to follow a sport which revolves around using as many tonnes as carbon it needs to get a result Turning on a few megawatts for a few hours is nothing compared to what is wasted in industry I say we leave the "Green" issues to the relevant like minded forums and let's go racing !!!!!! Oh yeah, Rossi was deep in thought trying to fabricate another excuse why he can't match Stoner...... :)

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