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Stoner: It’s amazing.

2009 MotoGP title leader Casey Stoner admits he would be 'angry and frustrated' by the second rain cancellation in as many events, were he not starting second on the grid in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

The season-opening Qatar night race, won by Stoner, was delayed until Monday by desert rain, while Saturday's qualifying session at Motegi was abandoned due to surface water, leaving grid positions to be decided by free practice times.

"It would be strange to go through a whole season and have one session that you can't ride in, so it's amazing that we've had this situation occur in each of the opening two rounds,” said the Ducati Marlboro rider. “It's unbelievable, the rain we've had, and I'd probably be feeling angry and frustrated right now if it wasn't for the fact we're on the front row!

“It is a difficult situation for everybody to have had so little track time here but we're all, almost literally, in the same boat!” smiled the 2007 world champion. “With just 45 minutes of dry time and 45 minutes of wet there are obviously plenty of areas we feel with could improve the bike but, like I say, it is the same situation for all the riders.

“I'm confident we have a set-up to do decent lap times in both the wet and the dry. In any case it's good to have a longer [40 minute] warm up tomorrow morning and I hope the circuit will be dry".

Stoner will start Sunday's race five points ahead of Valentino Rossi, who will line-up in pole position just ahead of the Australian.

Stoner's new team-mate Nicky Hayden had been sixth fastest in the wet Saturday morning practice, but will start from twelfth on the grid courtesy of his dry Friday time.

“It's a shame for everybody to have this situation two races in a row,” said the American. “The fans, the teams, the riders… everybody wants to see us line up out there and go into battle so it's a real shame.

“This morning was the first chance I've really had to ride the bike in the rain – I've ridden it in damp conditions but never really in full rain - and I got steadily faster and faster as the session went on. We made some changes that consistently improved the bike and to be honest with you I was looking forward to qualifying in the wet.

“I liked my chances better in the wet today and I'm not sure what conditions I'd prefer for the race. The forecast is saying it will be dry and after today I think the fans deserve it.

“For me the circumstances have been unlucky because I need track time with the bike and tyres, especially when we going to tracks for the first time, but it's race day tomorrow so whatever the weather brings the aim is to just get a good start, go for it and see what happens. Good to know that the warm up will be 40 minutes!” he added.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Hayden and Stoner, Japanese MotoGP 2009
Stoner, Crutchlow, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Dovizioso, Stoner, Crutchlow, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Crutchlow, Dovizioso, Stoner, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Crutchlow, Dovizioso, Dall`Igna, Stoner, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Casey Stoner, Valencia MotoGP tests, November 2016
Dall’Igna and Stoner
Stoner, Valencia MotoGP 2016
Hayden after crash, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Miller Australian MotoGP 2016
Bradl, Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Redding Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Redding Australian MotoGP 2016
Petrucci, Hayden Australian MotoGP 2016
Petrucci, Hayden Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Miller, Hayden, Petrucci Australian MotoGP Race 2016

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