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Stoner: It is going to be a long, open season.

Having been 'put to the test' at Motegi and Jerez, where he emerged with fourth and third place finishes, Qatar winner Casey Stoner should be in for an easier ride this weekend at Le Mans.

Ducati Marlboro's 2007 world champion will start the French Grand Prix second in the championship, eleven points behind Valentino Rossi, and looking to erase last year's disappointment - when a technical problem dropped the young Australian from third to last in the closing stages.

“We're on the back of two races that have really put us to the test but we've come out of them with decent results,” said Stoner. “Both Motegi and Jerez have characteristics that give us a few problems, especially the tight corners where our bike isn't as reactive as usual.

“Even Le Mans is like that in a couple of places, it is not a fast and flowing track – on the contrary, it's the classic stop and go layout that requires good braking, although you can take some nice, fun and fast lines on the way out of the turns. We'll see what we're capable of when we get there and how many points we're able to bring home.

“It is going to be a long, open season – we've seen that with three winners and three championship leaders from the first three races and the fact that there are four of us within just a few points at the top.

“There is no point making predictions, the important thing is to continue working well and make sure we pick up as many points as possible in these races where we know it will be tough to come away with the ideal result,” he added.

Stoner finished third at a wet Le Mans during his title winning season.

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May 11, 2009 6:59 PM

I getting a little sick and tired of people saying that they are impress or not impress with a rider like Dani or Casey says and even what a driver like Lewis H. says. Who gives a f**K? :rolleyes: It's all about what they do on race day. They aren't politicians. We have all these "speech analysis" on Crash like it's CNN or BBC news or something. What these guys say don't mean jack squat. I don't know about some of you but the way they perform means a hell of a lot more than what they say and how they say it.

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