MotoGP »

Stoner expects Rossi to perform.

Casey Stoner isn't underestimating the task ahead of him if he is to end Valentino Rossi's seven-race win streak at the Italian's home grand prix - and hand Ducati a long awaited Mugello victory on Sunday.

“We know Valentino is fast, he's won so many times here. Last year we gave it out best, but it wasn't good enough,” said Stoner, who lost out to Rossi by 2.2sec last season.

“Valentino is going to be very, very difficult to beat here. He's got a lot of pressure on him, but he normally performs very well at this circuit.

“I've never had a victory here but I've always been quite fast. We've usually had mixed fortunes; bad qualifying and good race, bad race after good qualifying. So we'll see what happens this year. I really enjoy this circuit.

“It depends what mood its in!” joked Stoner, when asked if Mugello suits the Ducati. “Sometimes we come here and don't have to touch the setting. Just fine tune it. Other times we've had to go upside-down and back-to-front just to be competitive with the front guys.

“But I believe we've got a more competitive package than we've had for the past two seasons and I'm quite confident that we can at least be competitive. Whether we can win the race or not is another thing.”

Stoner starts this weekend's race joint second with Rossi and just one point behind Jorge Lorenzo. Fourth placed Dani Pedrosa is a further eight points behind.

“After four races, compared with last year, we're the only rider in the top four who has actually improved in points,” highlighted Stoner.

“Everyone was saying at the start of the season it was between myself and Valentino but I've always said 'expect the unexpected'. No-one expected me to be up front in 2007 and we won the championship.

“Jorge was fast last year and now he has one year of confidence, Dani had problems with his knee and people discarded him but he's had three podiums. Everybody is riding really well at the moment so we've just got to try and step it up.”

Mugello is used frequently by Ducati for testing.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Lorenzo and Stoner, Italian MotoGP 2009
Crutchlow, Pedrosa, Italian MotoGP 2017
Bautista, Marquez, Italian MotoGP 2017
Vinales, Petrucci, Italian MotoGP 2017
Crutchlow, Pedrosa, Italian MotoGP 2017
Sam Lowes, Italian MotoGP 2017
Folger, Italian MotoGP 2017
Pedrosa, Crutchlow Italian MotoGP 2017
Bautista, Marquez Italian MotoGP 2017
Vinales, Rossi, Italian MotoGP 2017
Guintoli, Smith Italian MotoGP 2017
Barbera, Miller Italian MotoGP 2017
Crutchlow, Rabat Italian MotoGP 2017
Pedrosa, Crutchlow, Italian MotoGP 2017
Iannone, Lorenzo Italian MotoGP 2017
Rossi fans, Italian MotoGP 2017
Rossi fans, Italian MotoGP 2017
Aprilia aeodynamic fairing, Italian MotoGP 2017

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.