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Stoner struggling for strength,

Casey Stoner may have been fast in Friday practice for the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, but the MotoGP title contender is facing a fitness battle after symptoms of his mystery illness appeared much earlier than at previous events.

The Ducati star has required medical treatment for stomach cramps and sickness after each of the last two rounds, which he has finished in third position, and - despite new medication - was feeling nauseous after just an hour of track action in California.

Nevertheless, Stoner was fastest for much of the session, before being overcome by Fiat Yamaha riders and title rivals Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. Stoner finished the day 0.189sec behind Rossi and only 0.077sec behind Lorenzo.

“I had plenty of time to recover between the Barcelona and Assen races but still encountered the same problems, so it's no surprise to come here after just six days and be struggling,” said Stoner.

“The feeling of tiredness and sickness has started earlier than it did in those two race weekends so it's not looking good but again we have found a good set-up with the bike, we know we have something competitive and I just wish I was able to use it more.

“Since Barcelona we've found a geometry set-up that gives me great feeling but I'm not getting the most out of it - I know it can go faster round here. We'll just have to see how the weekend pans out.

“It is hard for the doctors because I don't have any symptoms until I am physically tired, at which point I go rapidly down the other side of the hill, so it's not like they can give me antibiotics because they don't know what it is.

“Anyway, they have given me something new to try here and we'll see if we can bring it back for race day. If it works I'll be very grateful,” admitted Stoner, who lost out to Rossi in a thrilling battle at Laguna Seca last season.

Stoner is already aware that his symptoms are similar to Epstein-Barr. He has been discussing it with a doctor in Australia, who said it could be EB.

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K7 750 - Unregistered

July 04, 2009 2:20 AM

Andrewm, that is probably the dumbest comment I can think of. The Ducati has never been the best bike. If it was then riders like Capirossi, Melandri, Haydem would be at the front. Both MotoGP commentators said that Casey was the only one who had the pace to run with Rossi at Assen. He would be elbow to elbow with Rossi and Jorge if he was 100%.

Laterrus Talley

July 04, 2009 3:28 AM

Right on Dray! The guy is getting annoying fast! True, he could really be sick but, I think it's seriously all in his head or he's acting like the biggest brat MotoGP has ever seen! If he was leading every session by half a second like last year, I bet we wouldn't hear as much from him. Correct me if I'm wrong but, didn't the wrist injury only start to get worse after the halfway mark last season when Rossi started to come on strong? Yeah,yeah he could kill me on the track blah blah but, come on people, deep inside your minds we all know what's REALLY wrong with Stoner. He's to the point now where he whines with no shame whatsoever. Sad...............

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