Casey Stoner admits to feeling frustrated at the health problems that have hampered him at the last four rounds - and is now talking in terms of the end of the 2009 MotoGP season before he can get fully fit again.
Stoner has suffered weakness and/or sickness since Catalunya, with doctors seemingly unable to pinpoint the cause of the problems. The Australian was unconvinced by a diagnosis of 'slight gastritis and mild anaemia' and treatment is yet to make a noticeable impact.
After winning two of the first five events, Stoner's physical problems have seen him drop away during the second half of the races since, in which he has claimed two thirds and two fourth places.
“It's just frustrating more than anything. It came during a period where we found some solutions with the bike, which have definitely been improving a lot of things,” said the Ducati Marlboro star.
“We're just gonna have to wait and see. At the end of the season, once we get rid of this thing - whatever it is - then we will start to be a little bit happier towards the end of the race.”
Stoner starts this weekend's British Grand Prix third in the championship behind Fiat Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, and is now pinning his British GP hopes on bad weather, which reduces the physical strain of riding a grand prix motorcycle.
“The last race at the Sachsenring was a lot more enjoyable for me. I had a lot more fun. I was at least watching the fight [close up] rather than seeing it from a ten second gap,” said Stoner. “I was able to hang in there a little bit longer, but I think a lot of it was due to the weather just being very, very kind to me.
“We'll just have to see what we are capable of this weekend. We know the Donington weather can keep you nice and cool. So we hope to be somewhere near where we were at the Sachsenring.”