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Ducati ready for Stoner comeback

After a 'difficult' period without 2007 world champion Casey Stoner, Ducati is looking forward to the Australian's return to MotoGP action during the forthcoming Portuguese Grand Prix on October 4.

After leading the 2009 world championship with two wins from the first five rounds, Stoner was sick at Barcelona then battled fatigue at the following four races.

Medical tests proved inconclusive and, after returning to Australia for the summer break, it was announced that Stoner would sit out the next three rounds and return to action - hopefully at full fitness - at Estoril.

“The doctors believe that during the Barcelona race [round six] I was suffering from a virus, and, that I subsequently pushed my body too hard, leading to problems that have caused my fatigue since then,” Stoner explained.

During Stoner's hiatus, team-mate Nicky Hayden put the Desmosedici back on the podium after a four-round absence with third place at Indianapolis - but Stoner remains the only rider that can challenge the factory Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, plus Honda's Dani Pedrosa.

There has been speculation, not helped by Ducati's attempts to sign Lorenzo and then Pedrosa, that Stoner has fallen out with the Italian team - with whom he has a contract for 2010.

In an apparent attempt to underline the strength of the Ducati/Stoner relationship, Ducati fans held up an organised mosaic reading 'I love 27' before the start of Sunday's grand prix at Misano.

“Obviously we are all missing Casey a lot, as are our fans, who made that wonderful gesture with the giant heart,” declared Ducati general director Claudio Domenicali.

“This GP signals the end of a period in which we have had to manage without him and they have been a difficult few weeks, but I am extremely satisfied with the way everybody in the team has pulled together.



Tagged as: Ducati , Casey Stoner , Estoril

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Bambang - Unregistered

September 09, 2009 1:03 PM

Some quotes from Rossi at visordown: “I always try to make a great work for developing the bike, and I usually make the work just for me. But now I am also doing it for my worst enemy,” “Sincerely, I think I don’t deserve this after what I have done for Yamaha. But this is the Yamaha choice... “Before, I never thought of going out of Yamaha, but now with this situation with Lorenzo, I have to make a decision,”

Jon

September 08, 2009 9:25 AM

You wouldn't blame Casey from walking away from Ducati now. They were so keen to get Lorenzo and pay him double Stoners wage it wouldn't surprise me if he left. A 'we love 27' mosaic is all well and good, but money talks... Put Stoner on anything and he's be fast, shame the same can't be said of the GP9 that he'd leave behind. I also think something like the M1 or RCV would be less tiring to ride so if Stoner can't shake off the mystery fatigue syndrome he could find salvation with a japanese bike. Or go to wsbk where he'd win the championship in his first year! Far friendlier paddock too!



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