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Stoner walks on water at Sepang.

“I want to congratulate Valentino because to win nine world championships is an incredible achievement,” said Stoner. “I'm sure that if we continue to work like this ourselves we can put up a much stronger challenge next time.”

Stoner will start the Valencia season finale third in the championship and 11 points ahead of Dani Pedrosa (Honda), who was second in Sunday's race.

Despite his mid-season break, Stoner still has a slim chance of snatching second from Jorge Lorenzo, although Stoner would need to win at Valencia with Lorenzo failing to score.

Rossi has won six races this season, with Lorenzo and Stoner tied on four victories from the 16 rounds so far held.

Stoner's team-mate Nicky Hayden also produced a competitive display on Sunday, claiming his fourth top six finish of the year with fifth position.

“We'll take a top five, that'll work for us,” said Hayden. “I was quite excited when it started to rain because I've been on the pace with this bike in the wet this year and I felt I could do something special. Unfortunately I struggled a lot on the brakes in the beginning and a lot of guys came past.”

Seventh at the end of lap one, the American was involved in a series of exciting battles, passing Loris Capirossi and Toni Elias and doing his best to hold off title contenders Rossi and Lorenzo.

“I had a lot of fun passing and fighting with people, trying to close down the gap to the lead group, but I was just missing a little bit to really go with Rossi and Lorenzo and try to fight for the podium,” he said.

“When Vermeulen [sixth] came I knew he was a rain specialist so I pushed hard to make sure he didn't see a crack in the door and think he could push it open. I've been fourth here five times so I'm only one spot off my mark!

“After Phillip Island it seems every time we try to get something going we have huge bad luck but I'm thankful I have a team who keep working and never give up – we're trying to build something here together and we're making progress. Even this weekend we were consistently up near the top.

“I have to say congratulations to Casey and Valentino. It wasn't a terrible day for us either but now we go to Valencia and try to build on it again,” he concluded.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stoner and Rossi, Malaysian MotoGP Race 2009
Nicky Hayden - A tribute
Private testing action from Barcelona
Morning (left) and afternoon (right) lap times from Weds at Barcelona test
Marquez fall at private Barcelona test
Barcelona Circuit of Catalunya chicane final sector
New Catalunya chicane during private test
New chicane in use at Catalunya MotoGP test
Pedrosa, Zarco, Vinales, French MotoGP 2017
Vinales, French MotoGP 2017
Crowd, French MotoGP 2017
Baz, French MotoGP 2017
Rossi, Vinales, French MotoGP 2017
Iannone, French MotoGP 2017
Folger, French MotoGP 2017
Crowd, French MotoGP 2017
Dovizioso, Crutchlow, French MotoGP 2017
Vinales, Zarco, Rossi, French MotoGP 2017

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TC! - Unregistered

October 26, 2009 10:35 AM

I think for comparison purposes the last three years are more relevant not because it's the 800cc era, but because they've both been factory riders. To compare Rossi's circumstances in 06 (factory bikes, factory technicians, factory budget, Michelin "specials", etc,etc) to Caseys circumstances (customer bike, new team to the class with no previous experience, shoestring budget, over the counter tyres, etc, etc),................ well surely anyone can see that a comparison is hardly valid!

FarKana! - Unregistered

October 26, 2009 9:39 AM

3,2,1 Let the Stoner bashing begin - by nobodies and wannabees tappity tapping on the keyboard, snickering at their own purile verbal vomit knowing full well that they are neither worthy to comment or capable of ever performing like the man they hate so passionately. saddest thing is they hate someone they don't even know..... pathetic little creatures.

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