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Stoner explains Qatar crash

Nobody had the speed to catch Casey Stoner in Sunday's Qatar Grand Prix - but they didn't have to...

The Ducati Marlboro star was two-seconds clear of the field, and had just set a fastest race lap half a second quicker than any other rider would manage, when he lost the front of his Desmosedici at turn four on lap 6 of 22.

It was a disastrous end for a rider who came into the 2010 season-opener - which he had won for the last three seasons - saying 'solid points' was his only objective. Instead he handed Fiat Yamaha title rivals Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo a 25 and 20 point title head start.

“The bike bogged at the start so I didn't get away well but I felt good and I was able to pass the other guys,” began Stoner, who slipped from pole to fourth at turn one. “Once I got to the front I started to get into my rhythm but I lost the front end a couple of times in long corners so I made the decision to try to ride a bit smoother and not put so much pressure on the front tyre with the full tank.

“Unfortunately that is what led to the crash because looking at the telemetry I didn't have enough load on the front, so I guess in hindsight I should have stuck to the way I'd been riding all weekend.

“It's my mistake and I apologise to the team because we'd done a great job this weekend and we leave empty handed.

“Having said that it's not a complete disaster because we've found this weekend that the bike has improved in areas where we have struggled in the past - for example the rear grip was unbelievable - and we have a long, long way to go.”

After Stoner's exit, team-mate Nicky Hayden - one of the riders to pass Stoner into turn one - battled for a podium place for the remainder of the race, only losing out on a rostrum at the line.

“I'm pleased for Nicky because he had a great race and I think we can both be confident and optimistic about the rest of the season with this bike,” said Casey.

Stoner has now crashed from the lead of a MotoGP race three times - twice in 2008, at Brno and Misano, and then on Sunday in Qatar.

Tagged as: Ducati , Casey Stoner , crash , Qatar

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Dangerous1 - Unregistered

April 12, 2010 7:21 AM

I think that those of us that have been watching since VR started riding MotoGP know that he's always very quick but also that he rides at 98-99% because he knows that riding at 100% can end your race early. When he does push at 100%, it's always only for brief spurts at certain sections of the track. You hardly ever see him trying to push full laps, lap after lap. But Casey and Lorenzo will try to push at qualifying pace, lap after lap. And a lot of times, there's not enough margin for error and they eat dirt. If you look at other riders that hardly crash, such as CE, they're train of thought is similar to VR. Better to pick up a few points rather than lose 25 to the winner.

cxl - Unregistered

April 12, 2010 7:01 AM

A clear display of the different in race-craft between Rossi and Stoner. Stoner pushed it in the front at a time when he didn't really need to. Rossi conserved/waited until Dovizioso showed him a wheel and then pulled his gap.

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