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Stoner slumps to fifth in Jerez

Jerez has never been particularly kind to Casey Stoner or Ducati, but the Australian was still frustrated to slip backwards as the Spanish Grand Prix weekend went on.

The 2007 world champion, who took his first Jerez podium last year, was fastest of all in Friday practice, but was unable to improve his set-up - indeed he feels it got worse - and was third (FP2), third (QP), sixth (WU) and then fifth (Race) in the sessions that followed.

Stoner finished one place behind Ducati Marlboro team-mate Nicky Hayden, marking a rare defeat by another Desmosedici, although his ten-second deficit to race winner Jorge Lorenzo was actually the same margin as his third place finish in last year's race.

“I'm disappointed with today's performance,” began Stoner. “We started the weekend strongly but only got worse compared to our rivals as the sessions went by and we were never able to improve on the base set-up that we started out with. I think we fell into the trap of making changes to the bike that were too radical and it only served to confuse us because we never went in the right direction.

“I made an okay start to the race and felt comfortable over the opening laps, Jorge was actually slowing my progress at that point and I was eager to get past him and chase Nicky and the others but as soon as I came up to pass Nicky I lost the front and almost crashed.

“The bike was pretty much on the ground but I managed to pick it up and then tried to push on from there but the front folded two or three more times on that lap alone.

“That shot my confidence so Jorge was able to pass me easily and from that moment I just wanted to take as many points as I could. As the tyres went off in the second half of the race the bike felt better and I had more contact with the front but it was little too late and I couldn't catch Nicky.

“We need to work hard to find some answers in the test tomorrow and move on to Le Mans ready to battle again,” he concluded.

“I'm disappointed for Casey because I know he's not happy with this result,” stated Ducati Corse general director Filippo Preziosi. “We lost our way over the weekend despite making a strong start on Friday and didn't manage to improve the set-up of the bike.

“Casey didn't have a good feeling with the front and with two crashes already this year, one in Qatar and one here in practice, it seems we haven't solved our problem.

“Fortunately we have a day of testing here tomorrow and that comes at a good time for us because we can analyse all the data and try to get a better understanding of what happened.”

Having crashed out of the lead at round one, Stoner's eleven points were his first of 2010 and he presently sits eighth in the championship with 16 rounds to go.

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Eeeeek! - Unregistered

May 03, 2010 8:45 AM

Another race weekend and another raft of Ducati front end crashes and wash outs. Trail braking deep into a corner and simply not knowing if the front's going to stick or fold is just about as bad as it gets. Nice to see Nicky running better but not at the expense of Stoners pace at the front. Ducati might just be in trouble!


May 03, 2010 9:10 AM

EUROSPORT, how do we get the racing back on eurosport, i have 51 channels on my TV in HOLLAND and could only find live coverage on the BBC, Whats happening the SPONSOR should wake up. i used to watch it on eurosport and see all the action now i only got to see the motogp race thats all.F##K DOORNA

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