Casey Stoner has branded FIAT Yamaha's replacement for the injured Valentino Rossi 'a nobody' and an 'atrocious' choice – as the ever-outspoken Australian let rip with his feelings following the Assen outing on the calendar last weekend.
After moves to promote Colin Edwards from satellite squad Tech 3 to take Rossi's place and substitute the American with current World Superbike Championship front-runner Cal Crutchlow fell through, Yamaha has brought in veteran test rider Wataru Yoshikawa to fill the void left by the record-breaking multiple MotoGP World Champion until the Italian is fit enough to return.
The Japanese ace has been tasked with aiding 'future development' of the pace-setting M1, but at 41 years of age, having not ridden at the upcoming circuits before and with just a single premier class start under his belt to-date – taking the chequered flag a distant twelfth in the 2002 Pacific Motorcycle Grand Prix on home turf at the Twin Ring Motegi – his credentials have been called into question by many. Stoner scarcely holds back when dismissing his recruitment as 'atrocious', opining that Yamaha should have 'put anybody in that seat – but not a nobody'.
The 2007 MotoGP World Champion went on to slate current grid sizes as 'a joke' – with injuries meaning only 15 competitors lined up in the Netherlands on Sunday – and even allowing for championship organiser Dorna's promise of a 22-strong field for 2011, Stoner argues more needs to be done and suggests the onus should be placed on the manufacturers and Suzuki in particular to provide more bikes.
“They need more bikes on the grid,” the Ducati star bluntly asserted, according to Visordown
. “Suzuki need to be forced to put four bikes on the grid – they've got enough money, they've got enough chassis'. It's just ridiculous – it should be a minimum of four. I don't understand why companies don't put last year's bikes out there like they used to.
“Put more bikes on the grid, make more opportunities for teams. I'm sure there's a way they can sort it out to run last year's bikes, then smaller teams can grab a hold. It's always been like that for years, but now it just seems to have disappeared.”