Casey Stoner says that his hopes of a second straight MotoGP victory this weekend in Japan lies with Ducati continuing the find more improvements with the GP10.
Stoner took his first win of the year at Aragon last time out after the team managed to improve the stability of the bike and find more grip, with team-mate Nicky Hayden also benefitting from the improvements to give Ducati a double points finish.
After a season where the team has struggled to take the fight to Yamaha and Honda, Ducati will seek to end the year on a high – with a strong result in Japan the target ahead of three races in as many weekends.
“Motegi is a circuit with a lot of stop and go sections, not much of it flows together and it's not one of my favourite layouts,” he said. “On the positive side the surface is smooth, with not too many bumps, which have really made us suffer at a lot of tracks this year.
“You need a bike that is stable under braking and efficient under acceleration so I am hopeful that the setting we found at Aragon can be useful here again. In Spain we finally managed to improve the stability and found a bit more grip and if we can do that again this weekend we will have the chance to fight for a good result again.”
Team manager Vittoriano Guareschi said the team was hopeful that the Aragon improvements would allow Ducati to fight at the front again in Japan although he admitted that the two circuits share little in common.
“We are coming on the back of a good result at Aragon, where both Casey and Nicky were fast all weekend and their bikes worked well,” he said. “Obviously it would be nice to us to get to Japan and find that the latest modifications are taking us in the right direction, especially because Motegi is a very different kind of circuit to Aragon.
“Our riders are in good form and the team is ready to tackle the triple-header that starts this Sunday and so all the ingredients are there for us to try and repeat that result. But it's never easy and we know that our job is to stay focused and give maximum effort as always.”