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Stoner push start ‘fixed’, marshals ‘should help’

“Somebody asked me if I was going to return the favour to Valentino. Valentino did this by accident. It wasn't on purpose” – Casey Stoner.
Honda has made modifications to Casey Stoner's factory RCV to make it easier to push start, after the Australian was forced to park an undamaged bike in Jerez.

Stoner was incensed by the reaction of marshals after being brought down by Valentino Rossi early in the wet Spanish Grand Prix.

Rossi, whose Ducati engine remained running, was able to rejoin and finish fifth. But Stoner - who began the race on pole and was second at the time of the incident - couldn't get enough assistance from marshals to re-fire his hard-to-start Repsol bike.

On the eve of this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix, round three of the 2011 championship, Stoner was asked if it was humanly possible to restart the Honda.

“I think there was a test done in the past with the same clutch and yes you can get it started,” he replied. “Of course it's hard work and pushing uphill with one person on a wet track [as at Jerez] you are not going to get the right amount of grip.”

Stoner then revealed changes, almost certainly to the clutch, had been made: “By the looks of it we've already fixed that problem for this weekend. So we should have no dramas.”

Nearly four weeks have passed since the incident, but Stoner remains frustrated at the conduct of marshals, who appeared most concerned with getting superstar Rossi back in the race - even though the Italian needed no outside assistance once back on his feet.

“When there is favouritism [from the marshals] I don't think it's correct,” said Stoner. “Not only from myself, but I know a lot of other riders I spoke to after the race as well. They had the same problem with the marshals. They just weren't willing to help.

“These bikes aren't light. I'm sure everybody in MotoGP wants to see more bikes finish than less so if it's a small crash and you can get up and go again there should be people there to help.”

Stoner rejected the suggestion that it wasn't the job of marshals to restart bikes.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stoner and Rossi after crash, Spanish MotoGP 2011
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Joeski - Unregistered

April 29, 2011 9:06 AM

I would like to see what everyone who misinterpreted Casey say now. I remember the misquote that everyone was quick to agree with. "Valentino's ambition outweighed his talent." Casey said it...a lot of people misinterpreted what he said! At any rate, the statement is not uncommon. When you crash as a racer or run wide or make a mistake, we usually say we "ran out of talent" in that corner or wherever the incident occured. Go Vale, Go Casey!!!!

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