Casey Stoner is expecting a strong challenge from MotoGP world champion and 2011 points leader Jorge Lorenzo at Silverstone this weekend.

Repsol Honda rider Stoner took his second MotoGP win in a row and third of the year with a dominant performance at Catalunya last Sunday, putting him within seven points of Lorenzo in the standings.

But while the Yamaha rider won from pole at Silverstone last year, Stoner was only fifth for Ducati, having been beaten by team-mate Nicky Hayden in both qualifying and the race.

"After a great last few races we're looking forward to going to Silverstone," said Stoner. "Last year wasn't so good for us after being unlucky off the start, which prevented us from having a stronger race.

"I think this year with the Honda and the way things are going we can hope for a good performance, so long as everything goes smoothly.

"We need to stay focused and watch those around us as we know our biggest championship rival at the moment, Jorge [Lorenzo], is extremely fast there.

"Silverstone is a circuit I really enjoy, so we'll see how the weekend pans out."

With team-mate and Estoril winner Dani Pedrosa missing his second race in a row this weekend, Stoner has moved 28 points clear of next best Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso, another member of the Repsol team.

"It's very disappointing not to have Dani present again this weekend, but this is his decision and I just wish him all the best at this difficult time," said Stoner.

Dovizioso finished second at Silverstone last year, where he hopes to replicate the success he had at Donington Park.

The track in the East Midlands was the only one where he scored victories in all three classes, including his maiden MotoGP win in 2009.

That race was held in difficult and changing conditions, which Dovizioso managed better than anyone else.

With the possibility of similar conditions in Silverstone, Dovi stands poised to take advantage.

"I like Silverstone. It's a good track for us and now that it has been resurfaced in the parts where there were more bumps it should be even better. The layout is beautiful and we go there to fight for the podium," said Dovizioso, who just missed out on his second podium of the season last weekend in Catalunya.

"In terms of race pace, in Catalunya we made a step forward compared to Le Mans, where we finished second. In Catalunya we were fourth, as I couldn't make use of the bike's full potential due to tricky track conditions, but we were fast, finishing five seconds behind Casey.

"I'm very motivated to race in UK; in Donington I won my first MotoGP race and last year I took second position at Silverstone, where we raced for the first time. It will be important to work well from the first session and to be focused to get the best set-up.

"I'm sorry to hear that Dani won't race in Silverstone. I wish him a good recovery and I hope he will return soon."


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