6 February 2012
Interview with Casey Stoner
A Repsol generated interview with MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner after last week's Sepang test
Reigning double MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner missed day one of the Sepang test due to a back strain, but returned to be fastest on the second and third days - setting an unofficial lap record of 1m 59.607s on his new Repsol Honda RC213V in the process…
First of all, how are you doing? After the long winter wait to get back on the bike, you weren't able to ride on the opening day of the three in Sepang…
After the winter break and a long time off the bike, we were preparing in order to be ready for day one of testing. Unfortunately I had a problem with my back and we missed that opening day. We had our schedule planned out for the three days, but we were able to pack it all into two in the end. I was a little bit disappointed, but then I felt really good when I was able to get back riding and experience the feeling of being on track again. Everything went pretty well and I hope that we can improve.
Does the riding style required change much with the switch from 800cc bikes to 1000cc bikes?
No, we haven't changed much in terms of riding style; with the 800cc we already had an abundance of power, so we had to learn to manage that in many ways. I think that the 1000cc has a lot more acceleration —which makes things more fun— but I don't have to change my style too much for that. The feeling is very similar to with the 800cc bikes and it seems as if everyone is adapting well.
Have you made any changes in your winter training with the new bike in mind?
No, because I think that the physical demands will be very similar. It will be a little more difficult, but we were already training with the aim of being as fit as possible for any bike. It wasn't specific training for the 800cc before. In my opinion, I can't improve my fitness much more before the start of the season.
Do you notice the 4kg difference between the bike used at Sepang and that used at Valencia?
Yes, and it is rather frustrating. We already had the bike developed and then they decided to change the regulations, so we had to add 4kg to the weight of our bike. This is a disadvantage for us, because the bike was already developed with a specific weight in mind, and now we have to add more. This affects the bike. It isn't something that you notice much in your general riding, but unfortunately you do feel it quite a bit mid-corner. We have to try to adapt a little more and overcome this, but it is disappointing that the decision was made so late on.
With these more powerful, heavier bikes, you still have the same fuel capacity permitted. Do you follow the collaboration between Honda engineers and Repsol to provide Dani and yourself with the best fuel possible?
Of course, when you have more power there is a critical aspect involved: Obtaining the same performance with less fuel consumption. We have the same fuel tank capacity as with the 800cc bikes, only with a lot more power available, so it is going to be rather difficult to ensure that we can finish each race. That is why it is crucial that Honda and Repsol work together to find the best solution.
You now have a blog and the fans are really pleased to read your thoughts. What do you think about this? Are you aware of how many people support you and will access this new platform for your opinion?
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