MotoGP »

Stoner picks out main rivals

“Maybe there will be some changes and a few surprises, but we can guarantee that Jorge and Dani will be there” - Casey Stoner.
With two of the three MotoGP pre-season tests complete, reigning double world champion Casey Stoner expects the 'usual suspects' to provide his closest competition during the opening season of 1000cc racing.

Over the previous five years with 800cc machines, only four riders scored more than one victory - Stoner (33), Valentino Rossi (21), Jorge Lorenzo (17) and Dani Pedrosa (13).

With one of those 'aliens', seven time MotoGP champion Rossi, still to find form at Ducati, Stoner expects his main rivals be Yamaha's former champion and 2010 runner-up Jorge Lorenzo, and Honda team-mate Pedrosa.

“I think we can guarantee Jorge will be running up front, same as Dani,” said Stoner, fastest at both Sepang pre-season tests.

“It's always the same ones. I think if Valentino was on a bike he is comfortable with he'd be running at the front as well, so hopefully they can make some improvements.

“It'll be the usual suspects. Maybe there will be some changes and a few surprises, but we can guarantee that Jorge and Dani will be there.”

Lorenzo was second to Stoner at the first Sepang test, with Pedrosa runner-up in this week's return visit.

The third and final official test will be held at Jerez from March 23-25, when the full 21-rider grid - twelve manufacturer bikes plus nine of the new privateer 'CRTs' - will be on track together for the first time.

The first race of the new season will then be held at Losail, Qatar on the evening of April 8.

The single 800cc race winners were Andrea Dovizioso, Chris Vermeulen, Loris Capirossi and Ben Spies.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Stoner, Sepang MotoGP test, 28th Feb-1st March 2012
Smith at Suzuka 8 Hours (pic: Yamaha)
Espargaro at Suzuka 8 Hours (pic: Yamaha)
Smith, Espargaro, Nakasuga celebrate Suzuka win (pic: Yamaha)
Casey Stoner at Suzuka 8 Hours (pic:
Smith, Espargaro, Nakasuga win Suzuka (pic: Yamaha)
Casey Stoner at Suzuka (pic: Musashi)
Pol Espargaro at Suzuka 8 Hours (pic: Yamaha)
Bradley Smith tests for Suzuka (pic: Yamaha)
Pol Espargaro tests for Suzuka (pic: Yamaha)
Pol Espargaro tests for Suzuka (pic: Yamaha)
Smith, Espargaro, Nakasuga ready for Suzuka 8 Hours (pic: Yamaha)
Dani Pedrosa tests 2016 Honda (pic: Honda).
Pedrosa, German MotoGP 2015
Louis Rossi, German Moto2 race 2015
Rossi, German MotoGP race 2015
Pedrosa, German MotoGP Race 2015
Rossi, German MotoGP race 2015

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Sparky62 - Unregistered

March 02, 2012 12:05 PM

Here we go again....Stoner has never dismissed the skills of other riders or had a bad thing to say about anybody else in the paddock! As for his whinging...all he has ever done is be honest about the bike and why he was going fast or slow. He had harsh things to say about Rossi's pass at Leguna Seca and that was a fair comment, not a whinge. For God's sake, he just complemented Rossi and still some people have to stick the boots in.

Aussie - Unregistered

March 02, 2012 12:15 PM

@Idiocy I have to disagree with you about respect I have always found stoner (which I am a fan)to be respectful of his peers.There is one rider though who has never ever had respect for his peers right through his career, he rides a factory ducati and his name is not nicky hayden. and I have been following GP racing for a long long time and he is one of the most disrespectful riders I have ever seen.

© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.