By Stephen English
Casey Stoner was in damage limitation mode once again during Sunday's British Grand Prix, with the reigning MotoGP champion once again hamstrung by handling issues with his Honda.
The Australian spent the opening stages of the race chasing leader Ben Spies, but was unable to attack the American because of the Yamaha's superior traction and grip.
“Ben worried me from lap one,” said Stoner. “When I saw how hard he was getting on the throttle and how much lean angle he had but still going round the corners and not going wide, I didn't have that confidence and I couldn't lay the bike down and get on the gas like he could.”
When Spies ran wide at Brooklands Stoner was able to move into the lead but even then it was clear to the Australian that the race would be exceptionally difficult. All he could do was try to keep his riding smooth and brake as late as possible around the 5.9km Silverstone track.
After the race Stoner admitted that, once again, tyres were the limiting factor for the Repsol Honda rider with rear
tyre wear plaguing him throughout the race.
“Very early on, when I was behind Ben, I started to struggle with the left hand side of the tyre,” commented Stoner. “Every time I went into a left corner the rear wanted to come around and I couldn't get any traction so we started struggling a lot and Jorge started to catch us.”
Once Lorenzo was close to Stoner the pair enjoyed a brief but hard fought battle. However once the Yamaha rider moved into the lead he started to pull away from Stoner immediately.
Once Stoner realised that catching Lorenzo was too risky he made some adjustments to the engine mapping and his riding style and managed to hold of Pedrosa to finish second.