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Rain to ruin Stoner’s final victory hopes?

10 November 2012

Casey Stoner is approaching his final MotoGP race at Valencia on Sunday hoping to fight for victory or at least finish on the podium.

"It will be a special day," said the Repsol Honda rider, who will start from third on the grid. "I just hope we can hang in there and fight for a win, and if not a podium would be fantastic."

However the double world champion, who is still recovering from ankle surgery, confessed he is unlikely to take massive risks should the forecast wet weather return to the slow-drying Spanish circuit.

"I'm not willing to risk a huge injury in wet conditions because sometimes don't even really need to make a mistake and you can crash," he explained.

"So the risk is much, much higher in the wet. In the dry I have more feeling and can understand what's going on.

"It's disappointing, because if we get rain even tonight the track is going to struggle to be dry for the race because of the new asphalt."

Stoner was on the verge of overtaking Jorge Lorenzo for second place when the recent wet Sepang race was stopped, but only pushed once he felt comfortable with the conditions.

"At Sepang I hadn't ridden in the wet for months and I was nervous so I took my time to get the feeling," said the Australian.

"We'll race whatever the weather tomorrow, but it's difficult to know how much I'm going to push."

Stoner has won five races this season, just one less than Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, despite missing three rounds due to his ankle injuries.

The 27-year-old will finish third in the 2012 standings regardless of the outcome of Sunday's race.



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