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It finally paid off in 2007 with Casey's championship. Too bad Suzuki never figured out how to save tires.
Once Yamaha figured it out, they won 3 years in a row again. It took Honda longer, but by the end of 2009 they had it figured out. But they still couldn't defeat the mighty Yamaha until Casey showed up.
Casey has stated multiple times that the bike he got at the start of the year was more-or-less identical with what he finished. If there was no on-going, seasonal development, then how can you blame Stoner?
Ducati only developed aerodynamic bodywork and a carbon fibre frame. Stoner even stated that he preferred the carbon bike better.
I'd say the other main reason for the decline of the Desmo is the fact that everyone went bridgestone and all the focused support on Ducati quickly disappeared. Bridgestone now had to make tires that would suit all bikes.
Honda and Yamaha could afford to now re-develop their bikes to suit the tires. You honestly believe that Ducat