- Lucio Cecchinello recalls a tale that sums up the natural talent of Casey Stoner, who rode for LCR Honda during his rookie 2006 MotoGP season:

"It was his only his second Grand Prix in MotoGP. He asked to arrive in Qatar on Thursday… but during the trip several things happened and he landed in Qatar on Friday at 9:35 in the morning. First practice started at 10:00.

"I picked him up at the airport and took him to the circuit. While he was getting dressed, he had coffee. He put on his helmet, entered the box and, without even looking at the mechanics, got on the bike at 10:02.

"After three minutes he had set the best lap time, then later improved several times and finished the session fastest... Casey was like that, extremely naturally gifted."

Stoner went on to take his first MotoGP pole position the next day and finished fifth in the race. [motosprint.com]

- KTM motorsport director Pit Beirer has paid tribute to Pol Espargaro's work for the team, following the news that the Spaniard will leave the factory at the end of this season.

"We feel very close to him," Beirer said. "I think he has matured enormously with us. He had not been a factory rider before. He didn't know what it meant to reach into a huge box of new parts and put the motorcycle together like a modular system. Together with team manager Mike Leitner and his crew chief Paul Trevathan, we honed him into a finished MotoGP rider. When he leaves we will have one laughing and one crying eye." [Speedweek.com]

- Retired MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo has collected his latest supercar; a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster.

- Jorge Martinez 'Aspar' has spoken of his admiration for the fact that Valentino Rossi, whom he raced against in 1996, is still fighting at the front of MotoGP.

"How is it possible that I retired 23 years ago and Rossi has kept racing, when he already beat me in Brno 1996 in 125cc? It is admirable that a 41-year-old is fighting with riders like Marquez. When you get older, you lose that desire to take risks, but Valentino is Valentino." [AS.com]