Stoner: ‘Ducati not great at handling riders, they put stress on situations’

Casey Stoner has accused Ducati of adding “stress” onto Francesco Bagnaia’s MotoGP championship battles.
Stoner, French MotoGP
Stoner, French MotoGP

Stoner’s title in 2007 was Ducati’s last for a 15-year miserable spell that saw Valentino Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo fall short.

Bagnaia, finally, won the championship for the Italian manufacturer last year after edging Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo on the final day.

But Stoner saw signs in the team’s behaviour that he didn’t like.

“When they start going up and down the paddock to all their teams, it’s not just asking a teammate ‘don’t cause any problems to your teammate, stay behind’,” he told TNT Sports.

“It was an entire manufacturer that they were controlling.

“I didn’t like seeing that, and I know Pecco didn’t want it.

“I feel for Pecco. They put so much stress on situations. They could learn to be better in that area.

“They’ve not been great at handling riders, and understanding the pressures they go through.

“They think in their own dimension.

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“They’ve had the best bike for a while now but still struggled to win a championship until last year, and this year.

“It’s not been about the bike. It’s about the way the programme is run. 

“They need to give more credit to the riders. Let them have a say. And take pressure off, not put it on.

“Let them race! And they’ll figure it out.”

The topic of Ducati team orders is likely to crop up again over the final three rounds of this season.

The top three riders in the standings - Bagnaia, Jorge Martin and Marco Bezzecchi - are the only ones mathematically capable of winning, which means Ducati has guaranteed itself a second title in a row.

But Pramac Racing’s Martin is the in-form rider, having won both races at the Thailand MotoGP last weekend.

There has been little sign of team orders so far but, as crunch time approaches, the team will come under scrutiny.

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