Casey Stoner: “Some riders wouldn’t get same results without traction control”

Casey Stoner says some MotoGP riders are “are often faster than they should be"

Casey Stoner
Casey Stoner

Casey Stoner claims that some front-running MotoGP riders wouldn’t achieve the same good results without the help of traction control.

Stoner is a vocal critic of the technology in today’s MotoGP.

Traction control - which has improved safety and reduced highsides by limiting wheelies - is also responsible for improving the performance of some riders, according to Stoner.

He was asked by Gazzetta if the bike is now important than the rider, and he replied: ​"I think so and I don't agree with this progression.

“Some riders are much better at exiting corners and having more control during acceleration, like Dani Pedrosa.

“The qualities needed to demonstrate superior, quality riding no longer exist.

“The only way you can make a difference is to brake later to enter the corner.

“For example, in 2011 Dani Pedrosa was almost two tenths faster than me on the same bike.

“He did something incredible with the rear brake to stop wheelies and gain a lot of distance.

“There was no difference, he was simply better than me.

“Now the rider’s control elements such as traction, tyre management and wheelie risk are masked by electronics."

Could back-to-back premier class champion Francesco Bagnaia be as dominant without the help of electronics?

Stoner said: "Pecco races on dirt tracks, which is why he knows how to manage sliding and spinning.

“These are just some of the many riding elements that disappear behind the help of extra components.

“In my opinion Marco Bezzecchi, for example, would probably be more competitive.

“There are some riders who run at the front who I don't think would get the same results if traction control were removed…

“They are often faster than they should be."

Stoner believes the technology is also having an impact off-track.

Commenting on his former team Honda, he said: "Alberto Puig isn't working badly in my opinion, but the circumstances have put Honda in difficulty.

“I also understand their position: at the moment the championship doesn't seem to have rigid regulations, the rules can be adapted and changed depending on the preferences of the manufacturers.

“Why should Honda commit to the development of a motorcycle when the rules change again and again to make them adapt to someone else?

“There is too much movement behind the scenes."

Stoner is a two-time MotoGP champion who won his titles with Ducati and Honda.

It took Ducati 15 years after Stoner’s 2007 success to win again, via Bagnaia in 2022.

Stoner has part-blamed the increasing amount of technology for his retirement at the age of just 27.

“I loved riding bikes the most, I loved eking everything that I could out of a bike. I was very self-critical,” he has previously said.

“When these bikes became too much electronics, too much wheelie-control, the enjoyment disappeared.

“The series became political.”

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