The young Ducati Marlboro star heads into the Portuguese Grand Prix needing to score 15 points more than Valentino Rossi to wrap up his first ever world championship, and Ducati's first MotoGP crown.

"We've got five races left now and if we are able to win the championship it doesn't matter at which race we win it, anywhere will do," insisted Stoner. "Everything's working really well with our package at the moment. The team and the technicians are great, we work very well together, we are like a family. That helps a lot, you can do the same job if you don't have that relationship, but having a good relationship makes things more relaxed. I know the team believes in me and in my ability, which takes the pressure off, I felt this from the very first race.

"I've always gone quite well at Estoril, I won the 250 race there in 2005," he continued. "Some of the track flows, some of it doesn't. The fast right onto the back straight was almost flat out on the 990s, so it should be flat out this year, but it's nothing like turn 11 in Turkey. The chicane is a bit too slow, really. There's a couple of parts I really enjoy, like turn two, which is a very, very difficult off-camber downhill corner that catches out a lot of riders. There seems to be a lot of passing opportunities at Estoril, so you get a lot of overtaking, so it should be a reasonably good race."

Stoner shows no sign of weakness as he heads for round 14 - having scored the 'triple crown' of pole position, race victory and fastest lap at the last three events - and Ducati believe he deserves full credit for his dominant championship position.

"We are leading the championship thanks to Casey's amazing riding - eight wins from 13 races is incredible - but we still have work to do," said Ducati MotoGP project director Livio Suppo. "In any case Casey is doing a fantastic job - Bridgestone has won nine races this year, but only one with another rider [Vermeulen at Le Mans]. I believe he deserves full recognition for his riding talent and for the way he approaches racing. Of course, Ducati and our technical partners have also worked hard to achieve this success - this is competition, this is what racing is all about."