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Casey Stoner reflects on his first top five finish at Brno

Casey Stoner reflects on his first top five finish at Brno

Casey Stoner reflects on his first top five finish at Brno

At Brno the team worked really hard and we spent basically every session working on the set-up of the bike. It was back to basics stuff and you probably noticed that my times in practice were way down the list. I qualified in 20th place but in the final qualifying session we finally found a solution to what was turned out to be a minor chassis problem and in the race I was able to go full pelt.

It was a fun race and, like at Jerez earlier in the season, I had to fight my way through the field. It is a shame I started from so far back because my lap times were probably good enough for a podium position but to take fifth place was more than we could have hoped for at the start of the weekend. I got a good start and was around ninth into the first corner, but I got pushed wide by Yuzy and Checa and dropped back to about 16th. I just concentrated on finding my rhythm and my lap times picked up just as others were dropping so it was quite easy to force my way through. Usually at the end of the race my legs just collapse with exhaustion but I felt really fit – about the same as when I got on the bike at the start. This is a good sign that I am getting stronger and more capable to handle the 250 and I think that will show towards the end of the season.

Before Brno I went back to Australia for a couple of weeks, which was really nice. It was good to catch up with my friends, although it was surprising how many people I never knew that well were trying to be my friend just because of my job! It was great to be home, though, because I love Australia so much and now I am really looking forward to racing at Phillip Island in October.

Next week we are at Estoril, one of the few circuits on the calendar that I have already ridden because we did the IRTA tests there in February. I was about one second off lap record pace, which I think was set by Daijiro Kato, so I have got good knowledge of the track and some set-up information. Hopefully with the developments we have made in the chassis I can be in the top five again. See you there!

Tags:
250cc, 2002, Casey Stoner

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