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Stoner confident in KTM potential at Sachsenring

Stoner confident in KTM potential at Sachsenring

Stoner confident in KTM potential at Sachsenring

Casey Stoner says he is confident that his KTM 125 machine will adapt swiftly to the demands of the Sachsenring circuit next week and give him the opportunity to take his first victory of the season. The Australian youngster has been on the podium at four of the first seven races this season and lies fourth in the championship, just 21 points behind leader Andrea Dovizioso, but says he is keen to taste the victory champagne for the first time in Germany.

"The track should suit the bike because the chassis and handling of the KTM are definitely strong points now," says Stoner. "Sachsenring is a tight track with no really long straights so I might be able to get away. In any case the bike is improving in every area and we have a very competitive package.

"We had a really good set-up for Rio but just missed out a little bit on top speed, but I'm sure we can make up for that next week. I had a good race there last year and I should have won really, so hopefully things work in my favour this time."

Stoner clinched second place in Rio last week, a result he admits was the best he could have hoped for on his first visit to the notoriously difficult circuit with the improving, yet still young, KTM.

"I had a good look early on in the race to see if I could slipstream down the back straight but I couldn't even get past, so I knew that if I was to have a chance then I needed to lead down the back straight and try and hold them off," said the 18 year old, with reference to the last lap manoeuvre which saw Dovizioso and race-winner Hector Barberá relegate him from the lead down the 1km back straight.

"There was just no way I could have done any more, they both came underneath me at the end of the straight and I had to battle really hard to get past Andrea Dovizioso for second place.

"In a way the championship doesn't look as good now because I was level on points with Hector before Rio, but the main thing was to get in front of Andrea again and close down the gap to him at the top.

"I've been pretty consistent on the podium so far this season and that was my aim at the start of the year, but I want to win a race now."

Tags:
125cc, 2004, Casey Stoner

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