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Stoner still chasing title dream

Stoner still chasing title dream

Stoner still chasing title dream

With only three races remaining, Dani Pedrosa's march towards the 250 championship suffered a set-back at Losail after his closest title rival Casey Stoner took a convincing win at the Marlboro Grand Prix of Qatar. It was the Australian's fourth success of the season and means he has now cut Pedrosa's lead at the top of the championship standings to just 26 points.

Carrera Sunglasses rider Stoner led the race from start to finish in the searing heat at the Middle East circuit and, with Pedrosa managing only fourth place, made up 12 points on the defending World Champion.

"It was a perfect race! The whole weekend we had pretty good results even if we also had few problems but everybody has done a big effort and now we have Pedrosa in our sights," explained Stoner.

"As for the race I made a brilliant start and put in some very fast lap times but at the end of the race we had a problem with the engine and the bike started to loose a lot of speed. I am fortunate the Aprilia brought me to the finish in first place. It was a perfect result for a perfect race." The championship battle will resume in two weeks' time in Stoner's back-yard at Philip Island. The Aprilia rider will once again try to close in on Pedrosa who will want to try and forget the three fly-away races in Asia which have seen him suffer a number of falls, sustain a persistent shoulder injury and fail to finish the race in Malaysia. After his good run of form, Stoner will be confident of keeping up the pressure in the Polini GP of Australia.

"I am still thinking about fighting for the championship," added Stoner. "The next race will be at home for me which is a bonus and the Aprilia is working very well. The team is doing a great job and I am confident of making up more points at Philip Island."

250cc, 2005, MARLBORO GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Casey Stoner

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