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Cecchinello proud of protégé Stoner

Cecchinello proud of protégé Stoner

Lucio Cecchinello was a proud man last Sunday afternoon, and went up to the podium to give some special congratulations to someone very close to him.

Lucio Cecchinello was a proud man last Sunday afternoon, and came up to the podium to give some special congratulations to someone very close to him. The Italian was not, however, celebrating a top three result for his LCR Honda team, but congratulating new MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner, a former protégé with whom he has a long-standing association.

"We feel very proud to have been part of Casey's career, and I am very proud of him because he has done a great job and really deserves the title," said Cecchinello after the race. Stoner arrived in the World Championship under Cecchinello's wing in 2002, and also rode to a runner-up spot in the 250cc championship two years ago under his guidance. The two continued their successful partnership as both made the move up to MotoGP last season, as part of the newly-established LCR Honda satellite outfit.

Current LCR Honda rider Carlos Checa, meanwhile, on his way out of the team and possibly MotoGP next season, had little reason to celebrate at Motegi. An attempt to gain an advantage with an early bike change didn't pay off, as Cecchinello explained.

"Carlos came in to the pits too early, and the mechanics were still setting up the bike. They still had to fit the best tyre, and that was difficult with the conditions changing so much out there.

"Honda and Michelin have helped us out, and Carlos is feeling a lot better on the bike. We are hoping to take our best results of the season at the remaining three races," concluded the Honda satellite team manager.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, A-STYLE GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Casey Stoner

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