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Qualifying victory a pleasant surprise for Stoner

Qualifying victory a pleasant surprise for Stoner

The winner of the BMW M Award in the special timed shootout, 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner was not expecting such a dominant performance at Jerez.

The winner of the BMW M Award in the special timed shootout, 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner was not expecting such a dominant performance at Jerez.

The Ducati factory rider has not had the best time at Jerez since his arrival in MotoGP, having experienced a string of crashes at the Spanish circuit. The most recent of these came last November, and caused him a painful shoulder injury and an early conclusion to his 2007 testing schedule.

"It's a little bit strange because we never expected to have this opportunity to win the car. It was a fantastic moment today and I think for sure we can do this plenty more times this season," said Stoner upon receiving the keys to the BMW Z4 M Roadster, well deserved after a 1'49.263 lap far and away the best time of the session.

Stoner described his qualifying performance in last year's competition as "pretty useless", and further emphasised his believe that this preseason is looking more positive than 2007.

"It's the second year with the team now and we understand what the bike is doing. We seem to be quite competitive at the moment, so I think today's qualifying session was an example of the difference between this year and last year. I think we're in a much better position going into the 2008 season."

Although his victory in the Sunday contest is sure to have left his rivals scratching their heads, unsure of how they are going to match the Australian this year, Stoner played down the psychological advantage aspect of the test.

"We didn't need this to make us feel more confident. The most important time is when we are at the racetrack, when we are there for race meetings. This is just a test session and we are just using this to our full advantage to get the best possible set-up for the start of the season."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008

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