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Stoner not feeling the pressure ahead of title defence opening

Stoner not feeling the pressure ahead of title defence opening

Beginning his title defence this weekend, 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner has insisted that he feels more at ease as the favourite for glory as opposed to the unknown underdog of last year.

Beginning his title defence this weekend, 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner has insisted that he feels more at ease as the favourite for glory as opposed to the unknown underdog of last year.

"For me it's put less pressure on me, because last year and the year before we had a lot of pressure to perform," says the jewel in the Ducati crown.

"Especially as last year it was the first time in a factory team we really had to get some results, and we managed to win the World Championship. Now we've already done this we have proved to be fast enough and I think the pressure is a lot less for myself and I think also for the team."

Despite some initial teething problems with the Desmosedici GP8, recent tests have seen Stoner reasserting his dominance over the remainder of the premier class field, tweaking the latest version of the title-winning machine along the way.

"In the Valencia test we found some positive points which made a big improvement. Unfortunately at Jerez (November 2007) we had a big accident and we were not able to do what we set out to do, so we had to continue this again this year," reviewed Stoner.

"So far things have gone very well. We have changed a little bit with the engine, we've got a little bit more acceleration now that makes the bike easier to ride. Fortunately also we changed the chassis in Phillip Island and made some big improvement, so I think we've got a very similar bike compared to last year but we just made some big improvements."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, Commercialbank GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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