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Stoner storms back onto podium in Italy

Stoner storms back onto podium in Italy

Casey Stoner played a starring role in the premier class Gran Premio d´Italia Alice contest.

Casey Stoner stormed to his first Mugello podium in MotoGP on Sunday, his third of the season, with a result that cuts back the gap in the World Championship to Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.

Unfortunately his team-mate Marco Melandri was forced to retire on the fifth lap after running straight into the gravel when avoiding a stricken Randy de Puniet.

Casey Stoner - 2nd

`I was disappointed not to be on the podium in my first race here for Ducati last season so this makes up for it and it´s a chance for me to say thank you to Ducati and all the Ducatisti for their support. We´ve had some problems over the first few races of this season but at Le Mans and here we´ve found a more comfortable set-up and a bike that is really competitive. Today was an awesome race. I led from the start but I didn´t want to push too hard because the front tyre took a few laps to bed in. Valentino came past in a section of the circuit where I was losing a little bit too much time - I was trying to make it up around the rest of the track but pushed it too much into turn one, ran wide and lost touch with Valentino. We knew the setting of the bike would be more suited to the final few laps and we expected to be strong but unfortunately I´d fallen a little bit too far behind. Even so, second place is a great result and it gives us a real boost going to Catalunya.

Marco Melandri - DNF

`Randy de Puniet made contact with Chris Vermeulen and crashed right in front of me. I was to the left of him so I tried to dive to the inside but there wasn´t enough space. I had to go so wide so that I didn´t run over Randy that I ran off track but I was going at speed and crashed. It was a shame because I´d made a decent start and passed a few riders, things were going better than they had in practice but now we´ll never know if I could have kept it up over race distance. We will look at starting out in Barcelona with the same set-up we found for the race today.´

MotoGP, 2008, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA ALICE, Marco Melandri, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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