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Stoner reacts to dramatic race at Laguna Seca

Stoner reacts to dramatic race at Laguna Seca

Casey Stoner took second place in the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix on Sunday after an incredible battle with Valentino Rossi and was understandably frustrated having lost the upper hand.

After three races on the top step of the MotoGP podium Casey Stoner had to settle for second at Laguna Seca, after an awesome fight with Valentino Rossi which ended with the Australian crashing and remounting to cross the line thirteen seconds behind the Italian.

Stoner launched from pole position for a fifth successive round and was immediately pursued by Rossi, with the pair swapping positions as they left the rest of the field trailing, appearing to touch on several occasions in some of the best racing seen thus far in 2008.

The stage was set for a Hollywood finale but a rare mistake from the Australian in the final turn, just eight laps from the end, saw him run wide into the dirt and drop his Ducati as the front end dipped into the deep gravel.

A huge gap of more than twenty seconds over third-placed Chris Vermeulen allowed Stoner to return to the race in second place, but there were insufficient laps left for the World Champion to hunt down Rossi, who he now trails by 25 points in the standings.

Afterwards Stoner commented, `A bit more than half way through the race when I made the mistake Valentino seemed to brake a little bit earlier so I had to go around him and I ran off the track, which was my fault. Also with the crash I just tried to come back on the track too quickly but unfortunately I lost the front and it was race over after that.´

Questioning some of Rossi´s tactics Stoner went on to say, `I have been racing for a long time and I have seen a lot of close overtaking passes. I have had them done on me, I´ve done them myself and there is close riding, aggressive riding and then the point that is a little bit over that line.´

`Still we can be happy, we got second place, we are still in the running for the championship and we have had a lot of podiums in a row now.´

Stoner´s boss in the Ducati Marlboro team, Livio Suppo, added, `It was a big battle, a nice battle. It is a bit of a pity because Casey had great pace all weekend and Valentino did well to stop him. Otherwise I think if he would have been able to lead he would have gone off alone, but that is racing. Maybe Valentino sometimes was a little bit over the limit but that can happen.´

MotoGP, 2008, RED BULL U.S. GRAND PRIX, Casey Stoner

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