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Stoner aiming to maintain strong form in Czech Republic

Stoner aiming to maintain strong form in Czech Republic

After using the break in MotoGP proceedings to visit his family in Australia World Champion Casey Stoner hopes to continue his fine recent form when the action restarts at Brno.

Hoping to repeat his brilliant victory at Brno last year and continue his recent resurgence in form following the summer break Casey Stoner heads to the Cardion AB Grand Prix Ceske Republiky this week in a typically determined mood.

The young Australian was frustrated to come second at Laguna Seca after his epic battle with current standings leader Valentino Rossi but is aware that with a highly competitive Ducati package at his disposal at present he can go in search of further podiums in the final part of the season - as he aims to claw back the 25 points he trails the Italian by.

That points deficit stood at 50 just over two months ago and Stoner´s six consecutive podiums before the break, including three successive wins at Donington, Assen and Sachsenring meant he could enjoy his time off over the last three weeks.

`After the race at Laguna Seca I went back to Australia and spent a bit of time with my wife and family away from the track. I got some rest in but I also trained hard and now I can´t wait to get back on the bike,´ stated the Ducati Marlboro star.

The Brno circuit, scene for this weekend´s action in the Czech Republic, has been completely resurfaced for this year´s race but is one of Stoner´s preferred venues. He took a clean sweep of pole, fastest lap and race win there last year en route to the MotoGP crown, adding to a 250cc podium there in 2005.

`Brno is a nice track but it´s demanding too - a bit like Mugello and Phillip Island, two of my favourites. In 250 I was on the podium and last year we won, so with the bike performing as it has been lately we should be able to fight for a good result again,´ he continued.

`We´ve still got quite a few points to make up in the championship, which won´t be easy, but the whole team are working so hard and we´ll give it our best shot. After that, whatever will be, will be.´

Providing his own technical preview of what the Ducati factory team can expect at round 12 their MotoGP Project Director Livio Suppo added, `Brno has always been a track where our bike has been very much at home. Over the past two seasons, thanks also to the optimum performance of Bridgestone tyres, we have taken victory - in 2006 with Loris Capirossi and last year with Casey.

`The track has been resurfaced and that creates something of an unknown for all of us. We just hope that grip is as good as it was last year and that the weather is stable over the three days so that we can prepare properly for the race.´

Meanwhile, Marco Melandri is also hopeful of a good result after spending the break with his family, who helped him to enjoy his 26th birthday celebrations on 7th August. The Italian has celebrated victory at Brno on three occasions in the smaller classes, including back-to-back 125cc wins in 1998 and 1999 followed by 250cc victory in 2002.

Melandri stated, `I like Brno, I´ve won there in 125 and in 250, and whilst I´ve not managed a podium in MotoGP I have always gone well in testing. This year they´ve re-laid the track so that will be a new factor for everybody. We´ll see. I hope we can continue to work as well as we did in Germany and America, but this time finish it off with a result in the race. The track is definitely suited to our bike so expectations are high.´

`The holiday went well - I spent a few days in Montecarlo and then went back to Romagna because I hadn´t seen my family for a long time. I spent my birthday with them and it was a nice way to kick back and relax.´

MotoGP, 2008, CARDION AB GRAND PRIX ČESKÉ REPUBLIKY, Marco Melandri, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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