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Winner Stoner confident ahead of Malaysian contest

Winner Stoner confident ahead of Malaysian contest

A victor in all three World Championship classes on previous visits to Sepang, Casey Stoner is looking forward to this weekend´s Polini Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Following his exciting victory in Australia in front of 50,000 passionate home fans just over a week ago Casey Stoner heads to Malaysia in a buoyant mood, determined to finish the season on a good note before his imminent end of year wrist surgery.

The Australian has two races to go and a test on Ducati´s 2009 prototype, after the last round of the season in Valencia, before undergoing an operation on an old scaphoid injury which reappeared earlier this year and has caused him significant discomfort during races.

Having conceded the MotoGP title to Valentino Rossi, Stoner wants to make sure he finishes 2008 as runner-up in the premier class and the Ducati Marlboro rider has a chance to clinch the number two spot this weekend at a circuit where he has enjoyed great success in the past.

One of his ten 2007 victories, Stoner won last year´s Sepang race by a 1.7s margin ahead of current team-mate Marco Melandri, who was then riding for Honda Gresini, with Repsol Honda´s Dani Pedrosa completing the podium. He also achieved 125cc success at the South East Asian circuit in 2004, won there again the following year in the 250cc class and is the only rider to have won in all three categories at the track.

Stoner believes his technical package is in good shape at present, commenting, `Over the last few rounds we´ve managed to set a good pace in all of the dry practice sessions and struggled a little bit in the wet. We think we found a good wet setting in Australia so unless there´s an unexpected problem that crops up we should be okay for any conditions at Sepang.´

On his strong pedigree in Malaysia he adds, `I like the track and I´ve got good memories because I´ve won there in every category. The track is a good mix, there are some fast corners with a lot of lean angle and some tight ones that aren´t much fun.´

With his 36 point advantage over Pedrosa, Stoner could finalise his runner-up place in the standings on Sunday and admits he already has one eye on winter testing and the prospects of next year´s championship, declaring, `We´ll give our best to finish the season in a positive way, with some good results, although to be honest my mind is on the test at the end of the season at Valencia, when we can start to work on the new Desmosedici.´

MotoGP, 2008, POLINI MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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