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Stoner upbeat after coming home fourth

Stoner upbeat after coming home fourth

Unable to repeat his Qatar dominance in Japan, Casey Stoner was nonetheless positive about his fourth place at round two.

Having started in second position at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit on Sunday in the second MotoGP race of 2009, Casey Stoner was looking for more than his eventual fourth place at the Japanese venue, especially given his good form in free practice on Friday and Saturday.

The Australian 2007 World Champion looked good in all conditions throughout the weekend but he lost ground on the opening lap and was never fully able to recover having dropped to seventh place on lap two.

Stoner fought back and passed the likes of compatriot Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki), former team-mate Marco Melandri (Hayate Racing) and ex-125cc rival Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) to make it up to fourth, eventually crossing the line just two seconds behind podium finisher Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda).

Giving his assessment of round two, Stoner remarked, “The race in general I am quite happy with, as I think I rode quite well. The team did the best job they could this weekend, with the short time that we had, and everybody else is in the same situation.”

Explaining his slow start Stoner revealed, “We were running lap times which would have made me capable of racing at the front if we hadn’t lost so much time at the beginning of the race. On my warm-up lap we found we had a problem with my front brake which was causing a lot of chattering and this was the case for the first six or seven laps so I had no confidence on the brakes.”

Remaining optimistic the Ducati Marlboro man summarised by stating, “Today’s result looks worse than it could have been. I think if things go a bit better in Jerez and I can stick it out more at the beginning of the race we can hopefully be up there for the fight.”

Next weekend’s third GP of the year sees Stoner return to the scene of his BMW M Award triumph in the Official MotoGP Test in southern Spain.

MotoGP, 2009, POLINI GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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