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Stoner sure of Mugello fight

Stoner sure of Mugello fight

Australian feeling confident ahead of weekend showdown.

Valentino Rossi’s dominance at Mugello since the start of the MotoGP era has had an unfortunate side effect for Ducati, denying them a single home victory at the Italian track. The factory - based a stone’s throw away from the circuit in Borgo Panigale - have a wealth of experience at the location due to their frequent testing visits, and in Casey Stoner a rider more than capable of ending Rossi’s winning streak.

Stoner was runner-up at the 2008 edition of the Italian round and, like Rossi, was dissatisfied with his performance at the Grand Prix de France last time out. The Australian is currently level on points with his Italian rival, just one behind leader Jorge Lorenzo and with nine more than his total at the same moment last year.

“I can’t wait to race again at Mugello - a circuit where I’ve had good results and some unforgettable moments, such as my first ever pole position in 2003 (125cc) and my first pole for Ducati in 2007, even though we just missed out on the podium in that race,” says the former MotoGP World Champion, who is feeling more comfortable than ever with the newest version of the Desmosedici.

“Last year I finished second and considering the progress we’ve made since then, I’m sure we can be fighting for it again this time. It will be a tough race because the level of the competition is so high, as you can see from the championship standings, and all the home riders will be more determined than ever to do well, but I also like Mugello a lot - it is one of my favourite circuits. The fans are really passionate and even though they may get behind one rider more than others you can see that in general they have a passion for the sport above anything. Hopefully we can pick up a good result because this is Ducati’s home circuit and that always makes it extra special.”

Ducati will, as always, have their own grandstand at Mugello, at the 3000-capacity Correntaio corner to cheer on Stoner and teammate Nicky Hayden.

MotoGP, 2009, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA ALICE, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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