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Stoner aiming for hat-trick on favourite track

Stoner aiming for hat-trick on favourite track

A third consecutive win at Phillip Island is the aim for Casey Stoner as he continues his comeback from a three-race absence.

Casey Stoner’s return to action after a three-race absence through illness continues at his home circuit, Phillip Island, this weekend following a podium finish at Estoril.

Stoner rode admirably in his first race in two months to claim second place in Portugal, and with a stirling record at ‘The Island’ expectations surrounding the 2007 World Champion are building ahead of the Iveco Australian Grand Prix.

Having won at Phillip Island for the previous two years, it is no surprise that Stoner calls the demanding venue his ‘favourite’.

“I think Phillip Island would have to be my favourite track now,” said the Ducati Marlboro rider when speaking to “But there’s also a couple more that I like, Mugello and Brno. The characteristics of these three circuits are very flowing, very wide-open tracks, especially when we’re on a MotoGP bike going as fast as we are. It’s very nice to be able to open the throttle as hard as we can on these circuits, and really get flowing. Some of the other circuits are a little bit too small and too tight. With these circuits and the bigger bikes it’s a lot of fun.”

Stoner’s pedigree at Phillip Island means there is an air of quiet confidence pervading the 23 year-old’s preparations.

“For myself, it’s just about trying to stay at quiet as possible,” he explained. “I think a lot of people like to have more people around them to take their concentration away from it. I take my meetings seriously, but at the same time I don’t psych myself up all the time, I think that happens just before the session. I work as well as I can with the technicians and I think it’s basically just before I go out for each session that I start to really focus on the job at hand. Until that time, we do the best job we can.”

Stoner also revealed his admiration for Mick Doohan, who attended a pre-race event in Melbourne in anticipation of the race.

“I have a few heroes, but the one who stands out is Mick Doohan. It’s because of what he came back from – his determination to come back from an injury and win five championships in a row when everyone had basically discarded him from racing. I think this took a lot of guts and a lot of passion for the sport to be able to do this. When I was old enough to start realising what was happening he was the rider that I was watching,” concluded Stoner.

MotoGP, 2009, Iveco AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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