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Stoner laments costly error but maintains focus

Stoner laments costly error but maintains focus

A crash when leading in Qatar meant the Australian left the opening race of the season with no points, but he is already looking to the season ahead to get his title challenge back on course.

After dominating every session over the weekend at the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar, a mistake when leading the race saw Casey Stoner lose the opportunity to wrap up a first win of the 2010 season.

“Once I got to the front I started to get into my rhythm but I lost the front end a couple of times in long corners so I made the decision to try to ride a bit smoother and not put so much pressure on the front tyre with the full tank. Unfortunately that is what led to the crash because looking at the telemetry I didn’t have enough load on the front, so I guess in hindsight I should have stuck to the way I’d been riding all weekend. It’s my mistake and I apologise to the team because we’d done a great job this weekend and we leave empty handed,” said Stoner.

It was a slip that has made for a testing start to the Ducati Marlboro rider’s season. Reigning World Champion, fellow title favourite and one of his main rivals Valentino Rossi went on to win the race, but Stoner is remaining philosophical about the situation.

“Having said that it’s not a complete disaster because we’ve found this weekend that the bike has improved in areas where we have struggled in the past – for example the rear grip was unbelievable - and we have a long, long way to go,” said the Australian. “I’m pleased for Nicky because he had a great race and I think we can both be confident and optimistic about the rest of the season with this bike.”

MotoGP, 2010, COMMERCIALBANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR, Casey Stoner, Ducati Team

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