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Stoner takes valuable Championship points

Stoner takes valuable Championship points

The Ducati Marlboro rider expected to be faster at Mugello but was pleased with fourth after a difficult weekend. His team-mate Nicky Hayden suffered the disappointment of a crash.

Casey Stoner banked some important Championship points on Sunday at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM with fourth place, after a difficult weekend ended with his best result of the campaign so far.

Stoner struggled for grip as he saw Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso go clear at the head of the race, and the Australian became involved in a three-way battle with Marco Melandri and Randy de Puniet for fourth place.

“We expected to be a little faster in the race today especially using the softer option of the tyres, but unfortunately we just didn’t seem to generate any grip,” said Stoner. “We had a reasonable set-up in the morning warm-up which was a big step from yesterday, but we made another change for the race which didn’t seem to work so I wasn’t able to catch the guys in front. The guys behind me were using me as a good rabbit to chase, and I wasn’t able to pull away from them so I let them have their race and then on the last lap I knew it was time for me to get in the best points position possible.”

Taking into account how his weekend had gone up until the race Stoner explained that the 13 Championship points gained was a positive outcome. “We’re pretty happy with the way the race went after the weekend we’ve had as we’ve really struggled,” he said. “It’s been tough not only for me but also for Nicky and Mika (Kallio, Pramac Racing). We’ve seen a lot of things happening that shouldn’t be so unfortunately we’re just not able to finish in the places we want.”

Nicky Hayden was less fortunate however as he crashed out on lap five when he lost the front end of his Desmosedici GP10 machine going into Turn 12. The American felt a lack of pace before his fall ended his race prematurely.

“I got a terrible start which complicated things, and I let the clutch out and the bike bogged - it went backwards,” he said. “I wasn’t in front of a lot of guys in Turn 1 and I made a few passes in the first couple of corners and moved up a bit. But I really didn’t have a good pace and after the practices we had I expected to go a lot faster than that.”

Describing his crash Hayden added: “I was pushing hard and had a few moments on the front and then going down into that Ducati corner I crashed. It’s a bummer for the team and everyone involved because we’d built up some momentum, but it happens and we have to stand up and brush ourselves down and go to Silverstone.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2010, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA TIM, Casey Stoner, Nicky Hayden, Ducati Team

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