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Stoner: “We had the pace to push for the lead”

Stoner: “We had the pace to push for the lead”

The Ducati Team rider took third place at the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya, and said that the feeling he had on his Desmosedici GP10 meant he believed a higher finish was possible.

Casey Stoner’s second consecutive podium finish at Montmeló on Sunday was another step in the right direction for the Ducati Team rider, who felt that without a small mistake on lap six he could have challenged Jorge Lorenzo for victory.

After a difficult start to the season Stoner finally hit third spot on the rostrum last weekend at Assen, and followed that up with a repeat display at Catalunya on Sunday. He was running in third and battling with Andrea Dovizioso as the pair kept a close check on leader Lorenzo, when a slight detour off track dropped him to fifth.

Stoner recovered over the remainder of the race to take third, but felt he had the pace to run at the very front. “Without a small mistake of my own I think we could have been pushing for the lead for most of the race,” he said. “We had the pace to do that and the bike felt quite good, but unfortunately I just got the draft of both of them going into that turn, and the slipstream coming off the back of them buffered me a bit and brought the rear of the bike up. There was no way I was going to stop for that corner. So I thought it was better to play it safe and not hit anyone and finish the race.”

“I’m a little bit disappointed because I thought I could at least have been second. I thought I had the pace to close down on the front two but unfortunately I just couldn’t overtake the people in front of me and that was our biggest battle today. We’ll look forward to next week and try and solve these issues, but we’re feeling a lot more confident with the bike.”

Stoner finished behind Dani Pedrosa, and when asked what the difference between him and Spanish rider was he answered: “Dani got all his exits right, he was braking quite consistently but with the gaps he was pulling out of every corner into the next one it was just impossible to close. I was already having small problems with the front end which was wanting to close, so there was no sense in going in there and risking it by doing a daring manoeuvre on the brakes and bringing us both down. It was better for me to pick my point and try and get past, but he didn’t make any mistakes and I give him credit for that.”

Looking ahead to Sachsenring, Stoner added: “We have always had pretty good races there and I’m definitely looking forward to it after a race like this. We have a little more confidence in the bike and everything is working well, for the last three races really, so now we just need to put some really decent results together.”

MotoGP, 2010, GRAN PREMI APEROL DE CATALUNYA, Casey Stoner, Ducati Team

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