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Stoner thrilled with milestone win

Stoner thrilled with milestone win

The Ducati Team rider took his second win of 2010 at Motegi, his 22nd of his premier class career, and was delighted with the efforts of his crew in realising the achievement.

Casey Stoner followed up his first win of the season at Aragón with a second in succession in the Grand Prix of Japan on Sunday, and with his 22nd career victory in the premier class moved level with MotoGP greats Geoff Duke, Kenny Roberts senior and John Surtees.

“This win feels great. I could have never imagined when I began my first season in Grand Prix at 16 years of age that I would reach this level and all I can say is that it is an honour to be alongside such great names,” said the 24 year-old. “I have taken all my MotoGP wins with Ducati and it is down to their fantastic support, hard work and above all their belief in me that this has been possible.”

Stoner’s success at Motegi came after a weekend of intense hard work, having initially struggled to find the right balance on his Desmosedici GP10.

“With this track being so heavy on the front we were trying to make the bike a lot more stable. We had a lot of problems with the brakes and the bike doing wheelies, and every time we improved that we made the rear worse so we were having a bit of a disaster weekend!” he explained.

“We just couldn’t get any grip on the bike so we went a little closer to more traction rather than stability on the brakes, and it paid off for us. We found that time that we were missing. We tried something else but it didn’t really work in warm up this morning and we didn’t feel that comfortable. We went more or less back to what we had in qualifying with another step in another direction, a little bit of a lucky dip, but it worked!”

Under pressure from Andrea Dovizioso for most of the 24-lap race Stoner eventually crossed the finish line 3.868s ahead of the Italian, but said the margin of victory made the win appear more comfortable than it had been.

“After the first couple of laps and when I saw the times I was able to do I thought we were in with a chance of winning this one, but it wasn’t without a fight,” said Stoner. “Andrea was there the whole way, pushing me, and every time I thought I had a small gap to take a breather he came back again. I had to keep pushing the whole race and it wasn’t until the last lap that I really got to relax. It was a big victory for us, especially at this circuit, and it means a lot to us.”

MotoGP, 2010, GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Casey Stoner, Ducati Team

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