MotoGP™ riders react to Stoner withdrawal at Brno press conference

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo joined title-rival Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso, Karel Abraham and Yonny Hernandez at the press conference on Thursday marking the bwin Grand Prix České republiky, which the injured Casey Stoner withdrew from on medical grounds earlier in the day.

Lorenzo, who is currently leading the standings by 18 points, stated that while Stoner’s news may help him in a competitive sense, it is unwelcome news for all: “It’s very bad news for the championship that Casey has retired from this race and the next two or three races. It’s also bad that Nicky [Hayden] and Héctor [Barberá] aren’t going to race on Sunday. So wish all three a quick recovery, especially Casey, as he is a very tough competitor for me and for Dani, so without him the next races will not be the same. For sure it will be easier for both of us to win races because Casey is always there; he’s very fast and very competitive.”

On the prospect of Brno, the Spaniard stated: “This is a very different track – much wider, the tarmac is different, so for sure my feeling on the bike will be too. But of course it’s going to be hard again, especially with Dani, but I think we can be more competitive than at Indianapolis.”

Repsol Honda Team’s Pedrosa, Lorenzo’s closest competitor, was equally downbeat on losing his teammate for a while: “Obviously it’s bad news, especially for my team and for me. Casey and me always push each other in every session. Being along in the team, I have to push all I can. Brno is a track I like so I like riding here. Last year I made a mistake, but I’m happy to race here and I hope to do well.”

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Dovizioso, who was yesterday confirmed as Valentino Rossi’s replacement in the Ducati Team, is putting those thought to one side for now and is fully focussed on the job at hand, yet also upset that Stoner is out: “It’s not nice to get results like this and it’s always bad to see a rider crash and get injured, so this is really bad. Casey is a really fast rider and he can fight for the championship. Yes, I’ll have more of a chance to fight for third position, but right now I’m focussed to get a result. I’m really confident with the team, and the bike is always getting better.”

Cardion AB’s Abraham, who has had a difficult season so far said: “I’m definitely fully fit now, but it’s definitely been a bad season. But the last races in America were quite good, and we got a lot of points, which was good for us. I don’t think the championship can be good in the end because we’ve missed so many races, but I’ll definitely try to have some good races, which would be important for me and for my team’s mentality too.”

And Avintia Blusens’ Hernandez, who finished top CRT last time out is looking to continue this trend at the Czech GP: “I’ll try to push in the next races to get a good result like in Indianapolis. I know the track, but last year I had no luck because I broke my hand and my leg, but I try to get a good result this year.”

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