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Mechanical problems leave Stoner and Melandri high and dry

Mechanical problems leave Stoner and Melandri high and dry

Engine difficulties left both World Champion Casey Stoner and Ducati teammate Marco Melandri disappointed in Le Mans

Marco Melandri had predicted a difficult race in Le Mans. Casey Stoner had been aiming for victory. Both Ducati Marlboro had a tough time in the Alice Grand Prix de France, where engine problems affected both riders and left Stoner outside the points for the first time in 22 races.

Casey Stoner – 16th

`I got a decent start to the race today but unfortunately I just didn´t have any feeling for the right hand side of the front tyre. I was losing a lot of grip at maximum lean and kept closing the front so I lost a lot of confidence. I couldn´t brake as late as I had been doing during practice so I had to ride around it and managed to get to the point where it was only when the tyre was right on the edge, in T4, that I was really losing time. I was there or thereabouts, still in with a shout of a podium position, and it started to rain so I thought that could give us a chance. Unfortunately that was when I started to have a problem with the engine, I couldn´t get any drive off the bottom end and couldn´t overtake anybody. Then a couple of laps later the engine problem effectively ended the race for us. This weekend has had a lot of positive aspects to it – we´ve got back up to speed again and found our old feeling with the bike so it´s just a case of everything coming together in a race. That's why I´m looking forward to the next one.´

Marco Melandri – 15th

`My race was doomed from the start because unfortunately the bike was cutting out on the sighting lap and I thought it was just a temporary thing. Then when I let the clutch out at the start it stalled completely and I lost some vital seconds. Once I got going I got my rhythm together and when I saw it was raining I decided to come in and hope that the gamble of an early change would pay off with some more rain. It´s a shame because things went well in the warm-up when the bike was more balanced and more predictable and I think I was capable of a good race. Now we have a couple of days to test and I'm sure we can make a real step forward before Mugello, a circuit I love.´

MotoGP, 2008, ALICE GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Casey Stoner, Marco Melandri, Ducati Marlboro Team

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