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Stoner to see out the season in order to test GP9

Stoner to see out the season in order to test GP9

The need to test the Ducati Desmosedici GP9 at Valencia is Casey Stoner´s main motivation for not undergoing immediate surgery on his left wrist.

The winner of his home race in Australia for the second consecutive year, despite a scaphoid injury in need of urgent surgery, 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner admits that the only reason for his continuation of the current season is the necessity of testing the Ducati Desmosedici GP9 at the post-race test in Valencia.

Currently ahead in the battle for second place in the 2008 campaign, Stoner has been riding through the pain barrier and at less than peak fitness. With the title already awarded to Valentino Rossi and the long recuperation period required post-operation, the option to miss the final races of the season was considered by the rider and his team, but the need to shape the direction of the 2009 bike´s development is motivating Stoner´s decision to ride out the year.

`That is the only reason that we are continuing with the season´ says Stoner, who previously rode the GP9 at a post-race test held in Catalunya.

`We need to test that bike again, because there is going to be a three month period in which I can´t test, and the technicians will need as much information as they can get. If I´m going to ride after the race at Valencia then I may as well take part in these last two races. If it gets impossible to ride then we´ll stop and get the operation, but right now it looks like we can finish the season.´

Stoner is wary of the demands of the next track on the calendar, Sepang in Malaysia, with its intense heat creating added difficulty for those unable to compete at 100%. Whilst training has been difficult for the reigning titlist, he will be trying all that he can to reach race form, as he did to get around the pain involved in braking at Phillip Island.

The prospect of a spell on the sidelines has also left the Ducati rider in reflective mood, although no less competitive-minded.

`We´ve got two races to go, and things need to go right for us to confirm second place in the World Championship. I´ve been thinking a lot lately, and to have second place by your name in this championship is something to look back and be proud of when you´ve retired. We´re making the best of my career, and I think that we can be back fighting for the title next year,´ philosophised Stoner.

MotoGP, 2008, AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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