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Stoner `reasonably happy´ with wrist recuperation

Stoner `reasonably happy´ with wrist recuperation

The main focus for Casey Stoner early in 2009 is ensuring his left wrist is 100% ready for the start of the new MotoGP season.

Having undergone surgery at the end of a challenging 2008 season to rectify a nagging scaphoid problem in his left wrist, Casey Stoner is confident that the operation has put right an old injury which resurfaced midway through last year´s campaign.

Stoner was hampered by the wrist during the latter stages of his ultimately fruitless title defense as he saw the rampant Valentino Rossi run away with his MotoGP crown – and the Australian is determined to win the title back from the Italian in 2009.

Talking to the press at Ducati´s official team presentation at the Madonna di Campiglio ski resort in Italy on Tuesday, Stoner said of his wrist, `I´m reasonably happy. I would like to have a little more movement but the check-up went well yesterday, the bone graft has healed well and that is very positive. It means I can start to work my hand and arm a little harder now and start to recover some muscle mass and get in the best possible shape for the next test.´

On the latest development the Ducati 800cc Desmosedici, Stoner commented, `So far I´ve only ridden the GP9 twice, at Barcelona during the season and for a day at Valencia in November. It wasn´t much but it was enough to understand that we´re not a long way off and that the new chassis is an improvement. We need to work on improving the set-up and refining a couple of areas on the bike.´

Reflecting on what went wrong last time around Stoner added, `Last year we were perhaps a little too confident and overlooked some of the work we needed to do, leading to a few highs and lows at the start of the season that end up costing us dear. In any case, despite a breakdown and two crashes we still won six races and finished second in the championship, which means we can look forward to this year really positively.´

Meanwhile, on Ducati signing his close acquaintance Nicky Hayden for the ´09 campaign Stoner only had positive things to say about the American, revealing, `I´m really happy with the addition of Nicky to the team. He has always been kind to me, even when I was racing in the smaller classes, and I think we can work well together. The communication between us is great and I think we can work together on fixing certain situations and getting the most out of the GP9 so that we can both be competitive.´

Perhaps ominously for his rivals, Stoner concluded, `From my side I also plan to be a little more aggressive this season and maybe be a bit more decisive in races where nobody seems to want to take the initiative.´

MotoGP, 2008, Casey Stoner, Ducati Marlboro Team

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