PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA, OCT 14 – Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner hasn’t just won the last three races at his home track of Phillip Island, he’s dominated.Two of the three wins have come from pole position. And he’s led all but one of the laps en route to the three victories, an amazing run of consistency.Whether that magic will continue this weekend isn’t known. The 2007 World Champion was struggling with front end issues until the Aragon Grand Prix, three races ago. Stoner won in Spain, then again in Motegi, Japan before crashing out of the first lap of last weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.”Before three races ago, this race wasn’t looking good for us,” he said at Thursday’s pre-race press conference. “Our bike was basically not working in every situation that this track’s got, every style of corner that this circuit’s got. And now it seems to be the opposite. It’s working really well in this sort of style, so we’ll see how this weekend goes. But I think my season for a long time now has been very much what Jorge’s (Lorenzo) is now, just enjoy every race, try and do the best you can and leave nothing on the track.”Stoner admitted that with his crash in Sepang he “kinda blew third place open a little bit last weekend.” He now finds himself in fourth, one point behind Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and one in front of Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso. “We definitely didn’t do the race we were expecting. We thought we’d be in with a chance of winning that race for sure. And looking at the lap times and the conditions, we were definitely in with a chance at that race. But I made early work of that, a little bit too soon. And, yeah, we weren’t able to do anything.”But these last tracks I’ve had some pretty good success in these last years. Last year we were fast in Valencia, we were fast in Portugal and we won here. So we’ll see how we go. But we’ve got to get this weekend out of the way first and see what happens, but it’s definitely nice to be back here. It’s definitely nice to ride at this circuit. But unfortunately this is going to be one of the first years that I will actually be a little disappointed with the weather, from the look of the forecast. Everybody seems pretty set on what’s going to happen.”The forecast is for rain on Friday and the rest of the weekend could be cool.He said the track is “one of the cooler races we go to and sometimes a little bit nice to ride in cool conditions without always sweating, without always having to work your butt off so hard. It’s a little bit easier around this track. But the fact you get to enjoy such fast corners is the best part.”
Stoner Going After Four in a Row
Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor
Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.