Casey Stoner Faces A Brno Struggle

Cycle News Staff | August 22, 2012

Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner is having serious doubts as to how his ankle will hold up at the Brno Circuit in the Czech Republic this weekend, the Australian going as far as to question his ability to be anywhere near his best on the mostly right-hand circuit that features a myriad of direction changes.

“I’m not feeling too optimistic for Brno after a tough weekend in Indy,” said Stoner, the Australian having suffered fractures and ligament damage to his ankle in his qualifying crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday. “The crash in qualifying last week has left me with a serious problem in my ankle and we were fortunate that Indy was a left-hand circuit, so a lot of the weight was off it. But we still had changes of direction, which hurt a lot. In Brno there are many changes in direction and a lot of right-hand corners so there will be a lot of weight on my ankle and it’s going to be very difficult. It’s a shame as Brno is a circuit that I usually enjoy due to it’s fast and flowing nature, so I’ll be resting as much as possible this week and wait to see how we feel when we get on track on Friday.”

The team release issued this morning even hints that Stoner may require surgery on the ankle. “… it remains to be confirmed if Casey will require surgery, and his medical team in Australia are currently reviewing the results of the MRI scan,” the release states.

Stoner’s teammate Dani Pedrosa, meanwhile, hopes to ride the momentum from his victory in the Red Bull Indy Grand Prix into Brno. The Spaniard has two wins and 10 podium finishes thus far in 2012 as he enjoys his best MotoGP season to date as he trails Jorge Lorenzo in the championship by 18 points with seven races to run. Pedrosa, however, has never won at MotoGP at the Brno Circuit, though he has finished second there twice. Last year he crashed out of the lead at Brno.

“Brno is a wide and very fast track, with high-speed corners where it is important to have good grip and front-end feeling,” Pedrosa said. “Honda has been strong in the past few years there, so we hope to have a good performance in this race also. I’m looking forward to the race in Brno and to fight again for the victory. The setup of the bike and electronics can be key, as well as the weather, which is always a little changeable in the Czech Republic. We need to keep focused and strong and with options for the victory every weekend.”