Filippo Preziosi was removed from his position of General Manager of the Corse department last November and the Italian engineer resigned from the company after nineteen years for ‘health reasons,’ and apparently Casey Stoner who rode for the Italian marque for four years and gave them their first MotoGP title was not happy with the decision, and said so when he was interviewed during this past weekend, while attending the Australian GP in Melbourne as a guest of the Red Bull Formula 1 team.
“Ducati made a series of errors. With the budget that was used during the Rossi period, I think we could have won a lot more and, above all have kept winning. They thought, “We achieved these results with Stoner, then it will get better with Valentino”, there was a time when they didn’t have so much passion. Removing Preziosi was a bad choice: he is a fantastic engineer and created the project from scratch, a winning project with so much untapped potential. When I went to Honda I brought me the whole crew with me because I knew we could win again and if I could have, I would have taken him with me,” said the former two-time World Champion to the Gazzetta dello Sport.
Source | infullgear.com
Retired two-time MotoGP champion Casey Stoner returned to two-wheels, after his Dunlop series debut in Adelaide, for the Top Gear Festival in the Aussie Speed Showdown, where he went head-to-head against Formula 1 driver Mark Webber and V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup in a special five lap race at the Sydney Motorsport Park, Australia.
Stoner rode a Honda CBR 1000RR Fireblade, while Webber was driving a 2011 Red Bull Formula 1 car and Whincup was behind the wheel of his V8 Holden Commodore. As expected, even if he was given a 50 second start delay, Webber caught his two rivals and won the showdown, and he also smashed the Sydney Motorsport Park record in 1’15″218.
Stoner was able to win the Fish out of Water challenge against Craig Lowndes, where the two exchanged vehicles, Stoner driving the V8 Holden Commodore, while Lowndes was riding a Suzuki GSX-R 1000 prepared by Team Suzuki Australia.
Video after the jump
Photos © Getty Images
After yesterday’s DNF in race 1 of the Clipsal 500 Dunlop series due to a punctured tire, in today’s race 2, Casey Stoner had to start thirtieth and the former two-time MotoGP World champion (38 victories and 69 podiums) drove to an impressive 14th, in the Adelaide street race.
Asked if he wanted to continue a long term career in V8 racing Stoner said, “I wouldn’t have a clue yet. I had a real taste for it and in general, we’ve now got more of an idea and things I thought I was going to be nervous about, I’m more OK with than I thought I’d be. I still need a lot more experience. There’s still a lot of things going on in the cockpit, set-up, geometry, that’s going to take me a long time to understand after 24 years learning about bikes.
I’ve only finished one race, unfortunately; it could have been two by now. We couldn’t really get the car working all weekend and yesterday wasn’t really any better. Today the car was definitely a bit better and I felt more comfortable with it. Hopefully with a bit of time it’ll slowly start to come, but I just want to have a bit of fun, go and race some guys and see what happens at the end of the year.
“Everybody was giving me as hard a time as I was them – I felt like part of the class,” he continued. My main goal today was not to flat-spot the tyre [like I did in race one] and bring the car home, and I had a lot of fun. Everyone was really good to race with, everyone gave racing room and I had a few battles there. It was very, very enjoyable and I wish we had another race tomorrow. But unfortunately that’s it for the weekend.”
Triple Eight team boss Roland Dane said of his new driver, “He has that outstanding talent. You can see it in his feel for the car. He absorbed all the advice he has been given by others, and he used it. This is a very difficult place to be thrown into the deep end … if it all falls into place, Casey will be top six all day long.”
Stoner’s next car race will be at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth from May 3-5.
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After qualifying an excellent 12th out of thirty drivers in his first ever V8 car qualifying session in the Dunlop Series at Adelaide, and just 1.030s from the pole sitter, Casey Stoner’s first ever car race came to an abrupt halt after he was forced to retire, due to a punctured tire while he was driving in 13th place.
The former MotoGP world champion was up to 11th after the first of twenty lap race, and during the 3rd lap overtook Aaren Russell for 10th, but then slowly began losing ground and positions, and on the 11th lap he almost ran off track and just four turns later ran wide again as his VE Commodore locked up, puncturing a front tire before scraping the concrete wall and he was out of the race 1.
“I made a mistake and locked up big time going in to the last corner - not what everybody saw on TV… that was later,” said Stoner speaking to the Herald Sun. “ I tried to save the tyres so I could actually finish the race. I kept locking up here and there, even without any kind of brakes, and unfortunately got too much of a flat spot and she popped on me coming through turn three. Once the tyre burst I was in for a ride. I tried to save it as much as I could but it was game over.” “
“This crash won’t put me in a good position for race two but, oh well. We can tune the car up and see what we can do tomorrow,” added Stoner.
The 2nd race of round 1 of the Dunlop Series starts tomorrow.
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HRC Executive Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto was at Phillip Island last weekend for the MSMA - Dorna meeting to talk about how to reduce costs in World Superbikes for the not to distant future.
Officially Honda is not in World Superbikes at a factory level as they’ve turned over their efforts to the Ten Kate who does all the development work on the CBR1000RRs that Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam race, but according to gpextra.com the HRC boss said he would like retired Casey Stoner to wild card in a World Superbike round to help in motorcycle development.
“It would be a good idea to have Casey Stoner as a wildcard rider in the World Superbike Championship,” said Nakamoto. “But Casey is not cheap. It would also be nice if he could help us in the motorcycle development. Who knows …”
First rumors about wildcard rides in MotoGP that were played down by Livio Suppo, and now in World Superbikes, with the HRC boss starting the speculation, and next thing you’ll know Stoner, who has turned to a new career on four wheels, will be rumored to wildcard in the Australian Superbike championship to help boost the series.
Casey Stoner will be joining the line of other two-wheel champions like Wayne Gardner, Mick Doohan, Aaron Slight and Troy Bayliss trying his luck in racing V8 Supercars in Australia.
The former two-time MotoGP champion who retired at the end of the 2012 season revealed his #27 Red Bull Racing Holden Commodore VE (the 2010 version that Craig Lowndes drove) and that he’ll be debuting this weekend in the streets of Adelaide in the Clipsal 500 race, after recently taking part in private tests at Bathhurst and Willowbank.
Practice begins on Thursday and his first race will be on Friday. “It’s going to be a big learning experience in a short period of time,” said Stoner. “I’m looking forward to ripping around the streets and it being legal, it should be a bit of fun.”
Stoner has a one year deal with the team and will be racing in all seven rounds, and for MotoGP fans there is still some dim hope that the Australian champion may decide to wildcard in a couple of races.
According to Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport Casey Stoner may be meditating the idea to wildcard this year in two MotoGP rounds, at Phillip Island (October 20) and at Motegi (October 27) and riding his previous bike, the Honda RC213V.
The rumor apparently originated from an important Australian businessman who has interests in the V8 Supercars championship, where Stoner will shortly be debuting in the Dunlop V8 series with Red Bull’s Australia Racing team, and the retired MotoGP champion just received his licence to compete (he was given a waiver on the usual qualifications).
Returning to the rumor, the two MotoGP race dates wouldn’t coincide with the Dunlop championship schedule, and Shuhei Nakamoto did say after Stoner’s retirement that the door was open for a eventual return, “if he ever decides to come back he will find a warm welcome waiting. I told him that’s always on offer.”
Livio Suppo Repsol Honda’s new Team Principal, was also asked about the rumor said: “It would be very nice, but at the moment not to my knowledge. Obviously if Casey wanted to, there would be no problem.”
Whether Stoner will return remains just speculation, but can anyone not imagine the Australian rider/driver returning to Phillip Island where he won for six consecutive years and blitzing the field just like Troy Bayliss did during the Valencia GP in 2006?
Retired two-time MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner will be returning to motorcycle action next month (March 9-10) when he’ll compete in the Top Gear Festival Sydney hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, James May, The Stig and Australian co-host Shane Jacobson.
The race dubbed ‘The Aussie Speed Showdown’, will see Stoner pit a Honda CBR1000 against Formula One Grand Prix winner Mark Webber driving his 2013 Infiniti Red Bull Racing F1 car and four-time V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup with his new Red Bull Racing Australia V8 Supercar, around the North Circuit at Sydney Motorsport Park (formerly Eastern Creek).
Stoner will also be challenging three-time V8 Supercar Champion Craig Lowndes in a unique ‘Fish out of Water’ contest that will see the ex-MotoGP rider behind the wheel of Lowndes’ Red Bull Racing Australia V8 Supercar and the V8 star riding a Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike.
Clarkson said, “Stoner versus Webber versus Whincup; three of Australia’s fastest men will take to the track in the petrol equivalent of a bare knuckle brawl only Top Gear Festival would dare.”
Shane Jacobson said it is like staging the motorsport Olympics, “Personally my money is on Webber to wipe the field and take out gold. But then again no one should be too worried as we don’t actually have any medals - what we do have is a heap of cars, lots of petrol, loads of people, and two big tracks which all equals a massive amount of fun”
Marc Marquez may have dazzled everyone with his epic victories - especially at Motegi and Valencia, but our personal hero still remains Julian Simon and his never-give-up attitude when during last year’s soaking Le Mans Moto2 race he pushed his Suter/Honda, that suffered an electrical issue on the final corner of last lap, across the finish line just to bag a few points.
Being one of the many Spanish riders that are in the paddock he doesn’t receive the same media attention that superstar Marquez does, but after reading Casey Stoner’s recent interview with the Sunday Daily Telegraph, Simon decided to speak out about Stoner’s comments regarding Marco Simoncelli.
In the interview the former two-time World Champion said: “We lost a rider a couple of years ago (Marco Simoncelli) and with in a month it was like it never happened. They want to see biff and barge and they don’t realise our lives are on the line. We became puppets in that world and it had nothing to do with racing.”
Simon who will be riding for Italtrans this season, said in a interview with Spanish radio Cadena Ser: “The truth is that I don’t share Stoner’s view. I do not think people have forgotten a rider like Simoncelli … nor Kato and Tomizawa, and hopefully it will never happen again. I don’t understand. Stoner has done so much for racing, but racing has also done a lot for him and I think that he’ll eventually return to the MotoGP World Championship, if not officially at least sporadically. You’ll see.”
Famous last words: Don’t believe everything you read! Haven’t decided what I’m doing yet, of corse @v8supercars is on the cards. Will let you know when I do! tweeted Casey Stoner just last week when the story was leaked - prematurely - that he would be debuting in Australia’s Dunlop series, however now the news is officially official.
In a lengthy interview with the Sunday Daily Telegraph, the former two-time World MotoGP champion confirmed that he has signed a one-year to race a Red Bull backed Commodore V8.
“It is a trial year to see how I go and how I like the sport,” Stoner told the Australian paper. “We are definitely making a commitment to it, but at the same time we don’t want to go too deep in case it is not for us. I was going to do 75 per cent of the races, but I have decided to do them all. I want to get as much time in the seat as I can and try to understand what it is like to drive a V8.”
He also added that he would also like to try his hand at the Bathurst 1000, “I doubt anyone would want me at Bathurst, but I am not ruling it out. It is every Aussie’s dream to drive there.”
The Australian also talked about an old back injury he is still suffering from, the fear he sometimes rode with and why he dislikes the direction the sport of MotoGP is taking, and also citing the disrespect he received from fans and officials because of his honesty.