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MotoGP, Stoner: Ducati a title-fighter but Marquez is still favourite

“Jorge has suffered with the Michelins this year”, the Australian will follow Lorenzo's debut on the Ducati at Valencia

Stoner: Ducati a title-fighter but Marquez is still favourite

The wait at the Ducati Premiere was all about the 1299 Superleggera. Casey Stoner was in charge of bringing it onto the stage at the Teatro Nazionale di Milano, during the evening that precedes the opening of EICMA 2016. A revolutionary model is how the Australian defined it. He will be in Valencia over the weekend to follow the final GP of the season as well as the first tests ahead of the 2017 season.

We can see you're impressed with the new Borgo Panigale creation.

I really am, this model is a blend of genius and power, it's really hard to put it into words. We can define it as a new era for all two-wheeled fans

It's just a short hop from Milan to Valencia.

A couple of hours on the plane (he smiles). This weekend I'll be in Spain to follow the final race and then the debut of the GP17. I'm curious to see all of the new features that we'll see in the 2017 championship and to see how the new bike wil behave”.

There's great expectation around Lorenzo's first test. Have you spoken to him recently?

“No, we haven't had chance. I don't think Jorge needs any particular advice, but if he wants to ask me anything I'll be there to provide my support of course. He's a great rider and I'm sure he'll be fully committed”.

But in recent races Lorenzo has struggled.

Unfortunately in wet conditions he hasn't found the right confidence with the tyres. I think that has conditioned his recent GPs. He's one of the strongest in the dry and has shown that on several occasions by reaching the top step of the podium”.

Dall’Igna has said that in 2017 Ducati can fight for the title. Do you agree?

The bike has grown a lot and is definitely one of the best. The favourite will be Marquez of course, with regard to Ducati it will all depend on the Michelins, and also the time needed to adapt. Of course there will also be work to do in terms of corner entry and exit, but the tyres are the key aspect”.

Dovizioso won in Malaysia, Iannone was fighting for the podium until he crashed. Do you think a third win is possible at Valencia?

It's difficult to say, at times the win can be unexpected. The performance level of the bike is first-rate but Valencia is a unique track. We'll see what happens”.

Will you be riding the new bike at Sepang?

I don't know yet, we'll decide in the coming days, probably before the end of the weekend”. 

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Translated by Heather Watson

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