Australian Grand Prix Corporation's ‘In the Fast Lane’ podcast has been released with this week's episode featuring a special guest, two-time MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner.
Stoner joined Matt Clayton and Michael Lamonato to offer his reflections on an unpredictable season to date, on Valentino Rossi's future at 41, on Jack Miller's move to the factory Ducati for 2021 and on the significance of the absence of Marc Marquez for this year's championship.
Casey is known for being outspoken, so we are not surprised that when he was asked what he thinks of this world championship in the Covid era, he does not believe that it counts as a real world championship season, albeit thinking it is fantastic that the races have restarted
"Unfortunately, I'm probably going to be a little bit opinionated with some things and the first one is calling it a world championship is a little bit difficult this year. You're racing two races at the same circuit, and if the selection of circuits suits somebody it really is a big benefit to do that,” said Stoner. “Not really travelling around the world, creating a world championship (from scratch, Ed.), is something I'm not a massive fan of, but the racing itself is fantastic, rather than these riders sitting around all year. I think it's fantastic."
Stoner also offered his thoughts on how the title is now up for grabs with Marc Marquez currently on the bench.
"I honestly think you could pretty much win with any bike on the grid there at the moment," he added. "They're all very similar, they just have some different traits to them and where they find their speed. Anyone who achieves some form at this point, without Marc in the championship, will win the championship. As we have seen, anything can happen and the people who we thought would make a break, clearly haven’t.”
Then Casey added.
"Without Marc there, quite honestly, there's no leader at the moment. And you see that by the results, by the people that are standing on the top step of the podium. Marc was a clear leader and took that championship to another level. When I was there it was myself, Valentino, Jorge and Dani that were sort of always at the front stretching the field out. At the moment they don't have that rider to do it, and have level of consistency throughout a season.”
Explaining himself further, Stoner also spoke about himself…
"The big difference, again, is there's no leader for people. If you're not a leader then you're a follower. And if you're a follower, you've got to see someone doing something on the bike to believe yourself that it can get there. I'm not necessarily calling myself a leader, but I never looked next door and thought the grass was greener. I thought this is the bike I've got to work with, so there's a way of finding speed out of it. That's exactly what Marc does. He doesn't worry about the rest of it. He just worries about his own thing, finding speed out of it, and with that people see what the bike can do and go 'well if he can do that, I can at least get closer towards the front'.”
The podcast is available on Spotify, Google Podcast and Apple Podcast platforms, as well as on the AGPC's official YouTube channel.