If there is one rider who somehow manages to generate debate among MotoGP fans, it is Casey Stoner, almost all of it completely undeserved. After the Phillip Island round, controversy raged again across internet forums about Stoner's dominant victory at his home Grand Prix, centering on two subjects: Whether Stoner had switched the electronics off entirely for the Phillip Island race, and whether or not Stoner was sliding both front and rear round the track, or just the rear.
To settle the argument, we went straight to the horse's mouth, and cornered Casey after the pre-event press conference at Estoril. Here's what the Marlboro Ducati rider had to say about the race at Australia:
MotoMatters.com: There's a lot of talk going around that you switch the electronics off at Philip Island. You always use less electronics than most of the other riders, so can you explain exactly what did happen?
Casey Stoner: No, we definitely didn't switch them off. I mean, if I switched them off, my electronics guy would have an absolute heart attack! He wouldn't let me do it. So, no, we didn't switch them off, but we always have them at quite a low level, anyway, so we just turned them down. In the race I really had to take it easy, because we knew that tire consumption and fuel consumption is an issue, so I wasn't able to really push as much as I wanted to. We knew we had some reserve anyway, you know. We spent that whole race just being, just preserving basically, preserving tires, make sure I didn't make any mistakes, and preserving fuel.
MM: The other question is, it seems like you are sliding both tires during the race, especially going over the Lukey Heights and down into MG. Is this still the most efficient way to actually slide the front up over there?
CS: Basically, it is just because it goes uphill so steep and then it just flattens out really quickly, so basically it just carries you over to the right. A lot of people will back it off as you're coming over that section and keep it, but it has never been dangerous to me. It has always just flowed over there.
MM: Right. And is it because of the flow of that corner that you can sort of push wide and then put it in the right place for MG.
CS: MG, if you are going from the outside to the inside, there is a bump anyway. So for me, I go out and make sure I stay on the inside of the track and turn it in.