Q: Was the front end problem similar to the problem you've had previously or just an incident in this race?
Casey Stoner: For me it's a problem, that I suppose if people have the wrong weight in their bike, it was a problem not only for me but for a lot of other riders. A fair few of them crashed, but I think even more had similar problems to me. Obviously, Dani did as well. Like I said, you know, every time I tried to push just a little bit harder, like I had been doing all weekend, it just wanted to fold. Even in the slow corners where I haven't got a lot of weight on it, middle of the turn it would just start folding on me. We have no idea what the reason is, it's not anything like in the past. If I had the forks from the past I would have been down the first time I lost it. But no, with these forks, I get a lot more feedback, so when it does go, I can pick it back up as quick as I can and continue. I feel a lot safer with what I'm running at the moment.
Q: As you said in the press conference, you're on the podium, so you're close but not close enough.
CS: Yes. I mean we've tried everything this year. We've gone up and down, left and right with the bike, we can more or less do the same lap time with any setting, any solutions to do with the bike, and unfortunately, we just can't get any more than that, you know.
Personally, I think I'm riding as good as I've ever ridden, I'm as fit and as strong as I've ever been, feeling good. For me to come in at the end of the race and actually be pretty happy, pretty satisfied with the job I've done, that's all I can do. You know, I don't know what else we can do at the moment, we're trying a lot of things, everybody's working hard at Ducati, everybody's working hard in the team, and I myself am working as hard as I can, and we can't seem to get much more than where we are. So we're just going to have to see if we can come up with more of a solution, and make the bike a little easier to ride. But yeah, we've got a long way to go for that.
Q: It's been 10 races since you and Ducati won: Does it make it more difficult to accept such a long win drought?
CS: No, because for me, I mean, it's great if you win sometimes, but if you win and you don't think you've ridden well, to me - I know it's hard for other people to understand, and on the Brit side, I get called a whinger and a whiner - but I'm out there, not for perfection, but to be happy with myself. I'm not out there to make anyone else happy, I'm out there to make myself happy when I'm on the track. And you know when I feel like I've done a good job like I have this year in a lot of races, I can't really be upset with anything, or find it difficult that I'm not on the top step. When I'm on the top step and I feel like I've not ridden a good race, I've made too many mistakes and I feel I'm lucky to be there, then it doesn't feel quite as satisfying. But this year, I've had too many satisfying podiums and not enough satisfying wins! [Laughs] So I'm a little bit angry at this, but we've just got to keep battling through and keep trying.
Q: You say you're riding better than you've ever been and Ducati are working hard on the bike, but the last race you had a good battle with Valentino, and here you were behind Jorge for a while. Can you see where the Yamaha has a bit of an advantage?
CS: I can, but I'm not going to say. [Laughs]. It's not my place. I've not ridden that bike, so I can only talk about the bike I've ridden. I'm not going to sit there and take any credit away from what Jorge and Valentino have done on this bike. You know, there's always the whole thing of the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but for me, Ducati have done a fantastic job for years, and whether it's me not riding well enough or whatever it is, I'm still giving it 100% and that's all I can ask of me and that's all they can ask of me. We're all doing the best job we can, and just trying to fight with the best in the world.
Q: There's a break coming up and then the test after Brno. Are you hoping that Ducati will be bringing something to test that might change things around a bit?
CS: At this stage, there's been no information given to me that we're going to be receiving anything. But there's no point in finding out until we're in Brno anyway, so to have brought something would be fantastic and try and get us back on track, get us running up front again, but at the same time, we've just going to have to live with what we've got and try and work with that. A lot of people are always talking about you don't get much development through the year, and unfortunately this year, we'd like to have just a little bit, but it's difficult with such a small company to really get things back on track. You know, we might have the solution in the bike there somewhere, but then it would be a very fine point of where to keep it at. And you know, I've not been able to get much more out of myself or the bike at the moment, so I don't know what more we can do. I suppose we can just hope that we get something a little new at Brno, but I'm not expecting anything.
Q: Jorge is first or second in every race, you know what this is like from 2007. It looks like Jorge is doing something pretty special right now, riding well, making no mistakes.
CS: He's riding well, there's no mistakes, and unfortunately, everybody else has made mistakes. You know, everybody is having a shocking season around him, and he's having a fantastic season. When things go your way, they go your way, and when they don't, they don't, you know? I'd rather have things not going my way and turn them around myself, a lot of people when things aren't going their way, they let it get on top of them and give up, but we're going to keep battling through.
And Jorge's just got to keep doing what he's doing. He looks like … Like I said, mountains are flattening in front of him just so he can walk a straight path. But I take my hat off to him, he's riding exceptionally well, and yeah, everything's just going his way and falling in his lap.
Q: If he keeps doing what he's doing, it looks like he's on his way to a championship...
CS: Yes, he's by far the most deserving champion, especially this year. This year, he's been riding above everyone else, and making no mistakes, anything like that. So he's a very deserving champion at this point, and the way things are going, it looks like he's going to get it. But of course it's not done yet, it's not over. And we'll have to see what happens.
Q: Are you going to take some time off during the summer break?
CS: I'm going to be taking a small holiday over here, but I'd like to try and get myself back up to top fitness, get myself back into shape a little bit, not try and holiday too much. It's not a long holiday like it used to be. It's bullcrap really, the amount of races and everything we have to do, but we have to live with it, and come back as strong as Brno.
I'm just going to take the rest of the season race by race. I've got no season, it's over, it's done, pretty much, so I've just got to take it race by race, try and get the best result I can in each and every one, and see what we can pull at the end, but nothing at the moment.