Repsol Press Release: Interview With Casey Stoner After The Sepang Test

In the second of the two interviews which the Repsol Media Service put out with the Repsol Honda MotoGP riders after the test at Sepang, Casey Stoner gets a chance to answer a few questions. Like Pedrosa, Stoner talks about the differences and similarities of riding the new 1000cc MotoGP bikes when compared to the old 800s, as well as the extra weight that has been added to the bikes. But the Australian also talks about the role that fuel consumption is likely to play with the new, larger capacity bikes running the same amount of fuel as the 800s, and he denies that becoming a father will have any effect on his speed.

Below is the press release interview with Stoner, as sent out by Repsol:


"It's crucial that Honda and Repsol work together to get the same performance out of less consumption"

Reigning MotoGP World Champion, Casey Stoner, prepares for his second season in Repsol and Honda colours onboard the 1000cc RC213V

After winning the world championship in his first season as a Repsol Honda Team rider, the title holder is ready to defend his crown in a season of novelties both professional and personal. On track in the 2012 season, Casey Stoner will have to adapt to the new MotoGP regulations and his new tool of the trade, the RC213V. Away from the circuits, the Australian is just weeks away from becoming a father for the first time.

First of all, how are you doing? After the long winter wait to get back on the bike, you weren't able to ride on the opening day of the three in Sepang…

"After the winter break and a long time off the bike, we were preparing in order to be ready for day one of testing. Unfortunately I had a problem with my back and we missed that opening day. We had our schedule planned out for the three days, but we were able to pack it all into two in the end. I was a little bit disappointed, but then I felt really good when I was able to get back riding and experience the feeling of being on track again. Everything went pretty well and I hope that we can improve."

Does the riding style required change much with the switch from 800cc bikes to 1000cc bikes?

"No, we haven't changed much in terms of riding style; with the 800cc we already had an abundance of power, so we had to learn to manage that in many ways. I think that the 1000cc has a lot more acceleration - which makes things more fun - but I don't have to change my style too much for that. The feeling is very similar to with the 800cc bikes and it seems as if everyone is adapting well."

Have you made any changes in your winter training with the new bike in mind?

"No, because I think that the physical demands will be very similar. It will be a little more difficult, but we were already training with the aim of being as fit as possible for any bike. It wasn't specific training for the 800cc before. In my opinion, I can't improve my fitness much more before the start of the season."

Do you notice the 4kg difference between the bike used at Sepang and that used at Valencia?

"Yes, and it is rather frustrating. We already had the bike developed and then they decided to change the regulations, so we had to add 4kg to the weight of our bike. This is a disadvantage for us, because the bike was already developed with a specific weight in mind, and now we have to add more. This affects the bike. It isn't something that you notice much in your general riding, but unfortunately you do feel it quite a bit mid-corner. We have to try to adapt a little more and overcome this, but it is disappointing that the decision was made so late on."

With these more powerful, heavier bikes, you still have the same fuel capacity permitted. Do you follow the collaboration between Honda engineers and Repsol to provide Dani and yourself with the best fuel possible?

"Of course, when you have more power there is a critical aspect involved: Obtaining the same performance with less fuel consumption. We have the same fuel tank capacity as with the 800cc bikes, only with a lot more power available, so it is going to be rather difficult to ensure that we can finish each race. That is why it is crucial that Honda and Repsol work together to find the best solution."

You now have a blog and the fans are really pleased to read your thoughts. What do you think about this? Are you aware of how many people support you and will access this new platform for your opinion?

"It is something that will let the fans learn more about what goes on behind the scenes and what I think about various subjects. It isn't something that I would have done before, but thanks to Repsol I am going to give it a go this year and see how it works out. I think that it will be something interesting for the fans to read."

The old rider saying is that you lose a tenth of a second per lap when you become a father. Do you agree with that?

"They also say that you slow down when you get married, but in my first year of marriage I won the title and when I found out that we were having a baby I won it a second time. I don't think that it is the case."

If one of your children were to say to you in the future "Dad, I want to be a rider!" how would you respond?

"(Laughing) We would definitely teach them from a young age, but the decision to be a rider or not will be completely down to them."

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Total votes: 75

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Comments

The paddock stars can be divided in 2 parts: riders who care only about racing and get bored by everything else (Stoner, Spies, Pedrosa...) and riders who crave the attention and do love the media side of their job (Rossi, Lorenzo...).

They don't all have the same type of personality and not all of them like kissing at the camera, so what?

Diversity is good for the sport, depending on your expectations of a professional racer you'll tend to love one type or the other, that's just fine.

Total votes: 153

is obviously becoming a major time-consuming effort for you, David, with what appears to be a spill-over of the sort of trash comments (now deleted from this item, thankfully) that are plaguing certain other sites at the moment and have become worse since the last season was completed - but I for one am hugely grateful that you are doing the yards necessary to ensure that.

I think you will find I'm not alone in applauding your work and deploring the seeming necessity on the part of some 'fans' to poison every well of information about motoGp with their inane and vitriolic nonsense. In a perverse way, it is an endorsement of the quality of mtm that they seem to need to come here and spout their garbage. Elision of these cancers is worth it for the continued good health of the patient.

Total votes: 157

David,
please consider allowing only site supporters to comment going forward, I would truly hate to see this site become an expansion of well known British sites that draw from the shallow end of the fan base.

apologies for sounding like a forum snob, but it must continue to be said.

Total votes: 127

I'm not sure that I want to pay money to speak. But I don't want this to become crash either. I really value this site, because the standard of journalism and reporting is *outstanding*, and because the standard of debate and comment is pretty high as well.

There is a perfectly legitimate need and reason for crash to exist. I have added some hype and spin and opinion there myself - even stuck my tongue out once or twice. I do that there - I don't want to do that here. This site is different. It operates at a higher level, with users who are both better informed and more polite. I'm happy to return serve at crash and give as good as I get, but I'd hate to see this become another crash.

Total votes: 114

but that is exactly to whom I was referring. If you look closely, you will see names you that post there and my fear is exactly yours. The difference being that that is a place to go and gin up trouble and their is no heavy lifting being done when it comes to reporting and insight - it is more like a US tabloid. And while my suggestion of site supporters only being given permission to post is a knee-jerk reaction, recent visitors over the past couple of weeks are more akin to drive-by shooters. I feel bad that David needs to be cook, waiter and bottle washer all at once and he shouldn't have to "add babysitter of his followers to the list."

I would hate to see them drive away the other "contributors" to the site, which are the well-behaved and very well-informed followers of David and MM.

Total votes: 130

Unfortunately, I post here much less often than I used to, precisely because every comment seems to be met with a raving response. I like the fact that this site has been a place of sensibility for the most part and that's why I give money. I do think that taking down the more inflammatory posts here will eventually go a long way toward driving certain posters away or discouraging certain types of posts.
I do appreciate the effort put in to keep the site cordial. I'm sorry it has to be done at all though.
Anyway, I still read everything, I am just more reluctant to discuss.

Total votes: 130

LOL at his 'thanks to Repsol he'll give it a shot...' because God knows it is nearly impossible to start a blog without backing of a major sponsor!

Seriously though, Casey's blog could be very interesting indeed, if it was allowed to be his honest opinion rather than another PR exercise. He might not be a sponsor's dream but he is articulate and a straight shooter and I think he would have much to say as long as he wasn't muzzled.

Total votes: 132

Perhaps he mentions his teams major sponsor as a way of indicating that he will have to play ball as far as the pr side of things goes? Time will tell.

Latest Australian Motorcycle News magazine has a good interview with him.

Total votes: 127

Yeah I gather from the comment 'thanks to Repsol' that Stoner wasnt really given an option about his blog. If there is anyone on the Motogp field who is genuinely disinterested in Fame it is Stoner.
Despite this I will be subscribing to his blog as I am an avid FanBoy. Whether its worth reading will be something else.

Total votes: 129

This time Iĺl try an approach that the oh so sophisticated reader might understand and hopefully is not to be deleted by the Chinese Goverment aka David Emmet (that was a joke, please lough):

Why does he appear so boring to me? Because he reveals almost nothing, neither technically nor private details. Why is he doing interviews then? It would be more interesting if he would follow a Neil Armstrong-like approach and refuses to give interviews at all (Neil is not doing that either-he just refuses to sign and write anything because it will allways be sold somewhere-, but I think the analogy works)...what a mind boggler that would be for the paddock! That would be something very unique and special, if he would win a race and would just shut up and walk away with the trophy...chrchrchr..just imagine...it would leave a mark and sure would scew up his opponents a bit.

What I have to pay him credit for and what is evidence for what a finely tuned instrument a MotoGP rider is, is how he describes what a difference 4 kg of weight are making and where he feels them even though thats the only flesh of that interview and anybody in the paddock is probably on this tuning level.
Regarding becoming a father: I'm a father of 2 boys myself , whish him and her all the best and I'm courious how he will handle this during the season. I cant imagine that his performance will not at all be influenced somehow by that due to his thoughts wandering sometimes.We'll see....

Total votes: 139

And Repsol is HRC's main sponsor, contributing millions to their MotoGP effort. It's bound to be full of political correctness, even by Stoner. He does do interesting interviews, especially when the topic gets technical. Unfortunately this isn't on of those occasions.

In the 2011 season, from the 3 rounds leading up to and including Laguna Seca, he described in detail issues they were having with tyre pressures and the blistering effects it was having. Colin Edwards, who everyone loves, would simply say (and has on many occasions): "The tyres are shit / they're not working for us". No one ever called him a moaner.

Personally its been a breath of fresh air to not hear "I push and I push to de maximum" or "I'd like to thank the sponsors and the team for the 110% effort this weekend"

You seem to have already decided you don't like him, which is your right. His voice might grate for you, it might be his accent, it may be the infamous "y'know's". But if its boring for you, than you must already know whats going on at a technical level (please share if you do), or you don't care. In which case turn the TV off, because the race is over.

Total votes: 119

It needs an awefull lot of luck to win a title too and no doubt Vale had tons of it in the past.
CS deserves the title more than most of Vale's competitors and I'm glad there is a worthy target to keep Vale in check and within MotoGP.
I would like to see CS race against Vale in a WRC car....damn...VR even beat Sebastian Loeb there...too bad:)

Total votes: 132

I thought Stoner's take on 2012 and 1000 was the issue. As predicted,there's not much to pick between 1000 2012 and 800 past in terms of user friendliness. Fuel consumption and 21 litres, plus 4 or 5kg fattening. I for one would love to have the inside track as to what capacity exactly the major players are using to start with 2012, and 81mm bore limit.
888cc/930cc/999.9 ?. I guess the riders don't even know. But they sure as hell can feel it !!

Total votes: 120

...there is a hugh need for a documentary that shows a day in the life of a MotoGP rider during a test session and/or a race weekend in full detail...no technical secrets spared...at least no little ones:).Especially their way to root a problem and how to deal with it, would be highly interesting.

Total votes: 129

... although some basic explanation would certainly benefit those people who are new to the sport.

But since you asked, the rider explains the problem to the team (in terms of how the bike is behaving) and, combined with the telemetry data the team then works out what changes might fix the problem. Unfortunately this often leads to a problem elsewhere because the bikes are so finely balanced, with multiple set-up parameters. As an example, dialing out chatter from the forks can lead to pumping from the rear swingarm... the techs then need to work out how to fix the pumping without re-introducing the chatter.

You'll never see a more frustrated rider than one whose team is unable to find and fix a problem that is costing them a few tenths every lap. Which is why the guys in the team earn the big dollars - a lot of techs can set up a bike, but few can find those last few tenths, especially when the pressure is on and the rider needs results.

No factory team would allow their expertise to go out on film, though - there's plenty of other team members who'd love to get some inside info and telemetry data from their competitors.

Total votes: 117

...getting back to the interview. What is the justification for the ceiling on the prototypes fuel capacity? Staying with 21 liters of fuel will provide what ground-breaking technology for motorcycles in general after all these years? Cost-Cutting can not be the only reason either. When the riders are not able to finish races, will that prompt Carmelo to change the rules (again) then?

Total votes: 131

Well said. What possible (good) reason could there be to limit the fuel capacity on a MotoGP machine. Pure stupidity.

Total votes: 120

"Staying with 21 liters of fuel will provide what ground-breaking technology for motorcycles in general after all these years? "

Funnily enough Honda just released their new NS700 family of commuter bikes using a new engine acclaimed for its fuel efficiency. Guess what was the base from which they developed this engine? Honda Jazz. That's right: a car engine.
So much for racing benefiting development of road bikes!

Total votes: 129

A car engine??? Well isn't that special - for motorcycle racing!? In theory, the fuel efficiency development (technology) should work the same using 24 liters of fuel, right? The rules should be changed for the benefit of racing if the technology is being applied to car (production) engines!

Total votes: 128

for factory participation in racing - and since bike sales are not all that buoyant, if the claimed R&D is cross-fertilising the car industry push for better economy, that's a reason for Honda (at least) to stay in motoGp, and Suzuki to return. Do not underestimate the importance of having some sort of validity for spending all that money to the top nobs in large corporations..

Total votes: 136