Q: Can you explain what happened at Turn 1?
Casey Stoner: The air turbine basically just makes you go that much faster. Even when you're on the brakes you're still getting a slipstream, so I just wasn't able to stop fast enough, because both of them [Lorenzo and Dovizioso] were just a little bit offset, so I got a slipstream off both, and I got a little bit ahead of myself.
Q: Somebody said this is the second race that you are following the Honda because you are studying it...
CS: This should be coming from you! [Points at Italian journalist who has been badgering Stoner about whether he has signed for Honda, and the assembled press all laugh.]
But personally, I'd much rather beat it. The last race, I didn't have much chance to try to attack Dani because the arm pump came and I wasn't able even to be close enough. This race, I put my wheel in everywhere I could to try and pass Dani, but he just got the acceleration, he got good traction, and was good enough on the brakes to keep me off, and that was it. I mean, if you don't make a mistake, for me to get close enough was impossible. So this is the only reason, and it's not what everyone is thinking about me studying it! [Laughs]
Q: Do you think that's part of the problem with MotoGP today, nobody makes a mistake, there are so few mistakes that it becomes almost impossible to pass anywhere? You're all getting too good, perhaps?
CS: But this is just a progression of racing since 1950, you know? Even back in the early 90s, you used to be able to see people come from 20 meters back, outbrake four guys into the last chicane at Suzuka, and keep going, not even run wide. It just doesn't happen these days, riders have become more precise, machinery has become more precise. I'm sure the next generation after us are just going to make us look stupid.
So this is why there cannot be any comparison one rider to another, they were the best of their time. Because you can't compare to that, you know? In the old days, you didn't have to run nearly as much corner speed, you had more time to think about things, come out of the corner, pick the bike up; there were more limits to what the bike could do. With these, you just seem to be able to keep pushing them further and further until you crash. It's the small mistakes that upsets everyone and makes things, but my mistakes at Silverstone and here weren't small mistakes, they were quite big. We should have been able to capitalize on it, still, and get good results.
Q: You were the fastest at Qatar and Le Mans, but you crashed out. Filippo Preziosi told me that they should invent some kind of a crash warning light that comes on a second before you crash...
CS: Well Filippo's a genius, so probably he could come up with it in the future... [Laughs] But personally, I think this is an impossible task.
We know now the reason for the problem at the front end. Suzuki found the same problem as me; as you've seen, the other Ducati riders are now struggling and I'm in the front. So we've seen a big turnaround because I went back to the old forks. I'm positive I've found the problem, the new forks just don't work with our bike. They don't give the feedback, they don't work well enough for us. We don't put enough pressure maybe on the forks, and for me this is a problem.
As soon as we changed it, even today, I lost the front many times but I was able to save it without a problem, without being scared. In the past, the bike would feel perfect, and then it would be gone, it was game over. So for me, we've found the problem and we're doing a good job.
Q: When you got sucked into that air, that slipstream and ran off the track, it must be so difficult to react and slow yourself down...
CS: Well, to be honest, I was maxed out with braking today, our bike wasn't good on the brakes. So I wasn't really able to take any time off anyone on the brakes, whereas normally we're quite good. But yeah, as Jorge and Dani were just slightly staggered, so I'm getting a big slipstream, a big buffet, and even when I got on the brakes, we were still going fast enough to get a slipstream. So there was just no stopping, I wasn't going to stop; I was pulling the brakes and they weren't doing anything for me, so I just decided to run it round and keep everybody up, instead of wipe myself and everybody else out.
Q: What issue were you having with the brakes? What was the problem?
CS: Just setting. You know, it's easy to have one setup that's no good for brakes and another one that is very good, but normally when they're very good, the bike doesn't turn. We got the bike turning, it's no good on the brakes so … We need to find a bit more of a balance. This morning, the braking point got a little bit better, but we changed the setting for the race, because we were putting too much weight on the front, obviously we took too much weight off, and we just couldn't get the braking stability or the power or anything, like I did this morning.
Q: You and Dani both ran off at Turn 1, and then you had difficulty making up that time, and perhaps you thought you could have. Are you worried at all about the comfortable gap that Jorge seems to have at most tracks now?
CS: Normally, when people win races, they're faster, you know, and you can understand that they're a lot faster. In the last two or three races, I haven't seen Jorge be unbelievably fast, he's just been consistent. And this is the difference, this is where he's doing the job; everyone's making mistakes around him, but consistency-wise is where he's getting it from, just being able to do the same thing. I don't think he has to push his machinery as hard as others do, maybe. But yeah, everybody's just trying to make up the difference with that.
But say, when, say, Valentino wins races, you know why he's fast, you know why he's out there pulling a gap. Jorge's able just to pull a very small amount each lap, and reel off a lot of consistent ones. So in Assen, without the arm pump, I believe I can stay there; in this race, without a stupid mistake, we were the same. So you know it's only in Silverstone that it's completely unknown, because we got such a bad start it was impossible to understand.
Q: So, setup aside, if there was anything you could ask Filippo for now, engine or other changes, is there anything you'd ask for that would make it a bit easier?
CS: Just a bit more acceleration. That's about it. Our bike is that much easier to ride than last year at the acceleration point, but it's just everyone else has taken another huge leap. We went backwards with engine power because we went to the big bang, so they just need more time to develop it, really. We took a step back slightly, the bike's definitely easier to ride, better off the turns, better traction, but yes, it's making things a little bit more difficult when we need to pass.
Q: Are you expecting to get a new engine with better acceleration, maybe at the Brno tests?
CS: Probably not. I don't think we're going to see much change before the end of the year.