Casey Stoner Post Laguna Transcript: "Lorenzo's A Deserving Champion"

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.

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Comments

"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."

Casey, please never change.

Wow, there is so much fodder there for journalists and people who don't like Casey to feast upon for weeks. Speak your mind Casey, it's a free world, but boy, do you know how to alienate anyone who is not a "fan"!

By dissing Brits, you have pretty much turned a nation against you (was pretty bad anyway). Having seen you snub a young 4 or 5 year old kid eagerly awaiting your autograph when nobody else was around (who was severely disappointed... would have taken 10 seconds at most mate!) at Day Of Champions I can understand the ill feeling.

Yes he's a racer, yes he's one of the best, yes it is (most of the time) best to tell the truth, but damn Casey, I wish you would not become the villain of MotoGP! Good luck at Honda, I wish you well and only hope you will lighten up a bit!!!

You think that he should not say anything about how he got booed not only at Donnington but also at the day of champions? I don't agree with not signing the autograph, but you can't really blame him for givng the brit fans a serve...he always cops it from them and there's a well known reason for that...and it's not coz they think he whinges.

I was there mate. A dozen people booed him (stupid idiots in GSXR jackets a few feet behind me) whilst several hundred people clapped him. He took offence and said "everyone" booed him. Not true, I was THERE! That disappointed a lot of people (including me). I think the guys is an awesome racer of the highest order. I truely do, one of the greats... but... Drama Queen! Didn't Pedrosa get booed at Laguna in 2009 when he won (he said so bu laughed it off!). Didn't Rossi get booed by at least half the field at Jerez in 2005?

Yes, I was there front & center in the grandstands across from pit lane, and when his name was announced, wow it really felt like 3/4ths of the fans there were booing him. However unacceptable/gauche this might be, I think the general feeling was more about how pedrosopuig & co had been bad mouthing Hayden and basically had a heavy hand in politicking nicky out of honda, it seemed to be fresh in everyone's minds at the time...

i'm one of the biggest fans of casey but i think it's his year to show us some racing, like he said his season is over and it doesnt matter anymore if he looses the front and crashes.
being 0.2s slower doesnt mean he gets to give up on battling for the win, i mean this is bike racing not car racing.
he needs to get up front and mess with lorenzo's pace and never let him run away and put a pressure on him like what Rossi used to do to him (casey) when the yamaha was slower than his ducati.

(hope this is not none sense lol, cuz thats what racing means to me)

i think its like this because many of the riders have said that with the way these bikes are now you set the bike up and get to your speed, then thats all you've got. whereas in the past rossi for example could find a tenth or two extra and get infront of someone with a better pace, even rossi says that now you can't really rider around problems. if you try you crash

I don't think even Burgess/Rossi can fix the Duke now. Yamaha had huge money, Ducati, not so much. Big mistake to move I say...HUGE mistake.

Don't understimate the setup/development skills of both Rossi and Burgess - they KNOW how to develop a bike that goes fast.
Add to that the fact that they will be going back up to 1000cc engines again (thank god), which will give them good scope to make significant changes to the bike and engine if required.
Next year will serve as a great learning year for them to figure out which way to go with things, Ducati-wise.

Actually, due to malboro, ducati is the only motogp team that runs at a profit.

He has an opinion and that's as it should be. I really like reading what he has to say. I'm not out there to make anyone else happy ..... says it all
Another good piece Dave!!

This story with the little boy is so sad, it should be picked up by Hollywood really...Come on, isn't it time to move on ? We have here an exceptionnal rider who delivers clever and insighful interviews and all people seem to focus on is why he didn't sign a poster in Donnington yonks ago (I bet the story seen from his side must actually be quite revealing to what really happened) and the response from the english crowd. We all know how crowds can stupidly reacts when fed with lies and misinformations and some of the english press has done nothing to give Casey a fair deal.

We are living in a great age, with some great riders and some of them are very articulate and we can read what's on their mind here: let's just enjoy that...

I think it's quite funny how this guy trots out the story of the little boy every chance he gets, like it will make some sort of difference to how the true motorcycle racing fans perceive Stoner...

Another fantastic interview from the only guy in the paddock who's prepared to say it like it is.

...for me regarding Stoner. I've been one of his more ardent detractors for quite a while, but this year has seen some serious adjustments to my opinions of him. At least, my opinion of what he is experiencing THIS YEAR has changed.

I stand by my opinions on things he has said in years past, but this year is different. I have a friend who has been a fan longer than me, and who has forgotten more about the sport than I'll ever know. He suggested that the current state of affairs with Casey COULD be just as we're told, which made more and more sense the more I thought of it.

I'll explain:

When weighing what I know to be true of Casey, I have to remember that:

1) He really DID turn out to be sick last year (with a condition that my best friend endures daily), so he was telling the truth about that. At the time, many people took his "leave of absence" to be a rock-solid declaration that he was finished with Moto GP. They turned out to be wrong. Case closed on that one.

2) Taking into account the fact that I can safely say that Casey wants to win EVERY race...I decided to view his statements as being made by a guy who wants to win, but has a technical malfunction with his equipment that he (thus far) hasn't been able to work around. As computer-controlled as these bikes are, there is NO riding around certain obstacles, when you are already at the absolute limits of what the machine can do...in the context of obeying the laws of physics.

3) While I still know that years past saw him whining and being a baby about things, when I view this year through slightly different lenses, Casey's words, actions, and record this year begin to make a lot of sense. He already has cultivated a reputation for being a "moaner", which is too bad, because this season and this bike really DO have some horrible flaw that nobody has figured out how to fix.

4) I can totally understand the problems with the tires. A tire should last the entire race, but only barely. If the tire's too hard, there'll certainly be problems with heating the tires and keeping them hot. If Bridgestone are dragging their heels, saying that they need to use up the existing stock before they make better tires, then I can understand ANY and ALL of the riders being angry about that. This is especially maddening when a softer tire would give more grip, especially at the front, where it is needed the most...

5) Finally, he's the most outspoken guy in the paddock. That means he's gonna have plenty of enemies from the get-go. I heartily disagree with some of the aspersions he has cast on some of the greatest races and greatest moves in the history of the sport, but his candor about NON-opinionated things is front and center right now. If there really IS some truly dreadful flaw with the front end coming loose, then they could work around it much more effectively if they were on WSBK machinery, but not here. Because of that, he's just being really direct about why he isn't winning races. I believe that if the Ducati were in better working order at the absolute limit, Casey would be giving JLo a run for his money. If there are some who think he should go ahead and crash to prove that he's trying his hardest...then...I understand your point, but I can understand Casey's wanting to keep the bike "red side up", because you get NO points for a DNF.

So, there you have it. Maybe Casey is telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I still DO NOT want to be "pals" with the guy, but as I said, having someone suggest to me that maybe Casey is honestly suffering with a problem that nobody has been able to diagnose...would actually explain his actions and words EXPLICITLY. I believe that I would be saying the EXACT same things if I was in his shoes.

My $0.02...

This forum is starting to look like a fanboy club. Can we stick to positive comments about riders' personality or none at all? Head over to crash net if you want to bag a rider.

So, if we have an observation about a negative, we should refrain from speaking our mind?

Really?

Casey can point out negatives, but we cant?

The problem with posting Casey Stoner's debriefs is that he generates such passions. His comments are often accompanied by laughs and smiles that take a little of the seriousness away from what he is saying. But he really is plain spoken.

Clearly, Stoner is unpopular in some sections, and especially in the UK, as a cursory visit to British message boards will confirm. Criticism here is acceptable, as long as it is well-argued. There have been a couple of comments here which have not been well-argued, and these have been removed.

So, think before you post, and help keep the reputation of the people commenting on this site up among the very highest on the internet. And that's not just me saying that, that's highly respected paddock insiders saying that.

I wasn't familiar with the little boy story but, meh these things happen. The Brits have been hating wayyy before that (for what seems to be no reason except he rides a cigerette bike) It is great that he does these interviews and he ACTUALLY says what he feels. Its refreshing. At the same time when he says things like "I've got no season, it's over, it's done, pretty much..." as a Stoner fan that does bother me a bit. I feel like you can see that in him when he's riding. I know that'll open the floodgates of "These guys are GP riders! They give 100% ALL THE TIME!" well when you hear him say things like that doesn't it make you think? I don't think Rossi or Lorenzo would say anything like that. I'll give Stoner the fact he DOES say "But of course it's not done yet, it's not over"
The funniest part is when he says the break is bullcrap! HAHAHA I'm actually surprised, if I were a rider I would think I would want a shorter break no? Stay fresh, not forget anything.
Anyway Stoner is usually great at Brno so here's hoping for the win! Go Casey!

When Stoner says his season is over, what he means is he's given up on becoming world champion this year. He then goes on to say he'll take it race by race and try to win as many as he can. So it's not that he's given up on racing, just that he doesn't expect to be champion at the end of it. Mathematically speaking this is very sensible, but I still expect Stoner to try and win all of the rest of the races. It's just very, very difficult.

I know what you mean. It is him being realistic. Beleive me I fly the Casey flag high, and I guess thats just why I get disappointed. I want to see him on the top step :) and I know obviously he wants to be there too!

"I think it's quite funny how this guy trots out the story of the little boy every chance he gets"

It's the first time I've ever mentioned it! Perhaps it's just that so many other people have witnessed similar encounters that you think it's the same story repeated!.

I was purely trying to explain WHY Casey Stoner is unpopular in the UK...

I've seen ever rider in the paddock do that. It's understandable sometimes. After all, how much work would you get done if people were holding you up in the hallways asking for autographs as you were heading into a meeting?

Well in that case I must apologise, and furthermore promise to do a little homework before I comment directly about a fellow forum member here.

I think it's great we have some riders that are very clear about themselves and are ready to go behind the PR politically correct feeding injection and open (some of ) themselves to all.
Colin Edwards, Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner are great read while, unfortunately, most of the other riders seem to feel just fine giving their PR person a rather bland analysis of the race.
It's a shame (i didn't say it's shameful LOL), but I guess some aren't too confortable just speaking out.

Great post again David.I think a lot of the things Casey says are simply misinterpreted and misunderstood.He's sort of damned if he does..(the front end is a piece of junk that we can't find a solution to),and damned if he doesn't..(Its all my fault..Quatar..crasher).
Either way, his detractor's will knock him and his backer's will stand by him.
The biggest 'damn', remains that he is damn good on a race track.
Mid season now and after a terrible start to the season,still top dog for Ducati.
May he go from strength to strength.
As for rivalries,its probably less of an issue in the paddock than it is for the observer.
Credit to him for again pointing out how highly he regards Jorge as Champion elect 2010.
Ducati may well regret losing their greatest ever racer come 2011.

because he thrashed their darling Valentino in 2007. Emotionally that was too much to take - it disturbed their world order. Cue the tedious retort 'it was only because his Ducati was so much faster than everything else' Ho hum. Of course they forget the Ducati is the most difficult bike in the paddock to ride, as stated by many an ex-Duke GP rider. Casey was on fire 2007 just as Jorge is this year. A purple patch where everything came together.

It is abundantly clear to me that Casey epitomises everything every champion is about. Him and his performance on his machine. Be damned all the nonsense at the periphery. He's 100% all the time regardless of circumstances.

There lies truth in your statement, but I think it's even more so because Stoner is such a different personality from Rossi. The Brits (even more than average I would say) love Rossi's flamboyant, always happy, clownesque character. Stoner is the opposite in any way imaginable and they just can't relate to that. On top of this he beats the Doctor every now and then... I don't like generalizations but you can even sense it in the comments by Parish and Cox sometimes.

It must be a cultural thing.

It takes courage to speak openly to the media and as fans we are damn lucky to have Stoner offering his insights into the sport for our benefit. Casey is a first rate racer and his own man. Buona fortuna for the rest of the season Casey!

They choose to ignore the darker machinations of Rossi's personality. As do I - who cares? He's hard and a great champion. It's a pity they choose not to give Stoner this courtesy - particularly at the races.

That said don't forget one of the favourite pass times of Brit's is to have a good moan.

You forgot about our awful teeth. I haven't heard that today and I'm getting withdrawal symptoms.

I'm English, and I like Casey. Still there's nothing like sweeping generalisations is there?

As I said a year ago on crash, it's a good thing the world championship isn't an election, or we never would've seen Casey at all. He's not a natural showman, publicist, self made celebrity. He is an honest man. He speaks his mind, and on the occasions he can't, wears his heart so prominently that he might as well have said it anyway. Odd that we dislike someone so much, for being honest.

Vale seems to have a bottomless well of good spirits, optimism, childish mischief and charm. There is a very ruthless, cold-hearted competitor lying in there somewhere, you just don't often see it. Ask Sete.

Casey is in some ways the embodiment of the Aussie myth - the hard bitten little battler. He gets by. He survives. He gets a chip on his shoulder and swears he'll show em all next time. He aught to take some publicity lessons from Guy Leach. Now there's a guy who knows how to radiate "Successful". It comes over loud and clear on tv. In the flesh - one on one - it's nauseating. Gimme Casey any day.

Mike
kneedragon1962@gmail.com

Funnily enough, Casey Stoner in the flesh is rather charming. You can tell from his demeanour that he is just being honest, there's no guile to what he projects. I think a lot of Stoner's real personality gets lost in the transition from real life to media product. That's not to say he doesn't have flaws - some of Stoner's tirades seem to occur when he is frustrated about something, often something unrelated. But those tirades are heartfelt, and more importantly, usually justified.

Stoner is like the rest of us. We are like a field that has burried treasure in it. When you buy the field to get the treasure, you also get the weeds and discarded garbage that go along with it.

I love his nuggets of observation which come from the unique perspective of a great talent, and an honest voice.

Even after three and a half years of being interviewed, Stoner is still basically very uncomfortable in front of a microphone. In the post-race debrief at Laguna, you could see it clearly - Lorenzo finished speaking and as the camera moved to Stoner you could see him tense up and bite his bottom lip in apprehension. He almost always appears as if he is about to take the oral exam. for his finals in a subject he's not very sure about.

He does get over it, and most quickly when in home surroundings - on the grid at P.I. last year he was happy, relaxed, able to smile about a joke one of the Aussie commentators made about Adriana being the umbrella girl he would hit on after the race. It seems he also believes that people ask questions because they genuinely want truthful answer - not always a survival mechanism! As a poker player he'd be an instant bankrupt..

And as for when he's grumpy - think Doohan or Fogarty (or CEII sometimes) and you have to admit, he's still in kindergarten.