News 14 Jun 2011

Stoner reveals nerves were high in attrition-filled wet British Grand Prix

Aussie Casey Stoner raced to his 27th GP victory on Sunday at Silverstone.

Aussie Casey Stoner raced to his 27th GP victory on Sunday at Silverstone.

Australia’s Casey Stoner admitted his nerves were sky-high following a wet and rainy British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday.

Stoner gave the crowd a masterful display of inch-perfect wet-weather riding, taking the lead on lap two and never relinquishing it. Despite persistent heavy rain, blustery wind and rivers of water running across the track, Stoner never put a wheel wrong.

In addition to several aquaplaning scares during the race, he struggled during the early laps to see where he was going because water had got inside his visor while he was behind Andrea Dovizioso on lap one.

Stoner’s other issue was keeping the tyres warm – whenever he eased his pace the tyres cooled and lost some grip, so he had to stay on the limit throughout.

By half distance Stoner was 5.7s ahead of his teammate. With three laps to go he started lapping other riders – a very rare event in MotoGP – and by the time the chequered flag came out he was 15s in front of Dovizioso.

“At the beginning of the race we didn’t have a great start and I needed to wait for the tyres to get up to temperature,” Stoner explained. “In the first few laps when I was behind the other riders I got a lot of spray up inside the visor and it was hard for me to see, or for me to push.

“At this time I was being careful, trying to cover my lines to stop them coming inside, then after five laps my visibility got clearer and the water drained away from my visor and I was able to start doing the lap times we were looking for and started to open a gap.

“I was just happy to stay up on the bike, it was incredibly cold and I was so nervous, because in these conditions it’s so easy to crash! We had a great race today in very tough conditions where anything could have happened, but to come away with a win is fantastic.”

This was the Australian’s fourth win from the first six races of 2011 and the success moved him into the world championship lead, 18 points ahead of reigning World Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) who crashed out of third place just before halfway.