News 30 Aug 2011

Stoner happy with challenging victory at Indianapolis MotoGP

Australia's Casey Stoner didn't enjoy Indianapolis, but he got the job done on Sunday.

Australia's Casey Stoner didn't enjoy Indianapolis, but he got the job done on Sunday.

Although he looked to win with ease, Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner admits that his victory in the Indianapolis Grand Prix at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway was one of the most difficult of the season for him.

The 12th round of the MotoGP World Championship culminated a fractious weekend during which the recently repaved infield was heavily criticised by the riders. Stoner was among the most critical of the track.

Following his seventh pole position of the year, in which he set the fastest ever lap by a motorcycle at the Brickyard, the championship leader said he never felt confident. If he wasn’t confident in the race it didn’t show.

The victory was important for Stoner in a number of ways. It was his seventh victory of the year and third in a row. It was also his fourth win from pole and tenth podium in a row, a new career best. The podium was his first at IMS, the only rostrum on the MotoGP calendar which he’d never ascended.

“We got an okay start and I should have been a little more aggressive in the first corner,” Stoner admitted. “As I entered turn two Dani hit the brakes quite hard and I just had nothing, my brakes weren’t warmed up yet and I had trouble stopping, I was lucky to get through the first lap.

“The race was tough, conditions were very hot and the track surface a little more slippery than practice and qualifying which made things difficult to know how much to push.

“At one point I closed the front and dropped the bike on my knee, I was pretty much down but managed to pick it back up and not lose too much confidence. From there we started to make our way past Dani, put in a few good lap times and pull an advantage.

“Under challenging track conditions everything has worked really well this weekend, the crew did a fantastic job and gave me a great bike so a huge thanks to them all.”

With Lorenzo finishing fourth, Stoner grew his championship points lead to 44 points, 243 to 199, after 12 of 18 races.