News 6 Sep 2011

Fatigue strikes Stoner in disappointing race day at Misano

Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner struggled with fatigue at Misano last weekend.

Repsol Honda rider Casey Stoner struggled with fatigue at Misano last weekend.

Australia’s Casey Stoner admitted following Sunday’s Grand Prix of San Marino that it was fatigue that forced him to settle for third on the podium.

Stoner took pole position in yesterday afternoon’s qualifying session, but was by no means confident of scoring a fourth consecutive victory to further strengthen his lead in the world championship.

Stoner began to struggle following 20 laps, apparently running out of strength, a result of jetlag and subsequent sleep deprivation following last weekend’s Indianapolis Grand Prix.

Stoner’s target had now changed, from winning the race to defending second place, but he was struggling to get his bike stopped and was therefore running wide in the turns, which threw him back into the clutches of his teammate Pedrosa.

“At the beginning of the race I was cautious as there were a few spots of rain,” Stoner said. “Once this cleared up I was pretty comfortable behind Jorge, I didn’t feel the need to push and then the tiredness suddenly hit me.

“It was hard to find the braking points and change direction on the bike, there was nothing wrong with the tyres, nothing wrong with the bike, the team did a great job and gave me a fantastic package. I’m just worn out.

“After the past few races I’ve had to put in a lot more effort in Laguna and Brno, riding a lot harder than I normally would. This together with the neck injury from Assen, which I’ve been struggling to recover from due to lack of training from the hectic race calendar, has finally caught up with me.

“For the second half of the race I was just too tired, simple as that. I’m very grateful to have finished on the podium. All credit to Jorge, he had a fantastic race, hopefully by Aragon I’ll be fully fit and recovered.”

Stoner maintains a 35-point lead in the world championship following the Misano round of the series.