Motorsport

Early comeback boosts Stoner

2012-10-15 09:41
Casey Stoner (AP)

Motegi - Reigning MotoGP champion Casey Stoner says it was worth the risk to make a comeback at the weekend's Japanese Grand Prix despite not being fully recovered from surgery on his right ankle.

The Australian Honda rider, due to retire from MotoGP racing at the end of the season, finished fifth on Sunday having missed the previous three races because of his injury.

"This weekend I slightly got my confidence back up," Stoner said. "During the race I had the pace to run with the front guys, probably not for the whole race. But we definitely had the pace and that's good."

The 2007 and 2011 world champion crashed in qualifying for the Indianapolis MotoGP on August 19 but still raced there to finish fourth. He underwent surgery on August 30 on torn ligaments and fractures to his ankle, tibia and fibula.

Stoner, who turns 27 on Tuesday, said: "(The accident) made me a lot more cautious, especially to come back here. I didn't really want to crash. Anything I do to my foot can send us back a long way."

The Japanese GP was won by his factory Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa as he beat Yamaha ace and championship leader Jorge Lorenzo into second, keeping alive his hopes to lift his first premier-class title.

The two Spaniards and Stoner have between them won every race this season with Lorenzo winning six against five for Pedrosa and four for the Australian.

Stoner's absence has pushed him out of title contention with just three races remaining.

But he has vowed to go full throttle to end his MotoGP career on a high, especially at his home Grand Prix on Phillip Island later this month where has has triumphed for five straight years.

Stoner, still limping, admitted his body "started to suffer and ache in ways I didn't expect" during the race at Motegi.

He could not put enough weight on the front and his bike suffered a "huge amount of chatter (vibration after braking)" as he protected his right foot, which is still undergoing extensive treatment.

"We had the pace to run a lot higher and get on the podium," he said. "Unfortunately, just physically, I couldn't manage this situation. I'm a little bit disappointed."

Stoner, who had initially planned to come back at the Australian GP at the end of October, said that his Japan outing might help him for the rest of the championship series which will end in Valencia, Spain, on November 11.

"Maybe, this bit of work will be good for it. We'll come to the next race and might be better. I can only hope that much."

The next round will be fought on Sunday at Sepang, Malaysia, where Stoner won in 2007 and 2009.

"It's a physically demanding circuit and I think it's going to be a quite a lot tougher race in a lot of ways," Stoner said of the Malaysian GP.

He added that he had struggled with the amount of corners on the geometric stop-start Motegi circuit.

"So, hopefully, in Malaysia, it's a little bit smoother, a little more flowing," Stoner said. "It's a circuit I had fairly good results (at). We'll have to wait and see."

Read more on:    casey stoner  |  motorsport
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

Hypothetically, given the same cars to drive, who is the most talented current Formula One driver in your opinion?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.