Portuguese GP: Ducati race report

STONER RIDES AROUND PROBLEMS FOR A MERITABLE SIXTH PLACE Casey Stoner produced another example of the class and maturity that made him World Champion as he overcame an unfortunate technical problem to salvage a worthy sixth place. Shortly after...

STONER RIDES AROUND PROBLEMS FOR A MERITABLE SIXTH PLACE

Casey Stoner produced another example of the class and maturity that made him World Champion as he overcame an unfortunate technical problem to salvage a worthy sixth place. Shortly after the start of the race a part of the on-board camera on Casey's GP8 came lose, flapping dangerously between his handlebars and front fairing.

After dropping all the way back to eleventh place, Stoner showed great composure and skill to fix the problem himself before putting together a sensational comeback that saw him set the fourth fastest lap of the race on his way to sixth place. That was enough to seal 10 crucial points that keep the Australian holding firmly to fourth place in the championship.

Stoner's team-mate Marco Melandri paid a heavy price for his difficulties during practice, having never found a suitable set-up for this circuit. The Italian struggled to thirteenth place and is looking forward to the next race at China, which should be more suited to the characteristics of his bike.

CASEY STONER (Ducati Marlboro Team) 6th in the race, 4th overall on 40 points

"It was incredible what happened today, we had a problem which was no fault of the bike from the beginning of the race. I didn't understand what was going on and wasn't sure if an important part of the bike was involved. It was a major distraction. Sometimes the piece would lock the steering and sometimes it locked the clutch lever. It was a very difficult situation but eventually I worked out a way to ride around it. Every time I came down the straight I pushed it back into place but the turbulence from the wind would blow it back out again so it was very frustrating. I think a better result for sure was possible without this but we have to take this as a positive thing and not reflect on the negatives. It wasn't a good weekend for us but the problem in the race was not a general fault with the bike, just one of those things that happens from time to time. We need to continue working hard in China, a track that should be a little better for us, and hope for a bit more luck."

MARCO MELANDRI (Ducati Marlboro Team) 13th in the race, 13th overall on 12 points

"The result in the race is a direct reflection of a difficult weekend, during which we've been unable to find a satisfactory set-up for the bike. All I can do is wait and hope that this proves to be the second of the two worst races for us this season and that things start to be more favourable from China onwards."

LIVIO SUPPO (Ducati MotoGP Project Leader)

"I actually think this was one of Casey's best races. He had the composure to take control of the situation when a quite unusual problem came out. He was able to hold his nerve and he produced an outstanding ride, with the fourth fastest time of the race and important points for the championship. It's been a strange weekend but Casey is still in there, his potential remains intact and we're happy about that. As far as Marco is concerned I think we have to focus on the positives and work from them towards a solution."

-credit: ducati

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Marco Melandri , Casey Stoner