Moto GP championship leader Australia’s Casey Stoner has admitted he is feeling the pace of a long, gruelling season ahead of the Grand Prix of Aragon, the 14th race of an 18-event season which comes just a week after he was defeated in San Marino.
Last weekend, Stoner started on pole position at Misano but was beaten into second place by world champion Jorge Lorenzo who cut the gap at the top of the standings to just 35 points on the Australian with five races remaining.
Stoner said he has spent the last week relaxing to recharge batteries being sapped by a championship which started in the Middle East, came back to Europe, took two separate trips to the United States before heading off to Asia and Australia.
The series will finish back in Valencia on November 4.
“I’ve managed to rest since the hard race in Misano, where I was totally worn out,” said Stoner.
“The hectic schedule we follow had drained me completely and I had no energy, nothing left to give, so I’ve enjoyed relaxing this past week and getting back to some training.
“The Aragon track is ok, it’s not one of my favourite circuits, I feel it could be a little faster. We ran well there last year, mainly due to the fact we took a big step in the set up on the bike.”
“It’s still going to be very tight. Every time we talk about the Championship I say there’s no way Jorge is going to give up, and he’ll take every point he can.”
Last year, Lorenzo started in second spot on the grid but finished in fourth.
“I am very happy to be riding at home again and for a second time in Aragon,” said Lorenzo of a race which was drafted into the calendar last year to replace the scheduled race in Hungary.
“Last year I couldn’t get the podium which was a big shame. I wanted it because I was competing in Spain and the season had been perfect.”
Meanwhile, nine-time champion Valentino Rossi confirmed he will race in next month’s Japanese Grand Prix despite fears expressed by other riders over safety at the Motegi track in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster.
“I will go to Japan for the race. All the tests are negative, it looks quite safe so yes, I will go to race at Motegi,” said Rossi.