Australian MotoGP rider Casey Stoner is determined to extend his leadin the championship when he returns to one of his favourite trackes for the Czech Grand Prix.
Stoner has one half of the races run this year with five victories in ten outings and will be hoping to add to that total at Brno. The track has extra significance as the hisonly win their coincided with his solitary world title in 2007 and he is hoping for similar omens this weekend.
“I’m looking forward to going to Brno. It’s a circuit I’ve always enjoyed and I believe with the results we’ve had in the past years we can expect to have a good race there,” Stoner said on the motogp.com site.
But he will face tough competition from last year’s winner, Spanish Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo, second in the overall standings, on the 5.403-kilometre (3.38-mile) circuit about 180 kilometres southeast of the Czech capital Prague.
“The fact that it’s very fast and flowing has helped the Yamahas in the past seasons and I think Jorge will be strong there, so I will be watching for him,” said the 25-year-old Stoner.
The Aussie, who came in third in Brno last year behind his teammate Dani Pedrosa of Spain, is now on 193 points in the overall standings, 20 points ahead of defending world champion Lorenzo.
“After the long break we are going to Brno completely recharged and ready to fight and try to reduce the gap to Casey,” said Lorenzo, who has one 125 cc and two 250 cc titles from Brno.
“This is a track I like and where I won last year. I hope we can start the second half of the season on the podium,” added the Spanish rider who came in second at Laguna Seca.
Italy’s Andrea Dovizioso of Honda is third overall, 30 points behind Lorenzo but with a solid advance on his teammate Pedrosa, who completed the podium at the US Grand Prix.
Italian Ducati rider Valentino Rossi, fifth overall, will come to Brno as the rider with the best record from the circuit with five MotoGP wins here.
The Brno circuit named after Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, the first president of former Czechoslovakia, was opened in 1987 to replace an old nearby circuit that became too dangerous for riders.