Repsol Press Release: Another Interview With Casey Stoner

After yesterday's interview with Dani Pedrosa, today, the Repsol Media Service issued a press release containing an interview with MotoGP championship leader Casey Stoner. In it, the Australian talks about his season so far, his neck injury and what it takes to win a championship. Here's the press release:

"Consistency does not win titles, you need to win races"

The Australian rider of the Repsol Honda Team leads the overall standings with an advantage of 20 points after the halfway point of the 2011 season

Leader of the MotoGP World Championship with five victories in ten races, Casey Stoner has started his first season at the Repsol Honda Team taking the initiative in his tough battle with Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo. The victory in his first Grand Prix with the Spanish energy company livery was the best sign of the Australian rider's hunger for victory, and he will arrive to the Czech Republic with an advantage of 20 points at the top of the MotoGP World Championship.

Five victories and four more podiums in 10 races. It does not sound bad at all for a first half of the season, does it?

"Yes. I think that without the problem of the second race, we would have been in the podium in all races this season, which I believe is something very special. I am very happy this year at the Repsol Honda Team. The bike has been working brilliantly and even in the worst days it did not work poorly. This is something very positive. When we have the opportunity to win we are always there, very close, and that gives us the chance to win more often".

Which race do you prefer from the ones held until now with the Repsol Honda?

"I would say that my favourite race this season was, undoubtedly, Laguna Seca. We had a very difficult weekend. Since Assen, where I had a huge crash, I suffered a bit due to my injuries, because I had a fall again in Sachsenring and things did not really went our way. When we arrived to Laguna Seca I was confident, but unfortunately, during the weekend we were not able to have the bike we wanted. It was not until the race when we took the step ahead we needed and which gave us the confidence to do a great race".

Lorenzo, Pedrosa and yourself are showing a very close performance and you have a level well above the rest. Does it gives the lead and the victories a higher level?

"I competed with those rider during all my career, so I think that the value of the victories is always very high. The three of us, Jorge [Lorenzo], Dani [Pedrosa] and myself had the bad luck to coincide in a very difficult time, one of the toughest in history, in which it is most difficult to achieve victory, and it is certainly a great feeling, a deep emotion when you win. But after competing with them most of my life, the feeling is more or less the same. When you do a race like in Laguna Seca, then the feeling is special, but it was also the same in the first victory in the first race with Honda. It was something special".

From now until the end of the season, which do you think will be the details that will decide who will be the Champion?

"I could say consistency, but as difficult as it is, I do not think consistency will win championships. You have to be there and win races, take risks. I think that is what might decide the Championship. We are going to do the best job we can every time we get on track, but if one of the days we are not able win, we need to settle for second place, a third or even worse, but we will try to win every time".

What would you say about your bike and what has to be improve of it? Because in the last races you suffered more than expected...

"We had some weekends that were a bit weird, because in Mugello we suffered a little, because the tyres overheated, which was caused by an excess of grip on the rear. In Sachsenring we tried to reduce the grip, to decrease the temperature of the tyres and that is not the correct direction. In Laguna Seca we followed the same path, trying to avoid the temperature from being too high, but it was not the right direction. We have been just going around in circles to try to take a step ahead to find grip again, to find traction that helps the bike work well, because this is what I think is Honda's best feature: traction. When we do not follow that path we don't have a strong feature and that is why we suffered in those races".

And where do you think you need to improve? How do you feel about your physical problems?

"Now we have a few weeks' break and I am sure that we will feel much better afterwards, because week after week I did not improve too much. It is something we have suffered, but we had to compete and we did not think too much about it. There are many things I must improve of my riding, also with this bike. I have been learning in the last races, but the lack of experience with the Honda does not help. It will be beautiful to have more experience to know that a certain set-up works in a certain way, and that it is good to follow that path when we lack grip or when it is difficult to turn. With a little more experience maybe we could have even less bad moments, so I think that with a bit more experience we will improve those points, because they were are weaknesses in the last races".

What do you ask for the second half of the season?

"Honestly, the best thing that can happen is that it is the same as the first half! To arrive with more than the rest to the end of the season is our main objective. I want to achieve even more victories, I want to do my best until the end of the season. The bike is good, is fast, I am riding well, but the problem is that I have very strong rivals that do the same. We will have to wait and see what we can do in the second half of the season, but I am sure it will be a tough championship".

What are your plans for these free days before going to the Czech Republic?

"I don't have many plans, just try to recover from my injuries and if I am able to recover enough, then start training again before the beginning of the next part of the season. This year, since Le Mans I have been sick or injured and it was very difficult to find time to train, so it would be good just to get back to the track in full form".

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I remember Burgess saying of his charges that Doohan just loved winning and Rossi just loves racing.
Nicky's title was a perfect example of consistency being capable of lifting the crown. However, it depends largely on another player folding under pressure. That was Rossi back in 2006 in Valencia.
The history of GP crowns firmly backs up Stoner's viewpoint.
Dani's delivery within 800 GP confirms it. Always right there but not risking it to win it. Dovi,ditto. His sense of sanity and fair play on track prevails over his ability to do much better in terms of winning races.
Lorenzo has pretty much the same mind set as Stoner. Win,win,win and let the points unravel as they may' to determine the final points standings.
There's a sound philosophy behind this. Let's assume 4 riders end the season top of the heap with equal points, the rider with the most wins will have the title.
Was it Eddie Lawson who once said, 'comming second is like kissing your sister, it doesn't count' ?

This interview has all the hallmarks of being translated from English (or its second cousin, Australian) into a different language (probably Spanish, possibly Italian) and then translated back into (pidgin) English again.

Isn't it actually possible to get the original English transcript?

Nicky was an anomaly - most GP Championships are won by the bloke who wins the most races.
In the last 10 championships only once has the winningest rider for that season NOT won the title, and that was 2006 when Vali won 5 races, with Marco and Loris both winning 3, and yet Nicky won the title.
So from a probability point of view, there's a 90% chance that if you win the most races you will win the title (based on the last 10 years).

No argument there. Vale lost in 2006 because the races he didn't win he too often didn't finish.

I think the one one statement that is indisputable is this: To win championships, you need to win the most points :)

I always find it curious the way Casey refers to himself in the collective 1st person... "I am sure that we will feel much better afterwards" - how many people other than him were injured ?

I find it pretty funny also. Thats what happens when you spend too much time with other no-english people. Same thing happen to us (lol me) when i used to spend half my year with swiss people. My english turned into dodgy english

I think it's generally viewed to be out of respect for the rest of the team, acknowledging that it is such a team sport and realizing that there's no way he can win on his own. (So no, Stoner is not confused or losing his mind.)

You'll notice that many other riders say that "we did well in this race", etc. And personally that's so much better than "I did so well", "I've worked so hard this weekend" and the like.

I understand that there are times to use "we" to indicate the team, but Stoner uses it *WAY* too much, and too often when he really should be using *I*.

We are injured, we crashed, we feel good...

I guess he doesn't want to be weighing options all the time. So it might be a little over the top, but I still prefer 'we' all the time vs. 'I' all the time.

Biaggi never seems to have a problem saying "I" :)

We can see just how little attention Ducati paid to PR of their star rider, Repsol and Red Bull have lauched a "Casey Stoner Charm Offensive" in 2011. We can only wonder what the Ducati PR hack does all day but the in-between-the GP belongs to Repsol and Red Bull. Ducati do zero compared to them.
But then again how much could we read about Ducati's 2011 performances?

Well, they got Nicky to say that when you get the bike in the sweet spot, it's real weapon (see Daytona repave story).

Guess they haven't got it there recently...