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Oct 9, 2012

Stoner Says First Practice At Motegi Will Be "Crucial" To See How His Injured Ankle Feels

Casey Stoner (1).
Repsol Honda Team heads East for decisive final races

This weekend The Repsol Honda Team return to full strength with Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner for the Japanese Grand Prix, the 15th round of the MotoGP Championship.

Dani, who has won three of the last four races, currently lies 2nd in the Championship and is chasing down Lorenzo. He will be looking to repeat his 2011 victory in Motegi and reduce the 33 point gap with just 4 races of 2012 remaining. Dani has won at Motegi in all three classes, 125cc (2002), 250cc (2004) and MotoGP (2011).

Casey, who has missed the last three Grands Prix due to an injury sustained in qualifying for the Indianapolis Grand Prix in August, will be anxious to get back on track and asses the movement in his right ankle. Casey had surgery on the 30th August and has been recovering at home in Australia with his target to be fit for the final races of 2012. With 186 points Casey is mathematically out of the Championship race but he will want to finish on a high before he retires from the sport. Casey has a single victory at Motegi in MotoGP 2010.


DANI PEDROSA World Championship Position: 2nd with 257 points

"Motegi is a race I always look forward to. It's the most important weekend for Honda and I really enjoy the circuit. We have now the most demanding period of races ahead, but we will keep taking things step by step, thinking race by race. I love Motegi, it's a track with strong braking and strong acceleration. You must work very hard for the anti-wheelie, handling with the throttle, braking stability and good drive out of the corners. We had a good race there last year and we will work hard with the team to be as competitive as possible".


CASEY STONER World Championship Position: 3rd with 186 points

"It's going to be great to see all my team and get back on my bike in Motegi this weekend. The last 6 weeks have been pretty tough for me, I've had to sit around and rest my ankle, get some physio and try to occupy my time - thankfully I've had Ally around to keep me occupied. I've been watching the races at home, I felt bad for Dani in Misano, but these things can happen - as they did for Jorge in Assen. The Motegi circuit is very stop-start with a lot of hard braking and accelerating, it's pretty tough on the body and physically quite demanding. The first session on Friday will be crucial to see how my ankle feels in the boot and the degree of movement I have and pressure I can apply".