Ducati Blame Stoner's Crash on Cold Tire

Livio Suppo's last days of team management at Ducati were far from quiet, as the leading rider of the Italian team Casey Stoner failed to even make it to the starting grid on Sunday. The Australian rider had come to Valencia after two dominating weekends in Australia and Malaysia and topped all practice and qualifying sessions at the Ricardo Tormo circuit over the weekend.

However, during the formation lap, Stoner suffered a crash and recorded his very first DNS (did not start) this season. According to the team, his crash was caused by his cold tires, and it was only luck that the Aussie's teammate Nicky Hayden managed to stay on the track until the starting grid.

It was the cold tire. We have a procedure that allows us to do the race without fearing to run out of fuel. We must ask the riders to ride the warm-up lap slowly. With these conditions, in the cold weather, the tires didn't get up to temperature and Casey slid. We'll have to review our procedure, because with these cold conditions we are at risk. Today was an example of that,” said the soon-to-be boss of Ducati Vito Guareschi.

Considering the fact that Stoner was starting from pole position, the crash obviously came as a blow to the Australian rider. He was aiming for his 3rd win in a row in Spain (and 5th of the season) and end his frustrating 2009 season on a high. However, even if disappointed with how things turned out at Valencia, the Aussie agreed there is something to be learned after the finale.

There have been plenty of highs and lows throughout the year and we have ended on a low, but with another lesson learnt for next season. We have had this strategy for two years and not had a problem until today so I guess it is better it happened here than in the first race of next season in Qatar,” added Stoner, who lost the 3rd place in the overall standings after this race to Honda's Dani Pedrosa.
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