Insufficient Physical Strength Prevents Casey Stoner from Replacing Petrucci

Paolo Ciabatti, Casey Stoner and Gigi Dall'Igna 1 photo
Ducati Corse chief Gigi Dall'Igna reveals the main reason we will not see MotoGP Legend and Ducati test rider Casey Stoner on the starting grid too soon. The physical condition of the Australian rider is why he won't be substituting for injured Octo Pramac Yakhnich rider Danilo Petrucci in Argentina.
Petrucci, who was injured at Phillip Island during a pre-season IRTA test, tried to make a comeback ahead of the season-opener race in Qatar, but was forced to retire in Free Practice 3 with great pain in his hand and being impossible to steer the bike safely.

Rushed to a clinic in Italy, the doctors have said that he will most likely miss the Argentinian round at Termas de Rio Hond (this weekend), and in case a new surgery is required, he'll also be sidelined for the Circuit of the Americas (next week, at the time of writing).

Obviously, the media inferred that Casey Stoner might be looking for a ride, even though he would only be substituting for a satellite rider. Last year, at about this time, Stoner told Honda, for which he was a test rider, that he would gladly substitute for Dani Pedrosa, who was sidelined after surgery.

Back then, HRC denied Stoner the race, so it was almost natural to speculate that the Aussie was maybe thinking of getting back to the track in a race. Such speculations turned out to be false, and Michele Pirro would be the man riding Petrucci's bike.

Even so, Gigi Dall'Igna, who recently openly admitted that Ducati was interested in Jorge Lorenzo, preferred to disclose the reason Stoner is not riding in the Argentinian race.

Most likely to cool down the wave of suppositions and rumors, Mr. Dall'Igna has told the media that Stoner's physical condition is not good enough to allow him to carry on for an entire race, let alone two or more

"He only started riding a MotoGP bike properly in Malaysia, after half a year of zero action. Then, he also had some health problems and still lacks the strength; there was no point in having him race. We discussed with him, and it was clear that there was no need to enter a race. We're still at the Desmosedici GP versus GP15 chapter. He is a good rider, and we need him testing those bikes and the new parts. We will see after mid-season," the Ducati Corse boss added.

Stoner confirmed that he felt spent after the test: "It was not bad, but I'm exhausted. I stayed a long time on the track, even if the conditions were not perfect. It rained a bit, but the asphalt remained dry until the end and I had enough time to complete the work program."

"Finally, I was able to go a few laps on the Desmosedici GP and I found it different from the GP15. I would have liked to have two extra days to try the bike thoroughly, but I'm glad of the 56 laps completed. I tried many things, some negative and others positive, we are happy with the direction we have taken," the Oz rider concluded.

Hmm, after mid-season, they say...
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