After consecutive pole positions and a season opening win in Qatar, Stoner hit bad luck at Jerez in early April, when Valentino Rossi crashed into him midway through the Spanish GP and left him empty handed in the championship fight. Coming to Estoril this weekend however, Stoner will have anything but an easy task against the mighty Spaniard, as this is a track where Lorenzo is yet to be beaten in the last 3 years.
“Estoril is not one of my favourite tracks but we have had good success there in the past,” said Stoner, whose highlights in Portugal include two podiums. “We will be looking to get back some points against Lorenzo as he has been the strongest there in the past 3 years.”
If his teammate Andrea Dovizioso expressed worries that the technical characteristics of the Estoril track will not play into the hands of the Honda RC212V, Stoner is more optimistic about the capabilities of his bike in Portugal.
“I think our bike should work quite well at this circuit as it has some tight turns with exits onto big straights so I hope to find some good traction in these points and be competitive from the first day,” said the Australian rider.
After two rounds in the 2011 MotoGP championship, Jorge Lorenzo is leading the classification with 45 points, while followed by Honda's Dani Pedrosa, 9 points adrift of his countryman. Stoner is only 3rd, 11 points behind his teammate and the only one to have recorded a DNF this campaign.