Stoner Blames Sunday Flu for Lack of Pace

Ducati's Casey Stoner revealed that, although his bike behaved well enough during the Sunday race in Catalunya, he couldn't have maintained the pace imposed by Yamaha duo Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi due to his illness. As confirmed by the Australian rider, he suffered from intense flu during the race day.

The 2007 MotoGP winner eventually finished the race in 3rd place, after putting on a thrilling fight against Honda's Andrea Dovizioso for the Spanish podium. He crossed the finish line only half of tenth ahead of the Italian rider and, thanks to his 3rd place, he is now level on points with Lorenzo and Rossi on top of the MotoGP classification.

I'm quite disappointed because on Friday everything started off pretty well. We had a small crash but the bike felt good. Then on Saturday we really struggled with the bike. It was way too far off the pace to even be competitive,” said Stoner.

For the race we changed a few things and made a big improvement and the bike was there. But I've been slowly getting a little more sick each day and after the warm-up this morning I was cramping and having all sorts of problems, and that was after a cool warm-up with not too many laps.”

I was really afraid of not finishing this race, and we did everything we could to prepare for it. But halfway through I gave up. I was absolutely dead and had nothing left, so decided just to try and run around to get points,” added the Australian rider.

Stoner will try to get back on a winning horse in Assen, two weeks from now, where he'll return to defend his only Dutch GP win of career last year. The three title contenders have 106 points each, with “The Cathedral” likely to give us a new championship leader on June 27.
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