Casey Stoner’s record at Ducati remains rock solid more than ten years after the Australian won the MotoGP title. In many ways all of the modern Ducati MotoGP bikes have been influenced by Stoner’s hammer and tongs-riding style. Stoner remains a part of Ducati Corse as a brand ambassador and test rider for the MotoGP effort. He remains brutally fast on a MotoGP bike.
Given their history it wasn’t much of a surprise to find the response typically prickly when BT Sports (Euro TV) put a microphone in Stoner’s face after Jorge Lorenzo won the Italian GP at Mugello yesterday, and asked him what he thought of Lorenzo’s victory.
In both 250 racing and later in MotoGP Stoner was annoyed by Lorenzo and his ‘chest out’ paddock persona; the two were rivals and remain so today, even though they are employed by the same company. Lorenzo’s crewchief at Ducati–most of his Yamaha crew opted to not join Lorenzo at Ducati–is Christian Gabbarini, who was Stoner’s man when he won his dual MotoGP titles.
While their backgrounds are very similar–both were reportedly raised by over-bearing and tough racing fathers–Stoner isn’t the kind of rider to stand on his bike in victory circle, travel with a personal staff of five or publish his own comic book. And let’s face it, Lorenzo is.
Stoner wasn’t in the mood for back-slapping and instigating mutual appreciation now that Lorenzo had broken through and won a MotoGP race.
“I was expecting this day at some point last season, the two-time MotoGP champion said. “And maybe a little earlier this year.”
“Something clicked … (for Lorenzo) he now has a better position on the bike … also maybe he has a little of the cockiness that we have seen so much of in the past–that you don’t want to see.”