Stoner shows his exhaustion...
Stoner shows his exhaustion from the mysterious physical ailment at the Catalunya GP.
After suffering from a mysterious physical ailment that continually affected his race performance, Ducati Corse announced that Casey Stoner will not take part in the next three Grands Prix-meaning he will miss the Red Bull Indy GP at the end of this month, and undoubtedly dash his title hopes for this season-and will not return to action until the beginning of October for the Grand Prix of Portugal. The Australian has suffered severe physical fatigue since the Catalunya GP, forcing him to drop his pace during races in order to finish. Stoner made the difficult decision after consulting with sports physicians who have worked with him for many years back home in Australia. Making this decision even more difficult for the team was that Stoner was still well in contention for the championship even though his results suffered from having to back off the pace during races.
Ducati Xerox factory World...
Ducati Xerox factory World Superbike rider Michel Fabrizio will get the call
to replace Kallio on the Pramac team at the upcoming Brno race.
Mika Kallio, who officially rides for the factory satellite Pramac Ducati team, will move up to temporarily join Nicky Hayden in the Ducati Marlboro Team for the next three races, thanks to the cooperation between Ducati and the satellite team owned by Paolo Campinoti. Kallio is in his debut season in MotoGP and the former 125cc and 250cc class contender has already proved to be very competitive on the Ducati Desmosedici GP9.
For the Brno race, Kallio's place in the Pramac Team will be filled by factory Ducati Xerox World Superbike rider Michel Fabrizio. Because the World Superbike calendar is still on its summer break until the beginning of September, Fabrizio was given the golden opportunity to try his hand at MotoGP. No announcement was made on who will be filling Stoner's seat in the following two races.
"After five extremely difficult races due to my health, I returned to Australia to visit the sports doctors who have looked after me for many years. We have taken the difficult decision not to contest the next three rounds of the championship, to allow my body time to recover from the recent stress," said a clearly disappointed Stoner. "The doctors believe that during the Barcelona race I was suffering from a virus, and, that I subsequently pushed my body too hard, leading to problems that have caused my fatigue since then. The doctors are continuing with many tests to try to understand these problems and make sure it does not happen again. I have spoken with Ducati and thank them for their understanding at this time. I feel very sorry for the factory, my team, my sponsors and the fans and I am also disappointed because the bike in the last races has been very competitive. I will be doing everything possible to come back at full strength for Portugal."
Nicky Hayden will now be forced...
Nicky Hayden will now be forced to uphold the Ducati MotoGP team honor in Stoner's absence.
Now being forced to carry the load of leading the factory Ducati MotoGP team, Hayden hopes to make some progress in getting dialed in with the GP9 machine that has frustrated him so far. "Last season I was unable to race at Brno because I was injured, but it's a great track which was completely resurfaced last year so I expect it will be much better in terms of the lumps and bumps. At least this year I will find out, having spent the break at home in Kentucky preparing myself for the second half of the year, and not taking part in things like the X Games. I can't wait to get back on track and score some results which will make my team happy. I hope Casey can get better over the next few weeks because we all know how quick he is when he is fit. In the meantime I need to try to make progress with the team and try to make sure that they don't miss him too much."
Kallio couldn't believe the opportunity when it fell in his lap. "When I took the call I could hardly believe it, but then I talked to my manager and I realized it was true," said the Finnish rider. "I am proud to be racing the next three events with the Ducati Marlboro Team. Obviously I'm not expecting to suddenly be a second quicker, because our bikes are very similar to the official machines, but I hope to be able to pick up some good results for the team. I would particularly like to thank Paolo Campinoti, who has allowed me to enjoy this incredible opportunity. It will be a real honour for me. Nonetheless I would like to send my best wishes to Casey, and I hope to see him back out on track as soon as possible."
Ducati MotoGP team director...
Ducati MotoGP team director Livio Suppo faces the prospect of no MotoGP title this year without Stoner.
Ducati MotoGP team director Livio Suppo is keeping a positive outlook on an surely disappointing time for the team. "It's obviously difficult for us to contemplate the next three races without Casey, but it's clear that the most important thing at this time is his health," related Suppo. "Since his debut with us in Qatar in 2007, Casey has won 18 times as well as taking countless podium finishes, becoming one of the top riders in the World Championship in the process. We have already overcome tough times together, like when he had to undergo surgery on his scaphoid towards the end of last season. We are united whether in times of success or in times of difficulty. We are confident that the doctors will help solve the issues that have affected him since early June and that Casey will be able to take part in the last races of the year in peak fitness. Then we can prepare for 2010 in the best way possible. A big thank you to Paolo Campinoti who as always has proved to be a great supporter and an ideal partner for Ducati, allowing Mika to ride with the Ducati Marlboro Team for the next three races. Mika is having a really positive debut year in MotoGP and we are delighted that he will be alongside Nicky in the official works team. In his place at Brno in the Pramac Team will be Michel Fabrizio, who I am certain will know how to give the right kind of performance on one of his preferred tracks."