Friday, 15 June 2012
Defending world MotoGP champion Casey Stoner is aiming to reel in championship leader Jorge Lorenzo by landing back-to-back wins at the British Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Australian triumphed at a soggy Silverstone 12 months ago en route to the title and, with conditions again expected to be wet, the stage is set for another spectacular leg of the MotoGP season.
Stoner, in his Silverstone swansong, came fourth last time out in Catalunya to leave the Honda star 20 points adrift of Lorenzo in the riders' standings.
"Silverstone's been one of my favourite tracks since I've raced here in the British championship," said Stoner, who shocked the MotoGP world at Le Mans when announcing his intention to retire at the end of the season.
"Unfortunately, we don't go through the old section of the track. It was one of my favourite corners in the world. But I'm looking forward to getting back out there again."
Despite similar conditions in store from last year, he is not optimistic of running away with the race as he did 12 months ago.
"We've struggled more this year with the 1000cc (in the wet). We can't get the bike to give us quite enough front feeling in the wet, mainly on corner entry. On the exit, everything seems quite good."
Lorenzo, who won his third race of the year in Spain this month, arrived at Silverstone having signed a new contract with Yamaha keeping him with the Japanese team until 2014 to end speculation of a move to Honda.
The Spaniard admitted he had turned down an offer to replace Stoner for 2013.
Lorenzo joked at a media conference at the track on Thursday: "I waited that he (Stoner) might change his opinion and came back to Honda for another year. So I left the place open to Casey."
Lorenzo crashed out of last year's British GP but won it in 2010 and he reflected: "In 2010, I enjoyed riding here a lot. I felt very comfortable from the beginning. This track gives me the best facility to go fast.
"But the opposite happened last year when I crashed trying to catch Casey in the rain."
Cal Crutchlow is out to give the home fans something to cheer about under their umbrellas as the British rider seeks to continue his good season and add to his 56 points which have him fifth overall.
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