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Friday, September 23, 2011

Stoner promises to keep on pushing despite comfortable gap

Casey Stoner says he will keep pushing to win grands prix until the end of the MotoGP season despite his massive points lead.

With a 44-point cushion over title rival Jorge Lorenzo with only four rounds to go, a third place in each of the remaining races would be sufficient to secure Stoner's second world crown and the first for a Honda rider since Nicky Hayden in 2006.

But Stoner insisted there was no room for complacency and said he was focused on adding to his tally of eight wins this year.

"It's a really healthy situation at this moment, but anything can happen," he said.

"Jorge's there week in, week out. If we make any mistake he's going to pounce on that.

"But like this weekend [at Aragon], we'll be going out there to try and win. We're not going to just settle for positions to try and get points. We want a little bit more than that. It can change around very quickly."

Stoner cannot clinch the title until his home grand prix at Phillip Island on 16 October at the earliest - but he could move a big step closer by winning Honda's home race at Motegi in a fortnight.

The Japanese manufacturer has not won in MotoGP on its home turf since 2004, but Stoner triumphed there for Ducati in 2010 after a long battle with Honda's Andrea Dovizioso.

"We had a fantastic race there last year, probably one of my best, in my opinion," said Stoner. "It was a hard race to win."

Last year Dani Pedrosa was sidelined by a shoulder injury sustained in a practice crash and Lorenzo was already protecting a large championship lead by Japan, so Stoner expects tougher competition at Motegi this time.

"I think this year with the Honda we should be more competitive, but Dani's going to be there this year, Jorge's not defending a championship [lead] at all," he said. "They're both going to be attacking for sure."

source: autosport

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