Casey Stoner has all but written off his chances of clinching the MotoGP title at his home grand prix this weekend, describing the chances of it happening as “slim, almost none”.
The Australian needs to outscore Jorge Lorenzo by ten points at Phillip Island, a circuit which he has won at in each of the last four years, but doesn't expect the Spaniard to finish off the podium and is simply concentrating on winning the race for a fifth time.
“My chances of the Championship this weekend I think are very slim, almost none. For Jorge to finish fourth or worse, and then I have to try and win the race”, Stoner told the pre-race press conference. “For me the most important thing is to actually win the race. It's a race I want to win. I wanted to win last weekend in Japan as well but wasn't able to, so I'll try to bounce back here.”
“It's a Grand Prix I always look forward to coming back to. It'll be our first time here on the Honda and we'll see how we do. The last four years we've been very successful (with Ducati)â€¦ I think the bike can be working really well around here so hopefully we can put the package together and everything can go well.”
Lorenzo has also promised not to give up on the championship battle until he is mathematically out of contention, but accepts that he must take maximum points from the last three events to stand any chance.
“Of course we will fight to the end to try and avoid Casey taking the title for as long as possible! It means we have to fight for the win every weekend which will be tough, this year has been tougher than ever, but we'll try.”
Although he has never won here in the premier class, Lorenzo is particularly fond of the Phillip Island circuit and can't wait to get started this weekend.
“It's a lovely track. When I first came here in 2002 I found it very strangeâ€¦ It's so difficult, and so special. It's very different from other tracks around the world, but every year I have grown to love it a little more and now it's one of my favourites.”
Below are the different scenarios which would see Stoner crowned champion this weekend.
- If Stoner wins with Lorenzo fourth or lower
- If Stoner finishes second with Lorenzo sixth or lower
- If Stoner finishes third with Lorenzo tenth or lower
- If Stoner finishes fourth with Lorenzo 13th or lower
- If Stoner finishes fifth with Lorenzo 15th or lower
- If Stoner finishes sixth with Lorenzo out of the points