Casey Stoner can't wait to kick off his championship defence at a circuit that has been kind to him in the past. The Australian is a four-time winner at the Losail circuit in Qatar and if testing is any indicator, he has a great chance of adding to that on Sunday.
Stoner has warned that Repsol Honda still have work to do before they get bet the best out of the new RC213V but expects to be competitive from the start.
“After good pre-season tests in both Sepang and Jerez, we head to Qatar feeling positive, but still have some work to do. This will be the first time with the new bike on this circuit so we will need to spend some time on the set-up to put ourselves in the best position. We’ve always enjoyed good results at the Losail circuit but this is a new season and there are more competitors contesting for victory this year. I’m excited to get the season started and fight for another World Championship”.
Teammate Dani Pedrosa finished third last year after suffering from arm pump in the race and is concentrating on leaving Qatar with as many points as possible on Sunday.
“Each year is different and there are always various obstacles to go through during a season. I've had good and bad races in the past, but a big part of these results are determined by how you have prepared yourself in the winter. I've worked very well this year, I had a good pre-season with the bike and with my physical training; I hope that luck is on my side this time, so we can have a good championship. Qatar is important because it's the first race of the season, but you have to minimise risks. If you don’t win this race you can still win the championship, but on the other side, a mistake can complicate the year. I'm ready. Let's see how everything goes and where everyone is”.