Casey Stoner’s championship hopes are hanging by a thread after he was ruled out of the Czech Republic Grand Prix at the very least with multiple injuries to his right ankle. Stoner, who already trails Jorge Lorenzo by 39 points, will fly back to Australia for surgery on the ankle which was fractured and suffered torn ligaments in a crash during qualifying at Indianapolis.

Stoner was already pessimistic about his chances with the clockwise Brno placing more strain on his ankle than the anti-clockwise Indianapolis but he had originally planned to give it a go before doctors advised him otherwise.

“I’m not feeling too optimistic for Brno after a tough weekend in Indy. The crash in qualifying last week has left me with a serious problem in my ankle and we were fortunate that Indy was a left hand circuit, so a lot of the weight was off it but we still had changes of direction which hurt a lot. In Brno there are many changes in direction and a lot of right hand corners so there will be a lot of weight on my ankle and it’s going to be very difficult. It’s a shame as Brno is a circuit that I usually enjoy due to its fast and flowing nature”.

Dani Pedrosa will therefore be Repsol Honda’s sole representative but he arrives in the Czech Republic as the form man after a dominant victory at Indy, closing to within eighteen points of Lorenzo. The Spaniard is taking nothing for granted but doesn’t see why he can’t maintain his winning form here.

“Brno is a wide and very fast track, with high speed corners where it is important to have good grip and front end feeling. Honda has been strong in the past few years there, so we hope to have a good performance in this race also. I’m looking forward to the race in Brno and to fight again for the victory. The setup of the bike and electronics can be key, as well as the weather which is always a little changeable in the Czech Republic. We need to keep focused and strong and with options for the victory every weekend”.