Casey Stoner admitted he had to pace himself on the softer tyre to claim victory in the United States Grand Prix. The World Champion was the only frontrunner to go that route, with everyone else going with the harder option, and believes his ability to preserve the tyre was crucial to beating Jorge Lorenzo.
“It’s been a difficult weekend for us in general especially trying to make the hard tyre work. So for the race I decided to go with the soft option and be a little more careful with the tyre, keep a little more traction and not spin so much. At the beginning of the race I tried to move to the front but Dani and Jorge were riding very good lines and it was impossible to get past. I decided to slow the lap times a little and try to save the tyres until the end and then we could start to come back. I was confident for the entire race that I had enough pace for the win, we just needed to make sure the tyre would last until the end. When we got to the front we put in some good laps and pulled some small advantage and just continued from there. I’m very, very happy and a big thanks to all the team”.
Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa ended up a distant third, losing four points to Lorenzo in the championship fight, but Dani felt it was the maximum he could've achieved.
“I tried my best in this race and third place was the maximum I could get this time. At the beginning, I was quite confident and calm when Casey passed me because I knew he was on the soft rear tyre and this was the most risky choice for the race, but finally it worked out perfectly for him. I knew I also had a good pace, but when I caught Casey again and was ready to overtake him I was on the throttle too fast and I had too much momentum there, I almost found myself on the floor. I lost ground with the leaders, but when I started braking harder trying to close the gap again I lost the front many times and I was so close to not finish this race. Anyway, I’m satisfied because I kept pushing until the end, giving one hundred per cent although today it wasn’t enough. A small mistake it’s just enough to not finish in front. Anyway, we were riding the new bike for the first time here and we took another podium. We know what we can improve to come back stronger in Indianapolis”.