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Page last updated at 07:03 GMT, Friday, 6 November 2009

Stoner focused on 2010 title bid

Valencia MotoGP
Date: 7-8 November
Saturday 7 November: Qualifying: 1150-1500, BBC Red Button/online
Sunday 8 November: 125 & 250 cc: 0950-1205, BBC Red Button/online;
MotoGP: 1230-1400, BBC Two/online; MotoGP Extra 1400-1430, BBC Red Button/online

Casey Stoner
Stoner has made a remarkable return to health and form

Casey Stoner aims to end a hard year with a third-straight win when the 2009 season concludes at Valencia on Sunday.

Valentino Rossi ran away with the title after health problems forced Stoner to take time out, but since his return the Australian has been in inspired form.

"People say 'what if?' but I don't think the title race would have been different," said the Ducati rider.

"I wouldn't have been able to fight for a race win if I'd not sorted it - but it looks good for us for next year."

Since admitting defeat in his battle against a fatigue problem and missing three races to recover, Stoner has recorded a second place finish and two victories.


He goes into Sunday's race at Valencia with not just form on his side, but also the knowledge that last year at the same venue he won from pole and also set the track record.

Stoner dragged himself through five races before finally taking time out to address his health problems, and he admitted the memory of the experience still bothered him.

"Those five races are ones I want to forget about," he said.

"We had such good opportunities the bike was working so well -we had a really good chance to fight for wins but the way we were, there was no way we could do anything different.

"We took a hard decision but the right one - it's better to sort it out now than be working through the whole winter to try and fix it, now we can train throughout winter and make sure we're ready for next year."

Someone else with high hopes for the weekend is newly crowned World Superbikes champion Ben Spies, who is riding a wildcard Yamaha before joining the Tech3 Yamaha team next season in MotoGP, replacing Britain's James Toseland.

But despite his success in Superbikes, Spies was realistic about his expectations for this weekend.

"When we made the decision I said the wildcard was a good thing as with limited testing time, it's three more days on the bike," he said.

"My season's over - we had a hard season but this is a different level. We just need to work on making he changes I need to make as a rider to compete - it's a big learning curve but we've got to go for it.

"It's hard to expect anything from my first race with Yamaha this year - two-and-a-half days of track time will be difficult, so I can only make small steps.

"Superbikes and MotoGP are two different worlds. I need to be on one as much as I can start the process of learning how to ride one."

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see also
Report - Rossi seals title win in Sepang
25 Oct 09 |  Motorsport
Stoner 'stoked' to win in Malaysia
25 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
Steve Parrish's MotoGP column
04 Nov 09 |  MotoGP
Matt Roberts' column
26 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
Cool Rossi crowned world champion
25 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
Stoner holds off Rossi in MotoGP
18 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
Lorenzo wins to reduce Rossi lead
04 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
Toseland to return to Superbikes
01 Oct 09 |  MotoGP
Stoner faces three-race lay-off
10 Aug 09 |  MotoGP
MotoGP on the BBC
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP

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