A Conversation With ... Casey Stoner, Ben Spies, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, Nico Terol
Saturday, August 27, 2011
MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, a very warm welcome. It's the qualifying press conference, of course, for Round 12 for the MotoGP World Championship, Round 11 for Moto2 and the 125s. We're at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.
In pole position in the MotoGP class, he also leads the World Championship, of course the Australian, Casey Stoner, riding the Repsol Honda; seventh pole position of the season. Casey also chasing his seventh Grand Prix of the season and his third successive victory.
Alongside him in the front row, it's the Yamaha duo of Ben Spies, who was in pole position, of course, last year, and the World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo, who won the race here two years ago.
In the Moto2 class, a typical Moto2 qualifying session. Checkered flag went out, Marc Marquez stole the pole position from Simone Corsi by 1000th of a second, and this is his fourth successive pole position.
While in the 125cc class, Nico Terol leads the World Championship. He's won here on two previous occasions and it is his sixth pole position of the season.
We come to the BMW M Award. As you would expect, Casey Stoner leads the way after 12 rounds; Casey Stoner now on 260. In second place, Jorge Lorenzo, but 59 points behind him on 201. And it's Marco Simoncelli actually in third place on 194.
We come to the Tissot Awards. Many thanks as always to Tissot, the official timekeepers of the MotoGP World Championship. I'm delighted that Bob Kevoian, local and national radio host for the last 25 years, the Bob & Tom radio show. Delighted to see him here. He's based in Indianapolis. He's going to make the presentations.
We'll start with the 125cc class, please, Bob, to Nico Terol. If you would like to come around, Nico. Thank you. (Applause)
MODERATOR: Congratulations to Nico Terol.
We come to the Moto2 Class. He's collecting Tissot watches over the last two years. He must have a shop back home in Spain. Ladies and gentlemen, Marc Marquez. (Applause)
Thank you, Marc.
On to the MotoGP class, ladies and gentlemen. Casey Stoner, as I say, leads the World Championship by 32 points. Once again, it's pole position for the Repsol Honda rider. Congratulations to Casey Stoner. (Applause)
MODERATOR: Many thanks to Bob, and we all do a picture at the end with the pole sitters. Thank you very much indeed. So we start the press conference.
Q: The man in pole position, Casey Stoner. We look at this, it says pole position but it's been a tough old weekend, hasn't it, starting on the Friday morning?
CASEY STONER: Yeah, you know, track conditions on Friday definitely were a lot lower than what they are now. The grip level wasn't the main issue, for me it was just the inconsistency of grip. That's kind of continued throughout the weekend. We've got faster, and we're pushing a little harder now. But those inconsistent spots are still there. When you touch them and you're pushing a little bit more, then there's still that point where the front can close or the rear can come around on you. That's the issues we're having, not so much the grip. You can deal with, you know, low grip levels if it's consistent, but the fact that you'll hit one patch and want to throw you off is something a little bit scary and difficult to understand where they are.
Q: It's not going to be easy to work out where you're going to be tomorrow either because things have greatly improved sometimes but not so much the other times. So tomorrow the warmup and then tomorrow afternoon.
STONER: Yeah, well, this morning was a big improvement from yesterday, but this afternoon wasn't a huge improvement. I think we more or less would have done the same times if we had thrown new tires at it this morning as we did this afternoon. Maybe it's the temperature or maybe reached that limit of the circuit where it doesn't want to improve too much more. But we're going to have a tough race tomorrow; it's going to be hot, I think. It's going to be a lot of hard work just to understand for overtaking. I think it's going to be really difficult to find some clean spots on the track to overtake safely. We're just going to have to try and get a good start, get away well and see how the race pans out. But, also, tomorrow with the track coming in if it does come a little better, some riders are going to find a little more confidence than what they have now and maybe find a little bit more speed. So things could change by the race tomorrow.
Q: But you're in pole, Casey. You're chasing your fourth successive victory. Despite it being difficult, it's still the place to be, isn't it?
STONER: Definitely. You know, we can't ask for anything more this weekend. We've been slowly improving session by session. And we would have liked things to have gone a little better, feel like it to go a little more smoothly. Obviously, we're not the only ones having those problems. I feel like my riding is a little bit rough, not as smooth as I'd like. But I think everybody is struggling with those same problems,
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