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Casey Stoner - “Some MotoGP riders are faster than they should be with tech aides”

Gold & Goose

Casey Stoner has once again spoken out about the progression of aero and technical aides in MotoGP, arguing it is ‘masking’ the true abilities of some riders and making them ‘faster than they should be’.

The Australian, who won two MotoGP World Championship titles with Ducati and Honda (2007, 2011), has long been an outspoken critic of technical intervention - such as ride-height devices, traction control and wheelie control - on the current generation of machinery.

In an interview with Gazzetta, Stoner - who retired from the sport at the end of the 2012 MotoGP season - argues that when he was riding there was more reliance on natural skill than today, highlighting the abilities of former team-mate Dani Pedrosa for his superior corner exit speed.


“I don't agree with this progression. Some riders are much better at exiting corners and having more control during acceleration, like Dani Pedrosa.

“The qualities needed to demonstrate superior quality riding no longer exist. The only way you can make a difference is to brake later to enter the corner.

“For example, in 2011 Dani Pedrosa was almost two tenths faster than me on the same bike. He did something incredible with the rear brake to stop wheelies and gain a lot of distance. There was no difference, he was simply better than me.”

Talking up the skills of two-time MotoGP World Champion Pecco Bagnaia and his Ducati stablemate Marco Bezzecchi, Stoner believes removing traction control would quickly sort the hierarchy out.

“Now the rider’s control elements such as traction, tyre management and wheelie risk are masked by electronics.

"Pecco races on dirt tracks, which is why he knows how to manage sliding and spinning. These are just some of the many riding elements that disappear behind the help of extra components. In my opinion Marco Bezzecchi, for example, would probably be more competitive.

“There are some riders who run at the front who I don't think would get the same results if traction control were removed. They are often faster than they should be."

Stoner goes on to say that the increase in mechanical rider aides contributed to his retirement at the age of 27, saying it shifted the focus of MotoGP towards a more political state.

“I loved riding bikes the most, I loved eking everything that I could out of a bike. I was very self-critical. When these bikes became too much electronics, too much wheelie-control, the enjoyment disappeared, the series became political.”

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