Although his career is relatively short, Casey Stoner is considered one of the best rider best ever to appear in MotoGP. Spectacular racing style and fantastic speed it has.
But one thing that sets him apart from most racers is his ability to adapt quickly. It’s proven by two class titles premier achieved in the 2007 and 2011 seasons.
Stoner first came out as MotoGP world champion in his debut season for Ducati, 14 years ago. To this day, he is the only one rider who was able to become a champion with the Italian brand.
Ducati brought Stoner following his solid debut with LCR Honda. It’s no exaggeration to say it’s the best recruitment the Borgo Panigale manufacturer has ever done in MotoGP.
In his first season, Casey Stoner dominated the championship with the Desmosedici. Of the 18 races, he won 10 of them. In fact, MotoGP 2007 was his first season to defend Ducati.
Four years later, Stoner has proven that adapting is one of his strengths. Joining the Repsol Honda Team in 2011, Kuri-kuri Boy immediately became world champion.
Switching from the Desmosedici to the RC212V was not a problem for him. Stoner appeared superior, scoring 10 wins. He ended the season with a 110-point lead over runner-up Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha).
Adaptation is often a problem for many racers. But why is Stoner able to quickly get comfortable with his motorbike every time he changes manufacturers? And why is it so difficult for other racers?
Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda Team
Photo by: Repsol Media
“I don’t have to dictate what the bike should do. I’m always willing to work on adapting to the bike and finding out what the bike wants,” said Stoner.
“My crew chief has always been really good. Working with Cristian (Gabbarini) was very successful,” the 36-year-old recalled of the crew chief who accompanied him from Ducati to Honda at the time.
In recent years, MotoGP has shown time and time again how difficult it is for a rider when moving from one manufacturer to another and having to adapt to a new bike.
The most prominent examples of such cases are Jorge Lorenzo, Cal Crutchlow, Johann Zarco, and even Valentino Rossi. Casey Stoner tries to give his theory and views on this matter.
Photo by: Dorna
“Many riders prefer to do a lot of laps and build the feeling. They waited for it to increase. Whereas I never wanted that,” Stoner said.
“I know how to be fast with a different bike. You get to the point pretty quickly, where you’re about a second off the limit. After that, it’s all about fine tuning.
“You then have to figure out what you need to change. That is a special thing for me. Unlike other riders, I prefer to adapt rather than make the bike according to my character.
“Lots rider claiming certain bikes are out of tune with their style and out of tune. Either you get the bike you need or you do what the bike wants you to do.”
Stoner always believes that every motorbike has its advantages and disadvantages. So, according to him, it is the racers who need to unite themselves with it, not the other way around.