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GP Week : Issue 63
Stoner no Traction Control Dummy -- Ducati CASEY Stoner's reputation as being reliant on his Ducati Desmosedici's advanced electronics for his speed on the fickle Italian V4 is completely wrong, according to Ducati's chief engineer Filippo Preziosi. When he defeated Rossi in his debut Ducati season of 2006, the first of the new-generation 800cc class, even the Italian described him as "the first of the traction-control generation". It was common cause that Stoner's success came because he had the courage and confidence to whack the throttle wide open and hang on tight as the electronics tamed the slides and wheelspin. Now Prezioso had joined Nicky Hayden in refuting this notion, with all the data to back him up. "Casey is the opposite of what you read in a lot of papers," he said. "They say his performance is because he opens the gas with closed eyes, believing in the traction control. "The truth is absolutely the opposite. Even with less traction control than the other riders, he can put the bikes and the tyres at the optimum spin, very smoothly. Nicky says he has never seen anybody so smooth with gas. "Casey does traction with his wrist," he concluded. Consistency no key to MotoGP survival WHEN Alex de Angelis caused a three- bike crash at the start of the San Marino/Rimini GP, he spoiled a record of scoring points in every race this year. It did the same to victim Colin Edwards. This left Chris Vermeulen as the only rider with a perfect score from every race. Ironically, Vermeulen and de Angelis head the list of jobless for next year. Consistent results have not been enough. Vermeulen has a best of fifth at Assen, but a number of lower scores on the erratic Rizla Suzuki, and lies short of his less consistent team-mate Loris Capirossi. His place at the team taken by Alvaro Bautista and his chances of another MotoGP position increasingly slender, Vermeulen may have to join James Toseland on a journey back to World Superbikes. De Angelis was slammed for dangerous riding after the Misano crash, with Jorge Lorenzo calling for disciplinary action. Lorenzo did admit he'd been guilty in the past, but said he had calmed down after a strong warning from race direction. The San Marinese rider has earned his reputation as a crasher in practice, however; while at the same time showing ever-stronger in the races. A best of second at Indy is backed by fourth in Britain. Casey punishes the Barramundi INCOMMUNICADO since his unexpected departure after the British GP at the end of July, Casey Stoner has broken his silence to a local newspaper, the 'Northern Territory News', according to a report on the official MotoGP website. Stoner is "apparently recovering well" ahead of his Portuguese return in October, and spoke to the newspaper while on a fishing trip up north, at a place called Top End (pictured above). The paper quoted Stoner: "I feel I'm getting better up here, and my appetite has really come back. We caught lots of fish, saw huge crocs and amazing bird life. It was just like I expected Top End barra fishing to be." 14