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GP Week : Issue 124
NOT enough overtaking in MotoGP? Complaints generally focus on the 800cc machines, their elaborate electronics, or the control tyres. Casey Stoner has a different view. It is the riders that cause the problem. The high level of the riders, to be precise, he explained, in a typically frank interview released by his Repsol Honda team. “I think it's not the bikes that are reducing the passing,” he said. “I think it's just become such a professional sport that riders don't make mistakes like they used to.” He recalled a time when riders would be smoking cigarettes before going to the grid, “and they weren’t tired at the end of the race. Everyone has to train their butts off now just to ride these bikes. Physically, they take a lot more out of you. “I think the level, in comparison with another era, has just picked up. Everyone knows what you need to do now, so you’re not seeing people run wide and other people duck up in the inside. They're making the line, they're hitting their points, and they're not having the problems like they used to. “So, I don't really think it's going to change a lot.” “I think racing in general was always going to go in this direction. Even in motocross, you're struggling to see people pass each other anymore. “It’s the same in MotoGP. You have to take a big risk to get past now, because motorsport has just gone that little bit further.” Stoner had no words of comfort for anyone hoping that next year ’s 1000cc sanction, with torquier machines, will revive the jousting of the earlier 990 years. Having had the chance to compare the current 800 with Honda’s prototype 1000 for 2013, “there wasn’t a huge difference. The main thing you notice is in the higher gears. In fourth or fifth on the 800, you don't have a lot of power to spin, so you've got to be on the edge of the tyre. But with the 1000 you're still able to spin, even when you pick the bike up it's still trying to spin a little bit. That part will be slightly different,” he said. “I blame the riders for boring racing” Stoner: 14