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GP Week : Issue 165
STONER: ‘I WANT TO FINISH MY LAST SEASON’ Casey Stoner is recuperating at home in Australia after undergoing surgery on his badly smashed right ankle in Sydney last Thursday – and pledged to return to finish off his final MotoGP season in style. The defending World Champion sustained ligament and bone damage, including fractures, in a heavy qualifying crash at Indianapolis, but raced to a heroic fourth the next day. Four days later, at lunchtime on Thursday at Brno, updated medical advice from “my most trusted doctor, the one who diagnosed my lactose intolerance” insisted he should race no more, and that surgery was vital to avoid the risk of permanent damage. News from Honda was limited to a bare statement confirming successful surgery, “performed by Dr. Lam's team in Sydney’s North Shore Private Hospital”, and adding that he had gone home to recover. The patient turned to Twitter to issue his pledge before the operation, writing: “Going under the knife today, hope everything goes to plan so I can have a quick recovery. I need to finish my last season off.” He followed up after the surgery, saying: “Operation went as well as can be expected, all the staff were great also. Now we just have to wait and see how I recover.” Stoner’s Indy efforts to keep his title challenge alive were dubbed “heroic” and “incredible” by his rivals. Dovizioso, who followed and eventually passed him for a rostrum third, said: “I could see how difficult it was for him to move on the bike. I think only Casey could make that race.” Stoner’s crew chief told press that the data showed he had been unable to use the rear brake, normally a vital element of on-the- edge control ... Allowing six weeks for recovery, Stoner could be fit to return for the Japanese GP at Motegi ... the first of a punishing trio culminating in his home race at Phillip Island, where he has won for the past five years s straight. Honda Superbike rider Jonathan Rea has been drafted in to race until his return – at Misano in two weeks, and Aragon a fortnight after that. MOTOGP >>> NEWS Operation successful, recuperation under way 11 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: