Cold tyre blamed for Stoner crash

Casey ends his 2009 season by crashing on the warm-up lap

FORMER MOTOGP WORLD Champion Casey Stoner suffered an embarrassing end to his 2009 season when he lobbed his Ducati Desmosedici racer on the warm-up lap at Valencia, in the final round of this year's championship.

Pole-sitter Stoner allowed the rest of the field to pass him on the warm-up lap, so the Australian could arrive last to the front of the grid; a tactic the Ducati man has used before to retain maximum heat in his bike's tyres. But Stoner's gameplan backfired when his Ducati flicked him over the highside as he exited turn two. Ironically, a rear cold tyre has been attributed as the cause of the accident.

Stoner said after the race:

"Obviously this is a frustrating and disappointing way to finish the season. There have been plenty of highs and lows throughout the year and we have ended on a low, but with another lesson learnt for next season. We have had this strategy for two years and not had a problem until today so I guess it is better it happened here than in the first race of next season in Qatar! The important thing is that after back-to-back wins in Australia and Malaysia we have shown our pace here at Valencia and we know we have everything in place to be competitive next season if we do the job right over the winter. Now I am looking forward to working on the bike over the next three days and then spending a couple of months building up my physical fitness, which I haven’t been able to dedicate myself 100% to for such a long time. We know it will be hard next year but we are confident that we can be back and fighting again. I want to give my personal thanks to everybody in the team – to Filippo and everybody at Ducati Corse for giving me a bike that was competitive even when I wasn’t and for working to make sure it was firing on all cylinders when I came back. I also want to thank Livio Suppo, who is leaving the team, for all the support he has given me since I joined Ducati and especially during the difficult moments this season.”