Lorenzo had nothing but praise for Stoner, who crashed into third place in the MotoGP testing in Austria.
Casey Stoner isn’t a name you hear as much as you do Andrea Dovizioso’s or Andrea Iannone’s, but he proved that he is at least the equal of his celebrated Ducati teammates in Austria. Despite a crash in Turn 6, he came in only 0.6 secs behind Iannone and 0.2 behind Dovizioso. What made his performance even more remarkable was the fact that he hasn’t raced otherwise in four years. His virtuoso performance definitely won him an ardent fan in Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo.
“It’s impressive, because he doesn’t have the confidence of a normal MotoGP rider, because he almost does not ride during the year.
“And he’s at the level of Iannone and Dovizioso, so it’s impressive.
“But we don’t discover anything, no? The talent of Casey is unbelievable.”
It’s a good thing Lorenzo believes in him, because Stoner is having trouble summoning the self-assurance his performance deserves. He just can’t stop talking about that untimely crash that stopped him from topping the times of his fellow Ducati drivers.
— Casey Stoner (@Official_CS27) July 20, 2016
“It didn’t go to plan.
“We’re completely fine. It was a small crash, but just a little bit disappointing.
“It was the first time we’ve actually gone and tried to push for a lap time – the first time with a soft tyre in four years.”
If you were to hear him talking, you’d hardly think he was the man Lorenzo was waxing lyrical about. The crash takes centre stage in his mind, but he’s hardly giving himself any credit for being outstandingly fast despite a four-year hiatus. It’s clear than he has the skill to go the distance, but does he have the mindset of a winner? A large part of the competitive drive is good morale and his rather resigned tone indicates he’s a little short on that at the moment. Still, if you were to gain a cheerleader on your side, Jorge Lorenzo’s probably the best you can get in this industry. Talk about a confidence boost.