Stoner increases the pressure on Rossi

Casey Stoner increased the pressure on Valentino Rossi today after another disappointing performance from the Italian.

Qualifying a disastrous 14th fastest while his teammate, Nicky Hayden, will start from the front row of the grid has once again brought Rossi’s struggles aboard theBologna factory’s bike firmly into focus.

Speaking after qualifying Stoner was keen to discuss his former team’s prospects and the struggles of his rival.

“I spoke with Nicky the other day,” said Stoner. “He said he’s really happy with the bike, and it’s probably the best [Ducati] he’s ridden. He seems really confident with it but from the other side of the garage you hear the complete opposite.”

With Rossi still unable to adapt either his style to the bike or vice versa it is clear that his struggles are set to continue and that only wet weather will offer him any opportunity to race at the front of the field.

It is of little concern to Stoner with the Australian continuing to say that, “it’s encouraging to see Ducati getting good results, especially with Nicky.”

When the conversation turned to Rossi’s prospects it was clear that Stoner felt that Rossi needs to do more if he is to return to the front of the field.

“You can be a certain amount of time off for a certain time but not this much,” said the 26 year old. “Nicky is doing a great job with it at the moment and every test he’s been to he’s been doing a good job so I don’t think they’re too far off the pace.

Stoner also said that, “last year I don’t think there was too many problems. They started out the season more competitive. It’s really complicated to understand. We can see its not completely the bike because Nicky is getting good results and he is more and more happy with it.”

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