Stoner relieved to regain ground
2 October 2011 – Casey Stoner admits that the repercussions of his off-track excursion at Motegi could have been a lot worse, with the Repsol Honda rider recovering well to third place thanks partly to a host of incidents. The Australian lost ground when he ran wide at Turn 11, dropping to seventh before a comeback saw him grab the final podium spot.
"The whole weekend had gone so well for us and even the start of the race we got a great start and everything felt good in the first laps and I was able to pull a small advantage," Stoner commented. "Andrea was riding very well on the Soft tyre compound and we knew ours would work well towards the end of the race, so the pace we had at that stage I was very comfortable with.
"As I came out of the back straight I got a wobble on the bike, we hit the big bump and as the front came down it practically shook the bars out of my hands, I was lucky to hold on. I went for the brakes and there was nothing there so I had to pump them up a couple of times, when I pumped it the second time if flicked me up over the front.
"Thankfully I avoided hitting the wall at the end of the gravel trap but this pretty much ended our race. It's really disappointing as we had the bike to win here today, but in the end I guess I should be thankful that we were able to climb back up to a podium spot after other peoples’ misfortunes and mistakes on-track.
"I'm looking forward to going to Phillip Island now and to see what we can achieve there, I've got a Championship lead to protect but I also want to win races which is why I'm disappointed here today."