Casey Stoner chats with Will Davison at the Supercars Gold Coast 600. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty
Casey Stoner chats with Will Davison at the Supercars Gold Coast 600. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty

Ducati to wake up from Island nightmare: Stoner

CASEY Stoner believes that the nightmare of Ducati's eight-year losing streak at Phillip Island can end in Sunday's Australian MotoGP.

Stoner scored Ducati's last win at the seaside circuit in 2010, the fourth of his four consecutive Ducati victories from 2007.

Stoner said the Ducati GP18, which he helped develop as the Italian team's test rider for the past three years, could end the Island misery.

"I don't see any reason why the Ducati cannot again be a race winning contender at the Island. The bike has been competitive at every circuit this year so why not Philip Island?" Stoner said.

Ducati has won six races this season and Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso is running second in the championship to Honda star Marc Marquez.

Stoner remains the only rider to win the MotoGP world championship for Ducati, in 2007.

The best result for Ducati at Phillip Island since 2010 has been Andrea Iannone's third place in 2015.

"I don't think the Island is a bogey track for the Ducati. You just need to be able to find and adapt to the Ducati's strengths, it has the power and speed," Stoner said.

"Only three years ago Andrea Iannone was running up front and making it a nightmare for the other guys and getting the Ducati on the podium.

"You cannot blame the bike for not having a chance there, you just have to find a way to work with the bike.

"But you have to be patient, not aggressive, and get flow going and wait for the Ducati to turn which is not its strongest point and then use its strengths on the straights."

Australian Jack Miller during the free practice at the Australian MotoGp on Phillip Island. Picture: Mark Stewart
Australian Jack Miller during the free practice at the Australian MotoGp on Phillip Island. Picture: Mark Stewart

Townsville rider Jack Miller will channel Stoner is his bid for a podium finish.

Miller finished seventh on a Honda last year but feels his Ducati GP17 is a better bike for him to convert the motivation of a home race into a top three finish.

"I am really excited about the Island because for me it is more of rider's track rather than about the bike," Miller said.

"If you can get a good feel for the front-end and save the rear tyre then think you can be in with shout for the race.

"When you really like the track and feel good you can go fast.

"No matter the year or the bike Casey Stoner was always able to turn it on at home and that to me shows you that the Island really is rider's track.

"It is mental game so you have go there with the right attitude. Even when Casey was going trough some rough patches he went to Phillip Island and just smoked everyone."