Casey Stoner Grabs Top Five Finish at Ipswich
A day after complaining about the V8 Supercars second-tier series’ short races, two-time MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner was the big winner when rain ensured a drastically reduced Dunlop Series program at Ipswich on Sunday.
Dark clouds hovered over Queensland Raceway but Stoner could see a silver lining after clinching a fifth placing in race three to cap his most successful weekend in the Dunlop Series to date. On Saturday Casey was left lamenting the “ridiculously short” 14-lap race format at Ipswich after being relegated to 17th in race one when spun around on the second lap.
But Casey had fewer complaints on Sunday after fighting his way from 17th to 11th in eight laps before race two was called off due to a rain delay.
Stoner then benefited from two major bingles that warranted safety cars to finish fifth in a 10-lap race three.
However, he was still a frustrated man. “Realistically, it’s not real racing for any of the field when you get two eight-lap races (sic) and I’m sure everyone would have liked a few more laps,” he said.
“It’s disappointing but every race this weekend we’ve been fast enough to run with the front guys.
“It would have been nice to have had the chance to race with them.”
Still, Stoner could find some positives on four wheels before briefly switching to two. In the coming days Stoner will fly out to Japan to link with his former MotoGP team Honda. He will have a two-day test at the Motegi circuit aboard Honda’s world championship-winning RC213V. He will rejoin the team for two more sessions on August 6 and 7 and also ride a prototype of Honda’s 2014 model in preparation for next season.
“It’s the best result for us so far and that’s a positive,” Stoner said of his Holden V8 Supercars team.
“I’ve slowly been learning all year and that’s what this year was about from the start.
“I think a few people expected me to be a lot quicker than what I’ve been but until I jumped in one of these things I’d never driven a race car in my whole life outside of one test.
“It’s been a long learning curve and we’re slowly getting there.”
Stoner is 16th overall in the 31-strong Dunlop Series drivers’ standings. Round five Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the third last of the Dunlop Series Ã¢â‚¬â€œ will be held at Winton from August 23.