Sepang : LCR Honda - Race
Honda LCR rider Casey Stoner was physically exhausted after finishing a brave eighth in a hot and humid Malaysian Grand Prix.
Stoner was slowed by back pain from halfway through the 21 lap race, after making a spirited challenge for the podium
in the early laps. After passing Sete Gibernau (Ducati) for fifth place, Stoner was challenging Nicky Hayden for fourth on lap nine when he ran wide under brakes.
Two laps later Stoner lost strength and mobility because of back pain and he had to unwillingly concede positions, firstly to Gibernau, and then John Hopkins (Suzuki) and Kenny Roberts (KR211V). Despite his physical problems, Stoner finished just three seconds out of fifth place.
Casey Stoner: "I'm not feeling the best, I had a lot of pain in my back from halfway through the race. I couldn't move my bum across the seat to change direction -- the team did their job today, I could not have asked for more, and I just did not deliver on my side. I think I had a chance at the podium, especially when I was right on Hayden's butt early in the race. Then Nicky braked early into the final corner and I nearly hit him, he pulled a gap, and five laps later I was worn out. I was really struggling into the corners under brakes, I had to use my upper body too much.
The problem started when I jinked my back as the bike wobbled under brakes, up until then I was gaining on the guys in front."
Lucio Cecchinello: "Despite the result this was a very positive weekend of work by the team. For the first ten laps Casey looked capable of fighting for the podium and it was exciting to see him pass Gibernau and fight with Hayden. Unfortunately Casey had a back problem, it comes from an old injury, and now it is very important that we make a proper medical assessment of his condition."