Valencia : Team LCR - Preview
The rookie MotoGP season of Casey Stoner and the Honda LCR team reaches its conclusion at the Valencia Grand Prix this Sunday, ending the 17 race championship campaign.
The race will be a milestone for both Stoner and LCR team boss Lucio
Cecchinello, who took a bold gamble to make a late entry into MotoGP with a Honda RC211V this year. After many seasons of collaboration -- in 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP -- this race will be the final appearance of Stoner with the LCR squad. For 2007, Cecchinello has signed Carlos Checa to ride the new 800cc Honda in MotoGP and LCR will again enter the 250cc championship, with a Honda for Eugene Laverty, the young Irish rider.
After his rookie year, which started strongly with a pole position in Qatar and second place in Turkey, Stoner will move to another team next season. Since the last race at Estoril, Stoner has celebrated his 21st birthday, sharing time off with his cousin in Europe before his final appearance aboard a Honda RC211V. The Valencia GP also makes the end of the glorious era of 990cc, four-stroke racing in MotoGP. From 2007 onwards, MotoGP rules call for a maximum engine capacity of 800ccs.
"I've had a long and good relationship with Lucio, there is only one year I haven't been with him since I came into grand prix racing," said Casey Stoner.
"We came up through the ranks together and he helped me a lot in the beginning, and this year we had an opportunity to get into MotoGP. I like the LCR team and it is kind of difficult to be leaving. We have done a good job this year and even though we've made some mistakes, I hoping to finish the season with a decent result at Valencia, a track where I have always been competitive."