Stoner's new bike 'lot more fun'
HOT AT JEREZ: Honda's Casey Stoner, 2011 World MotoGP champion, on board the 2012 1000cc bike.
SEPANG, Malaysia - Freshly crowned MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner is lookinig forward to riding Honda's new 1000cc bike in 2012 - it's "a lot more fun".
The top bike formula's engine size has been set at 800cc since 2007.
With MotoGP switching to 1000cc for the 2012 season, Stoner has completed two tests on Honda's new bike and will have another trial run on a prototype in Monday (Oct 24, 2011) at the Sepang circuit after the Malaysian Motorcycle GP weekend.
"Yes, the bigger 1000cc bikes are a lot more fun for me," he told reporters ahead of the penultimate race of the season. He has already been testing the bike. "I don't have any hope or expectation (for the new bike). I will try to get through testing and make sure we have a competitive bike and see how we start the 2012 season."
The 26-year-old Australian has described the 1000cc bike by saying: "The engine for me is fantastic. It has incredible acceleration."
Stoner clinched the 2011 title on home ground at Phillip Island last Sunday (Oct 17). He's won nine of 16 races so far in 2011 since switching from Ducati to Honda. The last race of the season will be in Spain on November 6.
POOR YEAR FOR ROSSI
Stoner admitted Sepang would be a challenge due to the heat, humidity and possibility of rain. "It is going to be a 50/50 race if it rains. Hopefully the (wet) weather stays off a bit."
Italy's Valentino Rossi, once domionant in the sport having a poor 2011 with Ducati, said he nonetheless wanted a podium finish in Sepang after winning there in 2010 for Yamaha.
"I lost important points in the last two races due to crashes," he explained. It's not over. I will try to improve to fifth."
He's seventh in the championship.