Stoner aims for title repeat

Defending champion Casey Stoner insists he still has work to do ahead of Sunday's opening race of the MotoGP World Championship in Qatar.

MotoGP News: Casey Stoner

Stoner dominated both pre-season tests in Malaysia and Jerez as his Repsol Honda Team seek to defend the 'triple crown' they achieved last year of the riders', team and constructor titles.

The 26-year-old Australian has also recorded four pole positions and four wins out of six in MotoGP races at the Losail circuit in Qatar.

But with this season seeing a switch to 1,000cc bikes, Stoner is not taking anything for granted.

"After good pre-season Tests in both Sepang and Jerez we head to Qatar feeling positive, but still have some work to do," Stoner said.

"This will be the first time with the new bike on this circuit so we will need to spend some time on the set-up to put ourselves in the best position.

"We've always enjoyed good results at the Losail circuit, but this is a new season and there are more competitors contesting for victory this year.

"I'm excited to get the season started and fight for another world championship."

Last year's championship runner-up Jorge Lorenzo also has a good record in Qatar, starting every race from the front row and always finishing on the podium.

A victory in the only race on the calendar to be staged under floodlights has so far eluded the 24-year-old Spaniard, but he is looking to put that right this weekend.

"I'm very excited to finally race and see how we are compared to our rivals," the Yamaha Factory Racing rider said.

"Qatar was a good race for us last year but I think this season we have a slightly more competitive bike so I am hoping for good things to happen.

"Because of my hand injury (suffered in Australia last year) it has been a long time since I was in a race so I am really excited for Sunday.

"I have been training a lot for this season. I'm feeling very good and very happy with the bike as well."



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