Cappra wrote:There are others who would argue that Stoner does it as a tactic as well; to go hard and to put heat and maintain heat in the front tyre.
Stoner was pretty clear that the strategy he used on the Ducati was very much dictated by tyre heat and fuel management issues - the bike was simply not a good weapon for scrapping with the field. In '07 and '08 in particular, his starts were very much on a par with Pedrosa; the number of Dr. K's race reports from then with the phrase 'Stoner got his usual rocket start' attest to that. It's been quite noticeable that on the Honda he has more options; IIRC the only two wins in '11 where he ran away from the field were Le Mans (where everybody else up the front basically disappeared in puffs of smoke) and Silverstone, where presumably he'd found a groove he liked and wasn't going to disturb his own rhythm. Most of his other races he was content to take the lead when the move was available / desirable and hold a 'comfortable' advantage, or as at L.S. '11, only make the move when he felt it necessary to do so to be in front at the flag.
Even Stoner's 'last on the grid' has been less obvious recently - he still is one
of the last, but only for the first few rows - e.g. at Estoril he was well settled in his grid slot while some of the tail-enders were still coming to their markers. His start procedure is more relaxed: on the Duc, his feet were on the rests a few metres from the marker and his body well forward to hold the front end down while he gave it the full wellie; on the Honda, he drags his rest foot for quite a way and manouevers for a safe position through the first few corners. It appears that he is now riding away from the start with his concentration on Lorenzo and Pedrosa and how he will manage the race against them, whereas with the Duc it seems - in hindsight - that his main concern was 'how to get this damn thing to where it can be ridden for a win'.