Motorsport: Stoner to ride past the pain at final home GP

Casey Stoner admits he will ride with worsening pain at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix on Sunday.

The two-time MotoGP world champion says his return from ankle surgery in Japan a fortnight ago, followed by a third-placed finish in Malaysia last weekend, has left him with increased soreness in the joint he broke in a fall in August.

But it won't stop him from riding in his farewell home GP on Sunday before his retirement from the sport at the end of the season aged just 27.

"Unfortunately the ankle's worse today than when I started on Friday in Japan (his comeback race)," Stoner said today.

"It's not really enjoying the thrashing we've given it the last two races, and three races back-to-back is going to be a lot of hard work."

Stoner said his ability to ride was not being affected by his ankle - rather his movement on the bike and being able to effectively distribute weight through high-speed corners.

"It depends what corner and what pressure you put on whether pain's a factor," he said.

"But in general it's mostly movement and flexibility - trying to get my body in the position I want it to be in.

"These bikes are hard enough to ride at the best of times, and not being able to put the right weight distribution where I want it makes it really tricky."

Stoner joined exalted Australian motorcycling company on Thursday, when turn three at Phillip Island was re-named Stoner Corner.

He joins other Australian world champions Wayne Gardner and Mick Doohan in having sections of the picturesque Victorian coastal track named after them.

Stoner's ankle injury has left him out of contention to win back-to-back world MotoGP titles.

Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo leads countryman Dani Pedrosa by 23 points with two rounds remaining.

Stoner is third - too far back to challenge the only two contenders to win this season's championship.

Practice at Phillip Island starts on Friday, ahead of qualifying on Saturday and Stoner's attempt at a sixth successive Australian GP win in Sunday's race.


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