Casey Stoner is hopeful that a victory at Valencia this weekend could still clinch him the runner-up spot in the MotoGP championship. The Australian is 25 points behind Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo and would need the Spaniard to fail to score even if he won the race.
"If I want to finish second in the championship I still need to win the race, so that's the thing I'm looking for at the moment," said Stoner. "If we were able to finish second it would take a mistake from Jorge, who has been pretty good this season, so I don't think so. But that would be quite something.
"I think, considering I have taken three races off, to still finish second would be an unbelievable thing, but this weekend we are just going to try and win this race. If not, we are going to try and take a podium to end the season with a good result."
Even though he could still finish second in the standings, Stoner doesn't believe he could have challenged Valentino Rossi for the title had he not missed three races midseason.
"The way my season was going I don't think the outcome of the championship would have been any different," he said. "A lot of people are saying what could have happened, but for me I don't think it would have worked out any differently.
"To be honest I don't think I'd have even been able to fight for a race victory if we hadn't sorted it out, so I'm very happy with the way the season has gone now, and it's looking good for us for next year.
"We know we keep saying this every year, that we want to fight for the championship next year, but we had some difficulties this year and I believe we're going to be a lot stronger in 2010."