Casey Stoner is hopeful he will continue to make progress at his home race in Phillip Island this weekend after returning to MotoGP in Portugal. The Ducati rider was back to racing action at Estoril after having missed the previous three events to recover from his illness.
Despite his absence from the tracks, Stoner finished in an impressive second place in Portugal, and now the Australian is hoping for more in his home race.
"In Portugal I was able to get to the end of the race weekend without problems, just the predictable tiredness after a full MotoGP race, following two months of inactivity," said Stoner. "So maybe I'll be a bit more ready for Phillip Island now. Besides that, the temperature down there is a bit colder than other races we go to and that suits better my physical conditions at the moment. The track is awesome – it's fast, flowing and there isn't really a section that the riders don't enjoy.
"Normally races are fantastic there. I've had a dream run over the last couple of years but this one is going to be a little different so we have just to wait and see what we can do."
Teammate Nicky Hayden admitted he is fired up for the Australian race, and the American is aiming to try to make enough progress to fight near the front.
"I wish we were at Phillip Island today! It's a track and place I really like," said Hayden. "The track is great – it's fast, flowing and a lot of fun. I hope we can get some decent weather because the place can be really challenging when its cold – there are not so many right hand corners so it can take a few laps to heat and scuff the right side of the tire.
"I also enjoy the flyaways at the end of the year because it's a little different atmosphere with all the teams traveling together and staying in the same hotels – you see a different side of people.
"So we got three more races left before the end of the season and I really hope and need to make another step up toward the front. I really need to dig deep and try to make it happen."