Casey Stoner has played down his chances of a sixth consecutive Australian Grand Prix win, due to both his physical condition and handling problems with his Honda.
The double MotoGP champion is undefeated at Phillip Island since 2007, and will be making his final home appearance this weekend before retiring from the sport following the Valencia season finale two weeks later.
Although Stoner was able to finish on the podium at Sepang last weekend, he underlined that he is still far from fully recovered from his Indianapolis ankle injury and subsequent surgery. He also pointed out that he has not been able to find a suitable set-up for his Honda since returning to the fray in Japan earlier this month.
"We've really struggled with the bike set up in the past two races and I'm pretty disappointed with this," said Stoner. "We always seem to find our rhythm in Phillip Island but I don't expect it to come easily this year. Thankfully the track goes to the left [anti-clockwise] and we're having a lot less issues with chatter when it goes this way.
"Also there aren't so many sharp turns so my right leg might be able to deal with it a little better. I'm still nowhere near 100 percent physically and I still need time to be back to full strength so I'm not really sure what to expect this weekend. We'll do our best and see what happens."
Stoner's Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa heads to Australia aiming for a fourth consecutive race win in his continuing bid to close down championship leader Jorge Lorenzo's current 23-point lead.