Casey Stoner says he is desperate to understand the reasons for the crashes that have blighted the start of his MotoGP season and left him a distant 14th in the championship after three rounds.
The 2007 champion fell on lap four of today's French Grand Prix when running fourth, crashing when the front end of his Ducati slid away from him mid-corner, leaving him distraught. Stoner had also retired from the season opener in Qatar due to a similar accident, and had a comparable crash in practice at Jerez.
With fifth in Spain his only finish so far in 2010, Stoner is already 59 points behind championship leader Jorge Lorenzo.
"I'm really disappointed because the bike has felt great all weekend, I've been pushing the front wherever I wanted but for some reason when the race has come around it felt like it was going to fold," Stoner said. "It's something we have to get to the bottom of and we need to do it soon because it is not good to start the season with only one finish from three races.
"I haven't changed anything with my riding style but if I need to do something, we have to work out what and then I can do it. Maybe it's because when I'm behind slower riders in the race I'm not able to put the same pressure on the front. I'm not sure at the moment, to be honest, so we need to sit down and work out what's best for the next race."
Team boss Vittoriano Guareschi admitted that Stoner's crash was a huge blow for Ducati, albeit one tempered by Nicky Hayden's fourth place on the second bike.
"I'm really disappointed for Casey and for the team because this is obviously a big letdown for all of us," said Guareschi. "Today we had the possibility of having a good race, as we saw with Nicky, but it didn't turn out that way for Casey, who crashed when he was trying to make up ground on the top three. He lost the front and now we're all working together to try and work out why.
"I know that Casey will bounce back in the next race, ready to give it his all, as always, and we'll be working hard to allow him to show his huge talent."