Main Motorcycle: KTM Duke 690
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Newcastle, Australia
Other Motorcycle: '95 Speedie & '82 CB750
Extra Motorcycle: RGV250 Trackie
I want to exercise caution here, because I don't want to be drawn into a Stoner slanging match, but:
Stoner's riding style was extremely mutable. He could change his style mid race, he could learn a new technique mid race. The bike was almost immaterial, he gels with the situation that he needs to gel with. That is why he was the only rider who will ever take the present Ducati to victory. The Ducati does not reward conventional riding - Tino said so himself - Tino even stated what I have claimed about Stoner. Tino hid behind the fact he is older than Stoner and was coached in a more conventional school of riding.
Pre 2007 were Stoner's learning years, he was still champion-less at this point. His learning style involved riding outside the envelope to see how far he could stretch his envelope beyond the competition.
2007 Stoner won. But not like night and day; he still dumped the Duc on a regular basis. It is just as likely that he won due to reaching a critical amount of racing experience as it was him being given a Duc. It is also very like Stoner to respond to being in a unique predicament. He is not a team player, nor is he a crowd pleaser.
2008 Stoner was ill but did pretty well nonetheless.
2009 The Yamaha was clearly a better bike, too much better. He still put in a good show.
2010 Stoner was given a fresh chance and capitalised.
2011 Stoner was knobbled by the soft compounds.
Stoner's Achilles was Bridgestone. He could not ride around the chatter as well as even Dani could. But his weakness, which was bigger than his issue with Bridgestones, was his love of pure racing and his disgust with the spectacle.
If you don't like him and/or you disagree with me that's OK, my passion & reactivity on the topic is dwindling now. I am just providing an alternative angle should you be interested.
"By looking at the difference between perceived danger and actual danger, you can fundamentally change your reaction." Chris Hadfield.