Ducati MotoGP duo keen to have Stoner as rider coach in 2022

Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller have both expressed an interest in Ducati hiring a MotoGP rider coach for 2022, with both mentioning double world champion Casey Stoner as an option.

Ducati MotoGP duo keen to have Stoner as rider coach in 2022

Stoner is present at the Algarve Grand Prix this weekend and will also attend the Valencia race as a guest of Ducati.

The Australian, who won the 2007 world title for the Italian marque, has been out trackside spotting for its riders.

Bagnaia says Stoner’s feedback on Saturday allowed him to improve in the final corner, with the Italian going on to take pole for the fifth-straight race in qualifying in Portugal.

When asked if he’d like for Stoner to remain in a rider coach role going forward, Bagnaia said: “Could be a nice present from Ducati to have Casey as a coach next year.

“It’s a different point of view, he’s a legend and it’s different to have a coach, because in Ducati we didn’t have a coach and for me it helps a lot.

“Maybe next year we can have him. But for me today he helped a bit for the last corner, the exit of the last corner, and it was useful.”

Team-mate Jack Miller echoed Bagnaia’s comments, and though he isn’t sure Stoner is a viable option for 2022, he feels Ducati does need to look at introducing a rider coach to its programme going forward.

“It’s fantastic to have Casey at the last two grands prix,” said Miller, who will start Sunday’s Algarve GP second.

“He’s got a family and lives on another side of the world, so the idea of that working out I think could be too hard logistically and whatnot.

Miller supports having a rider coach as part of the fold on a permanent basis in 2022

Miller supports having a rider coach as part of the fold on a permanent basis in 2022

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“But I’d be all for it 100%. But like Pecco said, it is really nice, I’ve worked with spotters on track and he’s not a normal spotter – let’s say it like that.

“It’s Casey Stoner, a legend, one of the best ever. But I think it is something we’re missing in our programme and I think it is definitely something we need to look at maybe introducing into the programme.

“I’m not saying we can get Casey, I’m more than happy to have him, but somebody.”

Commenting on his lap-record setting pole on Saturday, Bagnaia says improvements to how his Ducati behaved in the windy conditions played a key role in his qualifying success.

“I’m very happy because I enjoy a lot this weekend,” Bagnaia added.

“When you enjoy a lot with your bike, everything comes easily. Yesterday afternoon and today from the morning, with this type of wind I was struggling a bit.

“But we worked well and now I feel great also in the last sector, where the wind is more strong.

“I think we’re ready for the race, we’ve tried all the tyres for the race, medium and hard.

“And with both we were fast, so I think that our engineers are studying which one is better and I’m sure tomorrow our pace will be very competitive.”

shares
comments

Related video

Quartararo hindered by “weird feeling” in Algarve MotoGP qualifying
Previous article

Quartararo hindered by “weird feeling” in Algarve MotoGP qualifying

Next article

“Nothing changed” to grant Mir MotoGP qualifying breakthrough

“Nothing changed” to grant Mir MotoGP qualifying breakthrough
Load comments
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Plus

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Plus

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Plus

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Plus

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence Plus

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Plus

The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021
The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano Plus

The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Plus

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Autosport pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021