On 10th July, Nolan organised a party in Brembate di Sopra (Northern Italy) to celebrate the 16 years of partnership with Casey Stoner, who was MotoGP World Champion in 2007 and 2011.
The Australian is still recovering from last February’s surgery on his right shoulder and we asked the Aussie some questions about his comeback, the current MotoGP season and his partnership with Nolan.
How is your shoulder after the surgery?
The shoulder is taking a lot longer than I expected to heal. I expected around 4 months, but the doctors said that I have to wait six months before restarting training. The movement is slowly coming along and this is what we expected with the shoulder operation, but it’s taking a bit longer than I wanted. We can just be patient and wait.
When will you be back on track for the next test on a Ducati?
I’m not sure, it depends on the shoulder and on what they organise. Probably I will make it for the last two months of the year, but first of all we have to wait six months before to start training and later a little bit more to build up strength and come back to riding.
Now Marquez is first and Rossi is 2nd in championship standings. Does it reflect the real level of the riders?
I’m not sure yet, because Marquez is clearly riding on a level above everybody. I think we can’t really understand the level of Rossi and, in particular, of Vinales, because they’re second and third despite not scoring a victory. However, it’s still a long way to the end of the season, so we will wait a little bit later. Hopefully the Ducati riders will close the gap, but Marquez is clearly the best.
Do you think that Dovizioso can be back in the fight for the title?
I don’t think so. He’s made a couple of mistakes this year and then he was unlucky at Jerez. Without this, the results would have been much better, but this is how it goes and unfortunately, it’s almost impossible for him to fight for the championship. However, he still has the potential to win some races and to get closer to second or third position.
Nolan has been your partner since the beginning of your career. What are the special qualities of this company? Why have you never changed your helmet so far?
I’ve never changed it because Nolan has been with me since the very beginning and they’re willing to support me. We grew a very good relationship with the company and together we were able to go up through the ranks. When we started together, Nolan wasn’t at the top, but together we grew and grew and Nolan, in a very short time, was the best helmet of the grid. I would never change the brand of my helmet; I can’t see myself in another company’s equipment.